This is Your Brain on Preschool . . .
That I seem credible.
That my bangs weren’t cut with an X-Acto knife and my dress wasn’t made from a Christmas tree skirt.
Let’s pretend I have a background in early childhood education. That I’ve been published in journals. That I’ve done research. That this blog post isn’t simply based on my one and only firsthand experience. And that this one and only firsthand experience isn’t filtered through a brain clogged with three decades’ worth of other experiences and 1995-98 bong resin.
Here’s my theory.
Preschool today is a lot better than it once was.
How do I know?
My preschool was worthless.
How do I also know?
My kids’ preschool is worthwhile.
Their preschool is actually worth more than just time for me to write this blog post. It is worth more than just my kids learning to be with kids and not bite them.
And for the past two years, this preschool has accomplished exactly what I hoped it would — which is to make me feel completely inadequate as a parent.
That is, the teachers offer activities for kids that I would maybe do with my own kids exactly once. But there’d be tears involved. Tears, screaming, egg whites on the ceiling fan and at least one trip to the ER to remove a plastic bead from someone’s nose/ear/butt/esophagus.
The activities they offer at my kids’ preschool are practical, educational and of real value.
When I was in preschool, I put on this hat.
It’s a Montessori-based preschool, so kids can choose to do household activities like wash dishes and sew on buttons and pay bills and clean out rain gutters. I’m speculating on the last two, but it seems like the kind of things they should learn to do.
At my kids’ preschool, they practice counting, paint pictures, write the alphabet, learn to speak Spanish, care for plants and collect “nature” — which by the way is a catchall word used to cover anything found on the ground outside that doesn’t include (1.) shovels, (2.) goldfish crackers or (3.) orphaned mittens, though certainly the door is left wide open for (4.) rodent poop.
And possibly (2.) rodent poop.
Although — yes, I know, I know — I know exactly what you’re thinking.
And I suppose you’re right.
Despite all of this, I still turned out just fine.