Preschool is a wonderful opportunity for your little one to start preparing for success and confidence in kindergarten. While their time at home with a sitter or parent may be interesting and structured, preschool gives your child the chance to understand classroom dynamics before they start kindergarten.
Avoiding Being Overwhelmed
The first day of school is a huge deal. Your child will be dealing with new things from the time they get out of bed. From backpack to breakfast schedules and up until you take them into the school, all the experiences will be different. Change is never easy, and the patterns and functions of a classroom can overwhelm your child.
Preschool puts all your lessons into practice. You may have talked about sharing and working through it between your child and siblings, but sharing takes on a whole new view when there are twenty children in the space.
Learning cooperation and respect in preschool will make the transition to kindergarten much more manageable.
One of the hardest lessons of childhood is learning to sit still. Preschool offers the benefits of maintaining a thoughtful, physical calm and following instructions during the brain’s most plastic time.
Preschool can teach your child, for example, that the instruction to sit and listen is followed by a fun story or an exciting lesson. The reward for sitting and listening may also be followed by free play, time outside, or another rewarding activity.
Listening to and following directions from a respected adult is a skill that can be learned early. Once learned, your child can move through the kindergarten classroom in confidence because they won’t feel confused by or upset about what’s required of them.
The Chance to Play
A preschool will likely have a playground with plenty of space for fun. If you live in an apartment or have a small or shared yard, your child may get the chance for physical play at a local park, but daily play can be hard to find the time for.
The purpose of a preschool is to
- give young children a safe place to learn
- build skills that will make the transition to kindergarten seamless
- keep young children physically and intellectually engaged
If you are concerned that your young child has a coordination challenge or a problem with learning, you have the chance to have a trained adult monitor them earlier than kindergarten.
And if your child needs help, you can get assessments and therapies before kindergarten, helping your child work with and around any challenges they may face.
Preschool can also help your child build motor skills that they may not practice at home. The chance to handle various toys and tools can allow your child to build fine motor skills or manage larger objects that expand and stretch their hands.
Give Curiosity a Boost
A qualified preschool teacher will be educated on how to promote curiosity. If your toddler is continually asking “why” questions, you know how intense this curiosity already is! However, preschool curiosity training can include pre-math projects, such as which bills and coins will work for what objects in a store.
Curiosity about how things go together can lead children to build spatial skills while studying diagrams and putting a toy together. Written material that draws the eye with a picture can help a child understand how letters come together to form words and how words are linked to express ideas.
A great deal of preschool work is based around patterns and sequences. Once a child understands that letters have a sound, they can then line those letters up to make words.
They will be ahead of the curve when they start school and enjoy this success and look forward to more.
When a child is overloaded with options, they may struggle to make a choice as to their next activity. Preschool is an ideal time for a young child to learn to
They may want to engage in another activity or switch places with another child. They may need to ask questions or study their current toy from another angle.
A child who’s never been in a classroom setting may become overwhelmed by all of their options as they try to navigate the kindergarten classroom, and this state of agitation can erode their confidence.
Community and Caring
A preschool classroom is loaded with educational toys, and many of these have moving parts. Children in a well-managed preschool classroom will learn to share, keep things orderly or at least grouped, and clean up after themselves.
Setting up for snacks may not seem a large task, but understanding that everyone needs to eat for good health is a wonderful lesson. Feeding the fish doesn’t take long, but learning that a pet is a responsibility and a companion is a lesson that will last for years.
Most importantly, a preschool classroom is an ideal place to learn empathy. Children don’t often express themselves effectively; a child who has hurt feelings may lash out in anger, or a child who is frightened may withdraw into silence.
Helping your child understand how emotions impact their behavior, and others’ behavior can help them throughout their lives.
The more preparation your child can have for kindergarten, the more they will enjoy it, and the more successful they will be.