Why Children Should Attend Preschool
I often hear parents talk about the reasons why they do not put their children into child care. The reasons often are cost and the parents want to spend time with their child as they grow up too fast. I agree they do grow up way too fast; however a high quality preschool experience can truly give your children the edge they need in future endeavors.
High quality preschool is more than learning. Children’s social emotional health starts very young. Young children who spend time away from their parent’s learn to build trusting relationships with other adults and learn how to be social with their peers. We are all great parents and want to do what is best for our children but many times our home routines do not allow for opportunities to learn conflict resolution, cooperation, and management of feeling such as frustration and anger and problem solving skills.
I know many adults that have none of the above so I am a huge proponent of fostering health social emotional health early. A preschool environment can nurture relationships with children, provide many teachable moments that help encourage social interactions and with the aid of teachers minimize conflicts and teach conflict resolution.
Child care is an amazing environment where teaching children to make choices and understand accountability is a huge lifelong skill. In the preschool environment there are many opportunities to teach children about their normal human need to be in control. Giving children choices helps build respect , cooperation and give children the feeling of ownership of their actions.
The preschool environment gives children opportunities to choose the activities they want to participate in. All these social emotional skills will introduce children to the expected behavior to be successful in kindergarten. Group experience before kindergarten will decrease a child as well as a parent’s kindergarten anxiety.
The other skills in a high quality preschool environment that help with kindergarten readiness are academic and cognitive development. Research states children exposed to high quality preschool enter kindergarten with stronger pre-reading, math and vocabulary skills compared to children who were not exposed to preschool. The aspect of play is very important in preschool but so is the exposure to letters, numbers, words, shapes and math.
Exposure to teacher directed activities help children understand the academic demands they will have in kindergarten. Children naturally like to explore their surroundings. Giving children the love of learning at a young age gives them and amazing foundation to be imaginative, creative and social all in one environment. Teaching young children is all about having fun, being imaginative and social. Children’s nature curiosity enhances learning through play- counting blocks, singing songs and playing games. Importance of play will be illustrated in next article.
The research has always said how important it is to read to your children. Reading to children in a preschool environment is a great opportunity to relate books to art, centers and discussion times. Many times in preschool teachers will read about a subject and then do polls ask questions, etc.
Documenting on polls show children early math skills and how their opinions count. This interaction helps spark conversation and increase vocabulary skills. Quality preschool programs provide a lesson plan so you as parents can bridge the gap between home and school by talking about same subject content.
Another reason children should attend preschool is germ exposure. This will be another article next month, however after the first year in a child care environment children are sick way less often once they hit the elementary year. This goes for adults as well, I can say after being in the field for over 15 years, I am very rarely sick.
Preschool teachers are naturally nurturing people who love to nurture a child’s curiosity. High quality child care allows children to use their creativity, imagination, curiosity and independence. A strong preschool environment compliments children that love to be social at the same time helps prepare less social children for kindergarten.