For years I’ve been feeling a certain pressure to put our older son into preschool. A few moms make me feel like I’m depriving my boy of something important. “He needs the social interaction,” they suggest. Other moms practically admit they have signed their child up for preschool so they get a break. (I think I’ve found other solutions to these “problems,” including a weekly play group.)
As I see it, our boy has plenty of years of formal education ahead of him, so why not let him enjoy the freedom to pursue his own interests at his own pace? I’ve recently learned a great term for my view: play-based learning. It involves extended bouts of uninterrupted play, and it’s a handy term to toss it out there whenever I’m in a conversation that’s starting to seem accusatory. “I do the preschool,” I tell them. “It’s play-based learning.”
And since my preschooler is now five years old (as of this week) we’re going to add field trips to our repertoire. I’ve found another mom of a preschooler to join us – so it even involves some social interaction. This week we got a tour of our local fire station, but I don’t have a plan yet for next month. What are some other good field trip ideas for preschoolers? Please share your suggestions. I’ll be sure to report on which ones we try.