When most of us were four years old, our main concerns were with playing outside, getting messy and using our imagination.
We were, for the most part, blissfully unaware about the world around us.
Play-Doh, action figures, sandpits, swing sets, slinkies and Cabbage Patch dolls, that’s what most of us remember from our childhoods.
And while they are still relevant to an extent today, it’s feeling a lot more like most children around preschool age are more comfortable with an iPad than a Lego set.
The development and needs of our children evolve as technology does.
Preschool is the time we are preparing our children for kindergarten, when the days of free play are almost over and structure and lessons are the new normal.
And while we would never discourage any program that enriches a child with knowledge or culture, is preschool age too young for children to learn a second language?
It’s a delicate age when a lot of children have just learned their words, sentence structures and meanings.
Is teaching them a second, foreign language an information overload or is this the perfect time to teach them such a valuable skill?
We’re not saying that children should not be equipped with the basics of a range of languages.
The global environment we live in indicates these skills will become valuable later.
Introduce culture and international practices into preschool, teach them about other nationalities, flags, traditional clothes and cuisine.
A knowledge of the rest of the world is so powerful for a child to have and minds that young soak up information better than most adults, this is true.
But teach languages in primary school and high school, when children are adept at sitting and taking in vital information, interpreting its meaning and retaining that knowledge.
Children in bilingual homes naturally pick up on these languages and the meaning of the words and this becomes integral in their everyday lives.
But not all children will retain the significance and meaning of these lessons if they are only taught for a limited period each day.
Teach about culture and let a second language form when they’ve learned to grasp the first one.