Tuesday, April 26, 2011

More Work and Less Play for Kids These Days


Shows like Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader really leave the older population wondering how children these days are so smart.

It seems that children now a days are learning a much more advanced curriculum at a younger age.  Primrose Schools offer a Balanced Learning curriculum to their students which focuses on placing emphasis on literacy instruction, hands on learning activities, building a foundation for understanding mathematics, and integrating technology to support learning. Primrose Schools extend their advanced curriculum ranging from infants to the kindergarten classes. 

Infants Follow Strict Curriculum

The 1 to 2-year-olds, some of which are just learning to talk, are gaining knowledge by learning sign language.  When Brandi Bounds, a teacher at Primrose, was asked about the daily activities of her 1 to 2-year-old classroom, she explained that she must follow a very strict schedule.

“We mainly focus on their motor skills, language development, and sign language. Since most 1 to 2-year-olds are just learning to talk, we emphasize on their weekly words verbally and signing. We also have art time, where we allow them to use different mediums to create something of their own,” said Brandi Bounds, teacher at Primrose. “We have different centers where they transition in to different activities. Some of which are blocks, which helps them to build. Some are links that they connect together. We also have small puzzles, where they figure out where each piece goes.”

Bounds also expressed that teaching this type of curriculum at a young age helps as the children move forward in grade level. 

“Without a strict and steady curriculum to follow, the kids would not be as advanced as they are now. At this age they soak up new information so easily and when they learn something new they are constantly repeating it,” said Bounds. 

What About Playtime?

Even though the infants are following a strict curriculum, they are provided with outside playtime as well. Also, when the infants are engaging in the different learning activities they see it as playing but they are learning at the same time. 

Primrose advanced curriculum is not all work and no play, the children are allowed to engage in two outside playtime's that lets them enjoy their freedom. Bounds also explains that when the infants are playing, she notices some of the sign language being used to communicate with her and even the other infants.

“If we didn't have such a strict curriculum the kids that aren't verbal, wouldn't even know how to sign "more food", "drink", "ball", and much more. Thanks to our curriculum, the children that are nonverbal are able to communicate what they want,” said Bounds.

Curriculum Helps as Children Move Forward

Although some may feel that infants and children at such a young age should be able to play and enjoy being a kid, the teachers at Primrose feel that a strict curriculum is very important now a days.  Learning even the basic building blocks at such a young age helps as they move forward not only in school, but in everyday life. 

Sara Reilly is a teacher at Primrose who mainly focuses on the 4 to 5-year-olds.  She teaches them daily activities such as reading, computers, drawing/writing, mathematics, and much more. She has worked at multiple preschools and feels that Primrose has a much stricter curriculum than most others. 

“I think it’s definitely helpful when the kids are taught this type of strict curriculum and it’s easy to tell who has and has not been taught it. When kids come into the class not knowing what the others do I have to start over with them and it is harder to catch them up,” said Sara Reilly, teacher at Primrose. 

Reilly feels that as time goes by, more preschools will also start using an advanced curriculum.

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