A day-by-day chronicle of the author's preschool for her own children that's like most family photo albums--a few charming...

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TEACHING YOUR OWN PRESCHOOL CHILDREN

A day-by-day chronicle of the author's preschool for her own children that's like most family photo albums--a few charming vignettes, but mostly unrelated glimpses of Kim, Kari, and Kevin's adorable antics with ""teacher-mother"" Kay and ""principal"" Jan (and altogether not a patch on Prime-Time Parenting, above). Through the year, the children's activities ranged from color-naming for two-and-a-half-year-old Kevin z(who didn't master the colors despite the offer of a stick of gum to his sister for each one she could teach him) to practice-reading for five-year-old Kim (from a 1956 Dick and Jane reader). But cooking sessions, conventional art activities, occasional field trips, and the like were only part of the Kuzma curriculum--character development and religious instruction figured importantly too. Each day included family devotions, hymn-singing during preschool music time, and theological explanations and homilies (Jesus ""makes people whole in heaven"" after they decompose underground; the moon and the stars are in the sky because ""God knew that His children needed the light to see at night""). Kuzma and her husband also devised a system--loosely based on Ben Franklin's--stressing a different virtue for each of 13 weeks. The diary format underscores Kuzma's attention to the ""teachable moment,"" but precludes logical development or extension of the skills or tasks: did the children learn all those musical concepts that she told us she planned to introduce after the October 29th ""Experimenting with Sound""? Did they cooperate and stay quiet and make their own lunches on the day the ""teacher-mother"" got sick? Child-development questions didn't occur to the author, either: she doesn't ask, for instance, why it's so hard to get her four- and five-year-olds to practice the piano, just devotes four entries to strategies to entice them into the daily routine. See Sandy Jones' Learning for Little Kids (1979) for a much more useful, orderly presentation of appropriate preschool activities.

Pub Date: July 18, 1980

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1980