My ECE team met tonight for this month’s book club (our book was It’s OK Not to Share by Heather Shumaker). I loved the book — as the title implies, it was very provocative, and it made us reflect on why we do lots of the things that we do as early childhood teachers.
I read it on my iPad, so I don’t have accurate page numbers (sorry!), but I would love to share with you some of my favorite quotes from the book:
To prepare for the rigors of kindergarten, three- and four-year-olds are increasingly drilled in early reading and math.
This is called “getting ready for kindergarten.” It could also be called “stealing play.”
Too often we think about preparing our kids for school in the same way we think about preparing ourselves for a job. Careful study, good work habits—in fact, years of diligent preparation. We need to take off our adult lenses. A child’s “preparation” for school success looks nothing like ours. A child’s preparation for life and school comes through boisterous play, spontaneous play, running and roughhousing, playing house and playing pirates. Yelling, screaming and crying are part of it. So is first friend-making (and rejection). Taking risks—creative risks, physical risks and social risks. Dressing up and storytelling. Trying out crazy (and messy!) art. Encountering conflict. Sorting it out. Young kids already have a full agenda: play” (from Rule #1: Stealing Play).
‘Every stage of development is complete in itself… The 3-year-old is not an incomplete 5-year-old. The child is not an incomplete adult’ (from Rule #1, attributed to J.C Pearce).
We worry that kids can’t tell the difference between fantasy and reality, but actually we are the ones who mix it up… If you are worried about your child’s play themes, think about cutting down their media exposure… Cut their screen time, not their play. (Rule #16: Give Kids Power)
A guarantee–‘I won’t push you again’–is more meaningful than ‘sorry’ (Rule #23: Kids Don’t Have to Say “Sorry”).