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Preschool: At What Cost? Paperback – April 11, 2011
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About the Author
Susan K. Stewart is a teacher, writer, and speaker. With her husband Bob, she began homeschooling their three children in 1981, and is considered a pioneer in the modern homeschool movement. Prior to teaching her own children, she taught in public and private schools. Susan is the author of Science in the Kitchen: Fearless Science at Home for All Ages, and speaks at state and local conferences. www.practicalinspirations.com
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Susan K. Stewart
Published by Practical Inspirations
P.O. Box 561
Luling, TX 78648
86 pp. e-book or pdf, Plus internet and print resources
Susan K. Stewart's book, Preschool: At What Cost should be read by every parent and grand-parent of pre-kindergarten children. She presents balanced, well-researched information about the failure for long-term positive results from academic instructions to preschoolers by government and private organizations. She gives data that shows children this young do far better with self-directed, imaginative play and the security of parental involvement in their lives.
The book is clearly written and easy to read. The author lists research studies at the end of each chapter plus web and print resources at the end of the book. Chapters include a history of preschools (both kindergarten, nursery and government schools such as Head Start), the Real Numbers, What Experts Say, and the Politics of Preschool academic Education.
Then Stewart has several chapters on what parents can do and why. Too many parents have been influenced by the media to think they're failing their children if not enrolled in a preschool that teaches reading and math and such `school-type' subjects as young as possible. Stewart shows that the real need of young children is to develop character, imaginative thinking, socialization, truths about God and good manners. Research proves that all these contribute far more to long-range success.
In this book, Susan Stewart summarizes the history of the preschool movement and includes research which clearly demonstrates that attendance in a formal preschool program is not required in order to produce a well-educated, socialized adult 12-15 years later. In fact, some programs actually produce the opposite results of that which were intended.
If you want to keep your children home to cuddle and grow alongside you, this book will provide the statistics and logic you might need to convince well-meaning friends and relatives that you aren't ruining them. This book is well documented and includes many links and resources for further study. It is well worth the read for the parent of every 2-5 year old!
THIS book SO gets it right! Not only is the book an informative bundle of well researched information on the huge push in this country to send our tiny folks to preschool, but it is a GOOD read....As a mother and now grandmother of a 20 month old, I have never felt that sending our children to preschool was in their best interest as the only GOOD choice on how they should spend those important early years. I felt from the time they were born that my son and daughter were better off spending time with their family...and that it was up to my husband and I to see that they had adventures, played and enjoyed their young lives, and learned about their world in a hands on manner. I turned the den into a playroom filled with dress up clothes and lots of fun things to look at and they learned from everything they saw and did. Since when did we wholesale want to give our children over to strangers to raise while we do something else???
I utilized my local church preschool for a year, 1 day a week for three hours, while I finished up in graduate school. BUT from the start, our philosophy has been that these are our children and as such, God gave us these children to raise and to look out for, and not to the government. I love how Susan ties up her thoughts into a very convincing argument in defense of parents retaining their God given right to let their children play and grow within the confines of their own homes.
I highly recommend this book to all parents of small children!
The second half of Stewart's book goes into great detail about God's plan for early childhood development, using the stories of Moses and Samuel as examples. Stewart asserts that the preschool years are fertile ground for character training and development. Learning good habits like sharing, giving, helping others and good manners set the stage for future success in academics and social settings. These habits are best learned at home with loving parents in a natural setting.
I enjoyed reading Preschool: At What Cost. As the mother of two preschoolers, my own notions of what early learning should involve were challenged. I highly recommend Susan Stewart's book as a thought-provoking resource to anyone training up small children or grandchildren for God's kingdom.