Month: November 2011

Preschool Works!

Whether it’s Play-based as all of us at Kodo Kids and the Acorn School believe in, or Montessori, Waldorf, Cooperative, Head Start or Reggio – it breeds success. I haven’t met a person yet that can reasonably argue against the merits of preschool. So when I came across this article in the New York Times, it seemed like a great opportunity to blog simply about the benefits of any preschool experience – not just play-based schools.

In summary, the article proposes an expansion in early childhood education, despite the horrific economy and that “schooling after the 2nd grade plays only a minor role in creating or reducing gaps in testing and overall school success. Studies have shown students in preschool programs are less likely to repeat grades, be diagnosed with a learning disability, suffer from poor health, are more likely to graduate high school and more likely to attend college.”

So spread the word – preschool matters. Vote for increased early education, support them, volunteer at one. Help us build successful children!

Nurture or Nature?

How is it that little girls as early as 18 months are already shopping and gathering? In every class I’ve ever had there’s always been at least one girl whose play strategy consists of hoarding as much as possible into a bag or basket. In very rare circumstances I’ll see a boy engage in this “In case I need it” play philosophy but again, it’s rare.

My little one wearing all her new birthday presents and attempting to play with her bike, Barbie and art pad all at the same time.

My co-teacher and I know exactly who to go to if we’re missing puzzle pieces, someone’s shoes, the soap dispenser or our wallets. Is it an efficiency gene that us ladies can’t help but embrace?  I think the boys, much like their dads, are more inclined to get out the door, either buy what they forgot or make multiple trips back home. In the case of our preschool boys, it’s multiple trips back inside the classroom from the outdoor patio to get a certain car or animal. Better to be inefficient than be caught dead with a purse!

Forget the purse, this girl needed a canoe for all her stuff!

I just read about a study of the age-old hunter/gatherer theory. The study consisted of pairs of men and women fitted with GPS and activity monitors and sent out to collect mushrooms. Women were much more efficient foragers – they collected the same amount of mushrooms as the men but used a whole lot less energy. Women also found a greater variety of mushrooms from more sites (collecting from small patches of mushrooms). Meanwhile, the men ran all up and down the mountain, wasting a ton of energy looking for motherlodes.

“All I have is a banana, what the heck is all that stuff in your bag??”

Maybe the trend starts because our children see all the men with just their wallets and keys? And mom with her big bag, confident that she has everything a child or spouse could possibly need? Either way, it’s certainly an amusing pattern to observe in my 2 and 3 year olds and if anyone’s looking for all the markers, they’re in Olivia’s purse….