Originally a full-time preschool teacher, Dr. Rene Hackney now holds a Master?s in school psychology and a PhD. in developmental psychology from George Mason University. She trained at the Developmental Clinic at Children?s National Medical Center and for the public schools, teaching in parenting programs at each. She has also acted as a consultant to several area preschools.
For the last four years, Dr. Hackney has owned and lectured for Parenting Playgroups, Inc, a parenting resource center and preschool classroom in Alexandria Virginia. She has offered workshops to a wide
range of parent, teacher and social work groups during this time.
Workshop topics include eight hours on positive discipline techniques, five hours on early academic issues and common issues such as sibling rivalry and potty training. All workshops provide well researched lecture, in-class practice and open discussion time. Additionally she hosts a monthly parenting focused book club and fun play programs to introduce the preschool setting to young families.
Dr. Hackney is married and has two young children of her own.
Host: Is there anything parents can do to prepare their children for school in lieu of preschool?
Rene Hackney: If you are deciding not to send a child to preschool by all means repeat the play dates with the same children, so that they have a chance to build real friendships outside of school, taking field trips and outing so the child gets a sense that the world is a bigger place and there are other things to learn about, teaching children about social entry and about social interaction so that they can do better in once they enter into the school world. Also, having academics introduced through play. If your child is not going to preschool the idea is introduce flash cards and workbooks because that can be really boring for a preschool age child, but introduce academic concepts in play such as when you go to the grocery store, you can do a letter hunt for the letter hunt for the letter B and find all the B s that you can find at the grocery store or when you are making playing with Playdo that night you can make the letter B and you are teaching the child about their letter recognition but through play making it a really fun experience so that when they get off to school in kindergarten entry they are ready.
Also, if you choose not to send your child to preschool reading aloud everyday is a really good way to prepare them. Reading aloud seems to be one of the best ways to promote reading in the long run.