I’m not a fan of ‘Hothousing kids’ an 80s term for pushing your kids to learn beyond their cognitive age. My daughter is only 4 and I’m a strongly believe in her learning via play at the moment; whether it’s a gentle introduction to Maths via board games, a Science lesson by walking through the park collecting leaves, fostering an interest in Literacy through bedtime stories and trips to the library, a Geography lesson when Daddy is watching the rugby, History by telling her about her grandparents, or ICT by letting her have a bit of screen time.
Why I worry
I understand that parents want to prepare their children for school but I do worry about the pressure they’re putting on their children, as research has shown that pushing children at an early age can have detrimental affects to their learning down the road. I see it all the time: signing 3 year olds up for piano lessons, Baby Yoga, Baby Signing, daily flashcard sessions and of course don’t forget the Baby Einstein series.
Am I a hypocrite?
However, I had a chat with Madame on Friday night, amongst our normal bedtime routine and she declared that she doesn’t like school, it’s boring. Of course, I asked her why and she said it’s because they ‘won’t let her learn letters and numbers’ and asked me if I would teach her.
I appreciate why the nursery is not doing this at the moment as their ethos is learning via play which I like, however they do send homework sheets home on a Friday. But as an ex-teacher, I’ve humoured her and printed some hand-writing sheets. She absolutely loves doing them and seems to have the fine-motor skills and stamina to do it.
Was this a bad idea? I wouldn’t have done it if she hadn’t asked…..
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Is this another result of ‘competitive parenting’ ? Will my daughter be left behind if I don’t do it? What’s the worst case of Hothousing you’ve seen?