| April 23rd, 2007

* is preschool important for my child?

For last couple of months I had many parents asking me whether preschool is necessary before kindergarten and if so how does preschool help their child and what age should they send their child to preschool.

 

The term “preschool” means, literally, “before school.” Sounds simple enough, but this literal translation isn’t quite right for two reasons. First, preschool isn’t something that occurs before school, it is school. Second, the focus of preschool shouldn’t be on preparing a child to succeed at “real” school later, but instead should concentrate on his or her educational needs right now.


What do preschool children learn?

While many three- and four-years old children are in child care settings, others must learn to feel comfortable away from home. Regardless of their past experiences with care outside the home, children face similar challenges when they enter preschool. They all need to learn to control their feelings and also to express themselves. They need to get along in a group and also to take their own ideas and run with them. They need the opportunity to be leaders, and also to let others lead. Preschools that include mixed-age groups especially encourage this sort of natural learning.

Preschool curriculum focus in all areas of development: social/emotional, physical, cognitive and language. It also focuses on different content areas: literacy, math, social studies, the arts and technology.

Three- and four-year-olds are naturally very curious about the world around them, and they are capable of learning a great deal about its workings: how seeds sprout, how water flows, how clay feels when its pushed and pulled, how colors change when paints mix, what makes one block tower balance and another fall over, and so on. Good preschools give students plenty of hands-on opportunities to explore their world.

How do I choose the right preschool?

When choosing a preschool you must do your research. You need to decide whether you want full day or half day programs. Start by asking other parents. Next, check whether the schools are state-licensed, which ensures the facility meets safety requirements and has adequate staffing, you can do the search on-line using the web site of National Association of Child Care resource and Referral Agencies (NACCRRA). The gold standard of approval is accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). NAEYC carefully evaluates preschools and childcare centers based on curriculum, teacher qualifications, class size, and health and safety standards. Once you have a list of schools call the school, make an appointment to visit. Most schools have a registration time that begins in may. Most preschool program runs from September – June.

I hope I was able to answer and bring light into the topic on preschool.  Let me know if there is any other questions you may have to make such an important decision for your child, or tell us if what worked best for you choosing the preschool for your child.

For more information you can visit the following link.
http://www.naccrra.org/
http://www.naeyc.org/

 

5 Responses to “* is preschool important for my child?”

  1. Shahnaz says:

    Nadia,

    Thanks for the informative article.

    here is my question: before parents decide to enroll their child in preschool – what are some of the basic steps they need to prepare their child with? for instance – is it required to have the child potty-trained, know how to feed themselves, can express with words…considering many children are late bloomers – and start talking at late age.

    thanks,
    Shahnaz

  2. Sharmin Islam says:

    I have a 19 and a half month old son whom I am thinking about enrolling in pre-school (part-time) once he turns three, if he seems ready for it. I know some parents who do not want to send their kids to pre-school at such an early age and some who want to home school their children. I think that if a child does not seem to enjoy the preschool environment or does not seem ready for it, then he or she should not be forced to attend.

    My question is, does going to pre-school give kids a better chance of performing better in school (i.e., get better grades)? Sometimes I feel that kids should be allowed to be kids and relax and play while they are so young. They will have their share of studying to do when they are older. Why put so much pressure and structure to kids at such a young age. Any thoughts on this?

  3. Nadia Huq says:

    Most preschools require the child to be potty trained. Especially if you enroll your child at age four. The rest of the skills are slowly learned at school. Like eating, being independent, language.

    Studies have shown that children who come from underprivileged families benefit from preschool. There is no law in sending a child to preschool, is the parents choice.

    In preschool children learn through play. They are not sitting in desk. Although they are learning the academics they are also learning basic skills (putting on their own jacket, tying shoes, saying please and thank you, ect)More importantly learning social/ emotional skills.

    I will suggest sending your child to preschool at the age of 4 even for two days a week for half days to learn to get along with other children and socialize.

  4. Jasmine Ahmed says:

    I support Nadia Huq’s comments on the importance of preschool. In addition to academics, social and communication skills are an integral part of being successful in our society. Preschool provides young children with an environment with others their same age and helps them enhance their communication and social skills. These skills are equally important in developing our children’s ability to function in our society independently. Children mental development is quite active during this age bracket.

  5. Nasrin Mahbub says:

    I have a 3 and a half year old (asir) and 20 months old (ilan). asir started preschool once he turned 3 and ofcourse potty trained. but we needed to send ilan early as i went back to work after a 2 1/2 yr. break.
    I prefer sending kids to preschool in their early age cause they can learn a lot.
    Ilan’s doing a lot of things that asir did not do till he was 3. preschool is not only about study, there are lots of fun activities thru play . one big thing is share with other kids.

    i agree with jasmine ahmed, it really helps kids with their social development as well as communication skills. what does most stay home mother do here? when they need to cook/do any house hold work….turn on the tv so the child can be busy watching tv, and in the mean time mother can finish her work. But if the child is in preschool they are busy with lots of activities…coloring,make art projects,learn to identily numbers,alphabets,even small things like how to eat with a fork/spoon, holding a pen etc…
    if you send your child before 3 , then no need to potty train, the teachers do it but after 3 the child need to be trained.

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