Recently I was talking with a friend about two different day care programs and approach. He went to research two schools with very similar background but completely different outlook.
One school focussed on creative arts and music. The other school focussed on academia and music.
The first school, taught the ABC's with art projects. The kids would draw or color and Apple and know that A is for apple. They would sing the "A" song and learn the sounds of the alphabet. The other, would show pictures of Apple, Ankle, Ant and relate it to real life. It would instill 'A' sounds like "aa" and then the kids would learn to recognise the alphabet. And then both schools would move on to the next alphabet.
The kids in both school seem well rounded. Probably the kids from the first school come home more messy thanks to the color overflow! But teaching the same thing in pretty different approaches.
As we both discussed pro and cons. We were both at a loss which one is better. I studied in a very academia focussed system. I did have paint, dance and sport classes as well. But still the focus was math and science. The friend of mine put it aptly..... untill 3 years, all the fun and frolic is great, but after 3, the kid needs to learn the way of the world.
I was a bit taken aback. Though, I still understood his point. One always wants the best for the kid, let the kid explore his best fit, but then there are norms or what you think are norms for the kids. You tell me, which conversation will go better: Oh my kid can add single digit numbers, or that my kid can draw entire beach scene.
Is three the new threshold for learning the real stuff? Art is an expression of the creative mind. The brush and the paper has no boundary. Academics is the best gift a child can ever receive.
I am at loss. My daughter V is coming close towards the threshold age! I probably will face the same conundrum soon- The Art way or the Acad way! Or may be.. I can figure out a way for V to have both.
Which route would you take for yourself, for your kids, your cousins.... does it really matter?