Written by Feba Maryann
As your precious baby grows older, you might start to yearn to go back and fully savour those new born moments. The nostalgia of feed times, warm cuddles and sleepless nights suddenly hit you.
Amidst all this, sending your little one to preschool might break your heart. After all, your toddler is still a baby in your eyes. Placing them in a structured educational system might seem too early. You might be unsure about how they might cope with the separation.
Well, the benefits of sending your child to preschool overweigh the concerns you might have. Preschool provides a strong base for your kid’s numeracy, literacy and social skills.
Here are a few reasons why preschool is good for your child:
1. Promotes Emotional Development
Children within the 3-6 age group absorb so much, even more than you think they can take in. They become more curious about their surroundings and would want to explore as much as possible. They might come up with interesting questions like “Why is the sky blue” and “Why does it rain?”. As a parent, you might not know how to respond to some of their questions. It is your responsibility to make the most of this time by helping them attain essential life skills they will need in the future. Home-schooling your child might not be a good option as it will only give them an academic boost. It does not help in developing their social and emotional skills. In preschool, your kid will have to adjust with other kids in their age group which nurtures essential social skills. They will learn to respect others, compromise and build confidence. Kids learn to be more independent thinkers and learn small tasks like tying their shoelaces. Teachers can also support their potty-training stage. Kids learn to be more aware of their bathroom habits when placed in a peer-based environment.
2. Provides A Strong Academic Foundation
Preschool allows young children to experience an organised academic structure. It teaches them important classroom etiquettes like raising their hand to ask a question, following instructions, taking turns etc. Preschool also develops pre-numeracy and pre-literacy skills that will help your kids when they join elementary school. They will learn their ABC’s and 123’s through playing fun games at their own pace. The preschool syllabus is organised in a particular way so that they can sync with children’s cognitive, physical and emotional capacities. A preschool environment is ‘vocabulary rich’ which means that your child’s vocabulary will grow faster in a preschool setting. Teachers help kids increase their linguistic skills by introducing discussions, asking questions and introducing new words every day. Your children will be taught with the help of rhymes, engaging board games and physical activities.
3. Children Learn To Be More Independent
Kids enrolled in preschools learn to make choices. They will eventually discover activities which interest them. Their sense of self-worth will increase as they learn to take care of themselves. Teachers offer them chances to help out with small chores like feeding the classroom pet and collecting activity worksheets. They learn to take care of their belongings and put toys away before moving on to another activity. Kids are also encouraged to help out other children with small tasks. When your kid learns such tasks in a group environment, they find it easier to cope with elementary school. The preschool environment is highly flexible, there aren’t a lot of rules that need to be followed. The classrooms are arranged to promote peer interaction and to reduce conflicts.
4. Develop Motor Skills
Your child will be continuously challenged in different ways in the new environment they are placed in. Physical coordination improves as the children will be engaged in physical activities that help develop fine motor skills all day. They will be taught through activities like cutting with a pair of scissors, tying shoelaces etc. These activities help build their hand-eye coordination and their sense of balance.
As each toddler will have unique needs, choose a high-quality programme which will work best with your family. However, you should understand that your child’s education is not limited to their classrooms. Parental support is essential for the holistic development of a young child. Sit down with them, ask them about their day and encourage them to talk about their feelings. Make sure you keep time aside out of your daily schedule for your child to open up and connect with you. After all, home is the first school and parents are the first teachers. Your influence over their development will be more than you think.