Saturday, October 22, 2005

Unpreschool?

I don't have much use for new terms that redefine what I do based on today's culture. So when I heard the term "unpreschool" at Blogging Baby I couldn't help but roll my eyes a bit.

If you've chosen to homeschool your children, it's likely you won't have them in preschool, either. How do you present more structured social opportunities to your three-to-five-year-olds who are destined to homeschool? According to a mom who organizes one of my playgroups, it's the "unpreschool."...Unpreschool is basically providing a "stimulating environment" at home to prepare your child for learning.

Give me a break. Do we have to define mothering in the early years as UN what the culture deems as appropriate? This term is absurd. I'm not a unpreschooler just because I decide not to enroll my child in a glorified babysitting service from ages three to five. I call it motherhood. The term has worked well for centuries. I not about to give it up not for a trendy new term that defines what I do by what I don't do. That's just plain silly.

I wonder what folks would think if I started calling those who enroll their children in preschool as UNmothering? Or those who enroll in government schools as UNhomeschooling?

As for providing a stimulating environment for children to learn - What home isn't stimulating? That's why so many parents use electrical socket covers. We worry that they'll be overstimulated! Toddlers find everything stimulating! That IS learning. It's not preparing them to learn. They ARE alreadly learning. It's innate to children to want to explore and learn. We train it out of them by plopping them in front of videos, computers, and other simulated stimulation. And then we have to provide "play dates" to teach them what they would naturally do on their own if we would just give them the chance.

But I don't want to get started on play dates. I schedule those about as often as I schedule a root canal. I did it once and I never want to go through it again!

So let the unpreschoolers schedule their play dates for proper stimulation to prepare them for learning. This MOMMY is going into the kitchen with my children and bake a batch of cookies.

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