“Why don’t I get to have any homework?” Sophie asked me. At her school, the five-year-olds get assignments like ‘Bring in something that starts with the letter S.’ Sophie is eager to be a five-year-old.
I told her that we have home-play, not home-work. I told her that the older she gets, the more there will be to learn, so then she will have homework, but for now, we just learn by playing. Then I helped her list all the things she learns from playing: letters and story-telling and new words every day, numbers and shapes and patterns, skipping and bicycling and dancing and singing, tooth-brushing and seed-planting, imagining in so many ways, and also and especially, using her words to be a good friend. She got incredibly excited by the thought of all that she has learned lately. Honestly, I did too. Listing it all, divided up into my own categories of English, Math, Gym, Science, and more, made me think about how much a three-year-old really does learn every day.
Then we drove to preschool and Sophie told me she saw a cloud that looked like a girl who was dressed like a bunny for Halloween, with a nearby witch-cloud pulling on one of her pigtails. I knew just which cloud she was talking about. And I have no idea what academic subject that fits in to, but I know that Sophie’s description of this cloud made me glow.