Is it about time that my child joins a preschool?
Are we too eager to push our children into preschools because everyone else does it? Do we feel forced to put them on their academic track too early? Or do some parents do the preschool agenda to provide themselves with "free time."? Whatever is the answer for those question, many parents wonder about the appropriate time to indulge their kids into preschool.
Readiness for preschool is not only about the age of your child and how developed he is. Social, emotional, physical, and cognitive readiness are important factors to take into consideration before taking the decision.
What will the preschool add to my child's life?
Kids who attend preschool are generally better prepared to what comes next. When time comes to join kindergarten, these kids already know how to get along with others, and are prepared with more language skills and a wider knowledge base.
Yet parents should know that the value of preschool is not for their kid to get ahead on the academic level. Here are some other great benefits:
- Socialization is one great developmental benefit to be gained from a good preschool experience. Actually some studies point out that a loving home will provide a child as fine an opportunity for growth as any preschool. The edge for preschools usually is offering the child a major opportunity to interact with his or her peers
- Introducing the idea that learning can be fun is another crucial benefit from preschool. Kids may not "learn" a lot during preschool activities, yet these activities will learn them "how to learn" in the future.
- Teaching kids how to share, compromise, and dealing with others in a group is also one thing better learned at preschool than at home.
What are the signs of readiness?
Try to communicate with people who know your child well before deciding the readiness of your child to attend preschool. Though there is no definitive checklist for this, here are some tips on how you can determine if your child is ready or not:
- Many preschools require a child to be fully potty trained before the first day of class.
- The child must be ready to care for his basic toileting needs. This includes manipulating most clothing and washing hands.
- The ability to use language (somewhere between birth and age 3). He needs to be able to express his basic needs to the teacher or parent even in a primitive language."
- The ability to follow simple directions and an adequate attention span (enabling him for instance to listen to a five-minute story).
- Showing interest in other children.
- Being able to play with at least one partner. When kids are actively involved in group play, they really start to enjoy preschool
- The ability to separate well from the parent. A child with extreme separation issues who cries continually when he gets separated from his mother may not benefit from preschool. Experts point out that spending time at home with a caring parent who exposes the child to educational and social opportunities might be the better course of action.
Is it essential for my child to go to preschool?
Think carefully if your only goal for sending your child to preschool is to make him ready for kindergarten. A study by the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development found that children do best if they're cared for by someone who is authentically concerned about their well-being and development, provided they're doing a variety of age-appropriate activities. They don't essentially need to be enrolled in an organized preschool for that.
If you find that the main reasons you want to send your child to preschool are that he seems eager to learn new things and explore, home is getting him bored, or he seems ready to interact more with other children, chances are it's the perfect time to start preschool. In the end this depends on the readiness of both, the parent as well as the child.
Our children will be in school for many years. The preschool days are days which go too quickly and can never be replaced. If the whole preschool experience seems enjoyed by your child and is benefiting, it is great. If the child is unhappy with it, then you would rather look for other options.
After all is said and done, you might prefer to try so you can decide whether or not your child is ready for preschool. If he/she does not master the basic group routine in one to two months, he/she may not be ready to participate in a preschool program.
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