Q+A: Does Preschool Really Matter?

Q. Should kids really be doing academics in preschool?

A. I definitely believe that they should. We know that children this age are capable of learning basic math and pre-reading, so why not get started as soon as they're ready to learn? I'm not saying preschoolers don't need lots of socializing and play; they do, and they should learn a lot of their academic skills through these activities. But I think there also should be time for age-appropriate instruction where the focus is on teaching specific skills. Many, many children this age have these kinds of "lessons" at home every night when their parent reads to them or helps them learn to count. But many other children do not, and we should make sure that all kids have the benefit of this kind of instruction. Today's children are growing up in a very complex, interconnected world, and the earlier we start equipping all of them for that world, the better off we'll all be.

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