No Pressure.The most important guiding principle of the Pittsburgh Plan is that children should never feel pressure as a result of participating in the Plan.Why?Well, for at least three reasons . . . .
First, at the most general level, we like the idea that there is no downside to the Pittsburgh Plan; that it involves no expense and requires only a small increase in the time a parent spends with his child.The Plan will have a positive effect at this most basic, minimal level so long as the parent-child time is a good thing and not a bad thing; i.e., so long as we do not burden these sessions with anxiety-producing parental pressures and expectations.
Second, despite our concern about avoiding downside, we actually have high expectations; we believe that the Plan will help your child read early and develop great mathematical skills. In order to achieve these extraordinary results, the Plan depends heavily on harnessing your child’s innate language-learning ability.Our experience indicates strongly that this powerful learning machinery operates far better in an environment of happiness and enthusiasm than in a climate of pressure and anxiety.
Third, our objectives are not limited to academic achievement.Obviously, we feel that early reading and strong math proficiency are good things, but in a sense they are only means to an end.We have two much larger objectives:(i) we want our children to develop a strong sense of earned self-esteem, a sense of capability that will allow them to continue to approach challenges with confidence and determination throughout their lives; and (ii) we want our children to preserve their sense of wonder and joy at learning throughout their lives, so that their lives are richer and more rewarding even as adults.Both of these objectives – self-esteem and enjoyment of learning – suggest strongly that the homework sessions should be fun and free of anxiety and pressure.
Oh, and here is a fourth reason:is there anyone out there that actually thinks putting pressure on a three-year-old is a good idea?
Helping Preschoolers Achieve Their Full Intellectual Potential