If you have been fortunate enough to be a parent who has not had to put their child in any sort of formal child care, you may be very reluctant to have your child attend preschool. Preschool can be a frightening idea to many parents, but it is very beneficial for your child as well.
1.) Preschool allows your child to engage with other children on a regular basis. It is the perfect place to learn vital social skills like taking turns and engaging in conversations. Your child will learn how to successfully interact with other children.
2.) Preschool helps your child learn important motor skills. For example, your child will learn how to use scissors, and will develop fine motor skills using the toys and learning materials available in the preschool.
3.) Preschool helps your child learn independence and trust. This does not mean that your parent-child bond is broken. It means that your child’s anxiety about being away from you slowly begins to decrease, and he is able to engage in tasks and play on his own more confidently. He also learns how to trust another adult as his caregiver.
4.) Preschool sets the stage for academic learning in elementary school. This does not mean that the preschool you choose to have your child go to should be hard-core academically focused, but it does mean that being exposed to the alphabet, learning to write her name, and developing basic pre-math skills will help your child succeed when she enters Kindergarten.
5.) Preschool teaches children about routine, structure, and schedules. Even if your lifestyle is more laid back, it is important that your child know how to function in the wider world where the clock and authority figures play an important role in daily life.
6.) Preschool shows your child more about the wider world and her place in it. She begins to develop a sense of understanding about home, school, the neighborhood, the city, the state, the country, and how she fits in with each. She is also exposed to new ideas about the world around her, such as new animals and plants she’s never heard of or seen.
Preschool is a great experience for children. Even a few hours a week can give your child the leg up and the confidence he needs to move self-assured into the next phase of his life.
L. Hughes-Page, M.Ed.
L. Hughes Page is a Field Supervisor to student teachers in the Graduate Department of Education at Gwynedd Mercy University.