Spike is at Nursery full time. She is constantly monitored during her time there and they keep track of her learning using the EYFS guidelines. Every 6 months or so we have a parents evening to let us know how she’s getting on and what targets she’s hitting.
I used to care about this. But lately I’ve thought about it and I just don’t anymore. She’s learning. She’s clever. And I can see that she’s developing at a great stage. But why do I need to know that part of her development is at her age group, part of it she’s slightly behind for and the rest she’s excelling? She’s two!
I know that Spike is doing well. I can see that when she counts using her fingers and gets every number right. And when she tells me what comes after B in the alphabet. I can see that she knows how to read even if she can’t yet. She understands the flow of the words and that the pictures relate to the words on the pages. And that she can hold a pencil better than most kids her age.
But I could see all that if she was at home with me. Because she would still be able to do all that. It just wouldn’t be ‘confirmed’. But why does she need to be ticked off on a chart because she’s not with me?
Nursery tell me that this information will be passed on to the school she goes to so they can understand where her development is. But what would happen if she wasn’t there? Its not the law to send your child anywhere before they reach school age. You can keep them at home with you until the day they start. You can even home-school but then I believe you have to start ticking off this development yourself! But before Reception age, the monitoring is not mandatory. So why should it matter what Spike is learning? It kinda makes me think that she’s just being used as another statistic already. A way of the nursery claiming their worth because this tick list is completed for all children.
I know that its good that nursery are teaching her so much and part of it is that they want me to know she’s not just going there and doing nothing all day. But she is. She’s going and playing and doing what kids do, all kids learn through play and develop a greater understanding of the world during their time interacting with others. Yet she has her days guided by what section of this silly tick list needs filling in.
Why do we have to put so much focus on education so young? I am fairly sure none of it was around when I was at pre-school and I’ve come out of education with a pretty decent degree! I think maybe its just because I know that I’d be teaching her this stuff anywhere but it wouldn’t be monitored so I feel that anyone without a nursery background will be viewed as uneducated as soon as they start school. Also, I don’t need them to tell me anything… I can see she’s ace.