"What curriculum are you using for pre-school?"
I can't tell you the number of times I get this question or the related, "what are you teaching with?" and "what do you do?"
These questions come from a place of self-doubt that is fostered by the pressure our society has decided to put on children to Learn. Somehow it has become commonplace for first graders (and sometimes kindergartners!) to have homework. We've decided that children entering these lower grades should know how to read and if they aren't, they are behind, need intervention and possibly medication.
So how do I answer this question?
"We don't use one. We play. We have fun. We explore whatever they want. We go to museums and classes and the beach. We picnic, sled and bicycle. We sing songs, watch movies and read. We go to Disneyland a couple times a month and try to get to the farmer's market weekly. We sometimes pick a color, letter, number or other theme for the day. Pretty much we just enjoy life."
At this point there is an incredulous look on their face. There may be a question about reading, writing or math. Which is when I bust out my "proud mommy, my kid can do this" list.
"They are pre-reading by recognizing letters and that letters combined form words and try sounding some out. They count and add and subtract a bit. We're working on time and using a calendar. They are learning about money. They are very interested in the human body right now so we spend a lot of time talking about bones, blood and food nutrients."
This seems to ease their fears that I'm neglecting my kids to the TV-as-babysitter while I eat bon-bons and Facebook all day. I guess it is all in the way you phrase it.