Learn why preschool is good for your child and what benefits it will get by being enrolled into quality preschool care.
When you think of preschool, what do you envision? Are you afraid that your child is still too small to be placed in a structured environment? Does it scare you how they might cope with the separation?
Well, don't be. Preschool can only help your child.
Children gain a lot from going to preschool because they become exposed to numbers, letters, and shapes there. But, more importantly, they develop social and emotional skills and learn how to get along with other children, to share and to contribute.
Findings show that children who attend high-quality preschool enter schools with better pre-reading skills, richer vocabularies, and stronger basic math skills than those who do not. So why not insist on preschool education when it can only help; when preschool is good for your child?
Know this: the 3-6-year olds are like little sponges at that age. They can take in so much; even more than you think. You as a parent should make use of this time to equip your little ones with the skills they need in their lives. Homeschooling your children at this age might give them a good academic head start (ONLY if you are educated in early childhood education to do so), but this type of schooling will fail to develop their social and emotional skills that are of an utmost importance for their future. And these skills get developed by child being around other children their age.
Young children are naturally curious and observant. They want learn the skills that their families and society value — such as reading the instructions for assembling a toy, or selecting the correct bills or coins to pay for a purchase. To prepare children for the academic demands of school, teachers will offer a wide variety of games and activities that will help them acquire necessary academic but also social skills.
Preschool is an opportunity for them to be in a structured setting with teachers and groups of children where they will learn to share and follow instructions, raise their hand when they want to ask a question, take turns, and share the teacher's attention. Every child should have this sort of group experience before they start school.
Don't be afraid that focus on the development of pre-math and pre-literacy skills will make your child grow up too soon. These will not cut into important play time that every child deserves. A high-quality childhood education offers both. In fact, these programs are based on learning through play, so learning will be fun for your kid, have no doubt!
In preschool, your children will learn how to compromise, be respectful towards others, and solve problems. Preschool will provide a place where your child will gain a sense of self, explore, play with their peers, and build confidence. Kids in preschool usually discover that they are capable and that they can do things for themselves instead of always asking mommy to step in. They will learn wonders – from small tasks like pouring their own juice and helping set snack tables, to tackling bigger issues like making decisions on how to spend their free time. Isn't that a great step for them?
The fact is that 4 and 5-year-olds will start asking some wonderful questions about the world around them, like “what happens to the water after the rain? Do birds play?” Even you as a parent might become confused when trying to answer some of their questions, but the preschool will make your job easier. It will teach your children to find answers through exploration, experimentation, and conversation.
Young children will learn letters and numbers in preschool, but at their own pace and through playing games. Preschool does not sit kids down and ‘teach' them because that would be the wrong way to do it. Instead, they teach them through doing various kinds of activities your kids find interesting, like story-time, talking to the teachers about stars, playing with blocks, etc. For example, to help kids learn language and strengthen their pre-reading skills, teachers in preschool play rhyming games and let kids tell stories. To help kids learn pre-math skills, teachers will ask their little students to count food items during snack time, use calendar to count down days to their long awaited preschool play, or play memory games with them.
Keep in mind that for small children preschool is all about having fun and acquiring social skills – not achieving academic milestones. Kids need to be imaginative and to socialize because that's what fosters creative and well-rounded people; it's not about whether they can read by age 4 or multiply by 5, although they might.
And don't forget: your child's education does not stop once they come home from preschool. Oh, no! They will have bunch of stories to tell, and many questions to ask.