Exposure vs. Mastery

When talking about Tot School and early childhood education I use the words exposure and mastery a lot.  In the early childhood field these terms are thrown around a lot, but in everyday life as moms we don’t hear them as much. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of understanding early childhood development and the difference between these two terms and how they apply to your child.

The difference my be totally obvious to many of you, but just in case you might be confused, I am writing to explain it!

My direct quote on the Tot School webpage is below…

What is Tot School ~ exposing early learning skills through play.

Notice it does not say MASTERING early learning skills through play.  The word exposing was chosen on purpose!  Many people see the words Tot SCHOOL and think it means forcing kids to learn way too early.  It is the exact opposite of that!  It is purposefully exposing early learning skills in a fun and easy going way that your tot enjoys. 

Another quote from the Tot School site

Goal of Tot School

Key word in this quote is FUN.  If it isn’t fun, what young child out there would care to join you?  How in the world would we develop a love of learning?  Tots are often stubborn little creatures and from the few I have raised, I know there is no forcing them to do anything. We as home educators have the privilege and blessing of creating a fun home environment that inspires a love of learning.

We will have many years as a homeschool mom filled with requiring our children to do something undesirable during their schooling. School in the upper grades isn’t always fun, and it sometimes has to be forced.  If we help our kids develop a love of learning at a young age, hopefully even the not-so-fun tasks in the upper grades can be tackled with grace and perseverance instead of negativity and sighs.  We haven’t always achieved that goal, but I keep praying and trying!

If you are the mom of a young child; focus on exposure, save the mastering of skills for later on, and most of all ~ HAVE FUN!

This post is #6 in my series, “Homeschooling Tots & Preschoolers,” for the iHomeschool Network Spring 2013 Hopscotch. Visit other bloggers participating here!



Homeschooling-Tots-and-Preschoolers_[2]Day 1 ~ Where to Begin with Tot School eBook

Day 2 ~ You Don’t Have to Do it All!

Day 3 ~ Developmentally Appropriate Practice

Day 4 ~ Time Invested in Tot Schooling

Day 5 ~ 10 Tips for Studying Nature with Tots

Day 6 ~ Exposure vs. Mastery

Day 7 ~ Why Themes?

Day 8 ~ Teaching Tots in a Large Family

Day 9 ~ Our Favorite Learning Tools for Tots

Day 10 ~ Early Childhood Theme Printables A-E