Preparing for Preschool
How will tutored toddlers be prepared for school? "A child who is a happy learner—who feels confident and valued—has the necessary skills for a successful school experience," says Dr. Speaks-Folds. Some parents may want to add an extra dose of enrichment through the use of computer software, flash cards, and videos/DVDs, but many experts agree that this type of input does not further toddler learning.
Dr. Betsy Squibb, PhD, a professor of early childhood education at the University of Maine at Farmington and author of Learning Activities for Infants and Toddlers, says, "Sometimes parents get overenthusiastic and want to accelerate the learning. But toddlers learn through play, through experimenting with objects, through repetition, and through imitating others."
"A toddler's memory skills are only short term," adds Dr. Speaks-Folds. "To have a toddler memorize abstract ideas through the use of flash cards and videos is not a lasting educational milestone. The toddler needs to be able to apply information to the surrounding environment."