I remember my first day of kindergarten distinctively. I will never forget the little boy who had an emotional outburst due to anxiety over leaving his mother. Reflecting on this childhood memory, I thought ‘how can a child be best prepared for kindergarten, and not only kindergarten but their future education?’ Many mothers struggle with the decision on whether to send their child to preschool. In a hunt to answer the question, ‘why preschool?’ I compiled a list of reasons from various sources.
- To become accustomed to the structure and routine of a school setting, to follow rules given my teachers and other faculty
- Learn how to respect other students, to share and cooperate with them
- Become comfortable spending time away from the parent and learn to trust and feel safe with other adults
- An opportunity to interact with other students, join in on other student’s play, and learn social skills
- To build confidence
- Teachers help children learn how to self-regulate their emotions
- To make friends
- To learn how to help, contribute, to take on responsibilities
- Learn behaviors that are essential to the structure and effectiveness of a kindergarten classroom. Example: Wait your turn to talk.
- To increase vocabulary
- To foster curiosity and interest in learning
- An opportunity for imaginary or pretend play, which helps your child build their learning skills
- Preschool lies down the foundation for future math and literacy skills, as children are introduced to letters, numbers, and shapes through various games and activities
- To develop motor skills (like learning how to hold a pencil)
The goal of preschool is to help your child develop cognitively, socially, emotionally, and physically. Probably the greatest thing I’ve learned about preschool programs is that the focus isn’t on hitting academic marks, its on having fun, exploring, and socializing; which is the way it should be for young children right?
Bottom line though, sending your child to preschool is a personal decision. Preschool offers benefits, but home learning does too. I think its about finding the right fit for you and your child and how you think you can best prepare him or her for kindergarten. Remember, you are the expert on your child.
Do you think children who attend preschool are better prepared for kindergarten, for their overall education?