Many parents are concerned when their children do not appear to be learning letters and numbers. They believe ditto sheets and homework in preschool programs will better prepare their children for elementary school.
Children who are rushed into reading and writing miss important steps in learning and will suffer later on because they lack the foundation needed for using language. Children who are taught to read in preschool my be able to sound out and recognize words, but they may have little understanding of what they are reading. Activities such as stringing beads, fastening buttons, cutting and drawing are valuable because they develop the small muscle skills needed for writing.
Math involves more than memorizing facts. To acquire a foundation for logical thinking, children need many opportunities to count objects, sort them into piles, add some to a pile, and take some away. By playing games like these, they will come to truly understand addition, subtraction, division, and multiplication.
When children are rushed into academic subjects to soon, they lose their enthusiasm for learning. Memorization trains students to become passive, dependent learners. Independent learning and playtime help children see themselves as explorers, discoverers and problem-solvers.