I was at the mall the other day and ran into a woman I know from our story time days. Her daughter is 2 weeks younger than my kids, who will be four in the fall. We started chit-chatting, and somehow brought up school. Preschool, of course. They are three years old.
She informed me her daughter is in tutoring this summer. I must have had a perplexed look on my face, because she went on to explain. “Yes, her G’s are slanted when she writes them. And her E’s sometimes have 4 lines instead of three.” Then she looked at me pointedly, as if those were the most obvious reasons as to why her three-year old is being tutored all summer.
I just said “oh” while she continued on listing a few other letters and the issues her daughter had with each one. I felt this overwhelming urge to start cracking up. It was bubbling up and was about to overflow. She was so serious about it, I knew I had to remain solemn.
After we parted ways, this conversation really stuck in my head. I kept thinking about my three-year olds, and I know they do not even know how to write every letter of the alphabet, much less have an issue with each one. I began to question myself, my kids. Should I be working with them more? Should I be worried they do not write every letter? Should I even be worried about this? I mean, we all want our kids to be smart and successful, but at what cost?
Maybe it’s just me. I want my kids to be kids. We all know that the older we get, the more responsibilities we have, the more work we have, the more we have to worry about. I want my kids to enjoy endless summers, know what boredom is, and have a blast. I look back on my childhood summers so fondly. The days seemed to last for weeks; the weeks for months. Summer was something I always looked forward to. Playing Red Light Green Light, Ghost in the Graveyard, having lemonade stands.
Not sitting in a classroom at three years old perfecting their slanted G’s.
What do you think? Is life so competitive now that our preschoolers need an upper hand? I know it is good to help our kids, give them any advantage they can get. Red shirting is also gaining popularity these days; some people find it controversial. There are countless articles and conversations on it, experts weighing in on every angle. My kids will probably be “red shirted” and I am not doing so for sports. I just do not want them to fall behind or struggle because they would be the youngest.
But tutoring in preschool? When is enough enough?