Help With Virtual Learning

Woke Kindergarten is an amazing resource for anti-racism and diversity, that also includes resources designed for the early learning set. Ki, who, the creator and teacher of Woke Kindergarten, tweeted this:

Teaching is not synonymous with “school.” School is an institution. Teaching- REAL teaching- is spirit led. It cannot be confined to institutions. Education is sacred. Schooling isn’t. Credentials don’t make us teachers- spirit does.

This tweet is insanely relevant. Parents are terrified of their child being behind in school and not learning anything at home. I want to assure you that your child is always learning and you are always teaching. Learning is not confined to school, preschool or daycare.

Your child cannot be behind if you are engaging them in daily life.

There is countless research that proves that children who are introduced to academics before the age of 7 start hating academics by age 7 – grade 1 for most of the Western world. These studies show that children who aren’t introduced to academics until age 7 are ahead of their peers academically clear through to grade 6, and they actually enjoy learning! The kids doing academics before grade 1 hate it and are much more resistant. Consequently, they fall behind their peers.

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Consider this:

My kids here in Ontario, Canada is not learning the same stuff at the same time as your kid in Australia, or the UK, or the Southern United States, or Japan, or Singapore, or South Africa or Turkey or Hong Kong, or anywhere else. Even for those of us with school-aged kids, it is never too late to catch up to whatever arbitrary standard you’re measuring against. I, myself, have had a very successful career, I own a home, I have two beautiful children and not once have I ever been asked for any of my elementary school reports. Or what age I started to count, knew my ABCs and started to read – because it doesn’t matter. I know it feels like a big deal as it’s happening, but it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, as long as they learn it eventually.

It is impossible to be behind between the ages of 2-6 years old.

If you introduce your children to academics between 2-6 years old, they will not be ahead. The gold star of “being able to read at age 4” means absolutely nothing when they refuse to read for pleasure at age 12 or when they hate school in grade 1. This means that it’s okay to hang out with your 4 year old at home and chill and read and play. It’s actually recommended, as it’s how children learn best. It’s also recommended that if you require childcare, that you put your child in a setting where it is play focused, not academic.

Everything is novel to young children

I know it’s old to our crusty old butts, but it’s all new to them. Even the boring stuff they see every day, they’ve only been seeing it for 2-6 years; while we’ve maybe been doing and seeing the same things for decades. I’m personally still not bored of them! There are still so many things to explore and do in my house, in my yard, in the town I grew up in. I lived in Alberta for 8 years and since leaving I’ve discovered a laundry list of stuff I wish I’d known about, had time to do, or seen when I lived there. I’m in my mid-30s! So it is empirically impossible for a child of 2-6 years old to be bored with their environment! Kids may get bored with the way they’re being required to interact with their environment, but they will always go through new developmental stages that change how they perceive their environment, so on some level it’s always new! Even if they’re bored with the way they have to interact with the environment, it’s within our power to change. It’s also not actually a problem if your children are bored at home, but actually a beautiful gift you can give them. Boredom is incredibly powerful. But that’s another blog for another time.

If you’ve been forced back into virtual learning and it’s not serving you or your kids aged 2-6 years old, please STOP

Just stop. Say no. It’s okay. The children are going to be great. They are going to thrive and we have to stop putting our adult emotions and perception of the environment on them. They cannot be behind at 2-6 years old. You are teaching them every waking moment. What you need to be paying attention to is what you are teaching them and if it’s something that actually serves them. Are you teaching them to zone out and be an obedient zombie? Or are you teaching them to listen to their bodies and stop when they hit a limit? Are you giving them space to be creative and silly, or are we teaching them that all that matters is their ass in their chair and their face pointed towards a camera? Are we teaching them how to interact with other people or are we indoctrinating our 4 year olds into Zoom culture? Are we teaching our children that acting like an adult is the standard they’re going to be measured by or are we teaching them to enjoy their childhood and the freedom they have within it? Your child does not need to be in school to learn. You are more than equipped to teach your young child everything they need to know to be successful as a youth.

If you want to stop this train from hitting you, we’re at the station!

The first thing you should be teaching your kids is how to be competent, how to be calm, and how to be confident. I don’t know about your local curriculum, but those don’t feature in ours. Those are what kids 2-6 years old need. And I have these handy-dandy scripts that can help you get started with that! CLICK HERE.

Thank you so much for reading my first blog post of 2021! Join us next week for an Uncommon Sense Parenting class in the Parenting Posse FB Group!

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About Allana

Hi, I’m Allana. I teach parents of toddlers and preschoolers why their children are misbehaving and what to do about it without yelling, shaming, or using time-outs. When not teaching parents about behaviour you can generally find me chasing around my two boys, reading cheesy romance novels, or hanging out with my own parents.

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