Today's Sunday Chicago Tribune headline is “State eyes free preschool: Blagojevich [Illinois governor] plan would offer program to all 3- and 4-year-olds.” Oh, I can't express how saddened and frustrated I am about reading this.
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Here is a quote from the article. “The whole idea behind funding education is to make sure we help our kids learn and the evidence is very persuasive that if we invest in early education, children will learn better.”
I remember reading about a kindergarten teacher years ago who said she could always tell which kids had gone to preschool. A parent said, “Oh, are they that more academically advanced?” The teacher said, “No, they know how to line up at the door.”
Illinois wants to be the first state to offer free preschool to all 3-year-olds, for a minimum of 2 1/2 hours a day.
Is this going to help our kids succeed? Starting them in a state-run school at the tender age of 3, instead of the tender age of 5? Illinois has been one of the most favorable states for homeschooling. We are considered a private school,and the requirements are to teach ages 7-16 the basic subjects and in English. This article says that preschool for 3-year-olds won't be mandatory, but it's coming, isn't it?
I wish people could see what really makes children successful. A stable family, a mom and dad who love and read to them and play with them, allowing the children to develop a love of learning (by following and encouraging their interests), helping them to develop a sense of wonder about their world (by letting them play outside). What doesn't work? Locking up a 3-year-old in a public school for 6 hours a day!