Why should you send your little one, your preschooler to a formal preschool? What is the importance of preschool? What are the benefits? What is your child going to learn by going to preschool? Let's look at the answers to these questions together.
During play, children learn. At preschool they get to play and learn during organized activities designed to help them with this learning. They learn social interaction, physical skills, cognitive skills, creativity and self esteem.
One of the most obvious benefits is the socialization your child will get. This is something that every two, three and four year old needs. You can try to organize opportunities for social interaction at home or other settings. But the group activity that your child will get at a preschool on a weekly basis cannot be duplicated by you in any other way.
During this social interaction your child will learn invaluable lessons. They will learn how to share, how to take turns, how to share their teacher's attention, how to follow directions from other adults, how to wait in line and how to raise their hands. These are all important social lessons that many adults could still learn. Your child will learn rules of interaction with others. They will learn what is proper and what is not. In today's society it would be nice if all adults had learned these rules. Look around you; can you guess which adults went to preschool and which did not based on their social interactions with others?
The preschool years are a time when bodies are growing at a rapid pace. Children can do something new everyday it seems. At preschool they can race with other children to learn how fast their bodies can go. Combine this with jumping, skipping, hopping, dancing, lifting and crawling. "Wow, I didn't know I could do this", I have heard children say. They are checking out their buddies to see what they are doing too. Their physical skills will be challenged daily at preschool.
Many parents just look at the cognitive skills their children will be learning when looking at preschools. While these skills are important, they will come along when the child is ready. They will also come along as they participate in planned learning activities at their preschool. All good preschools will teach letters, numbers, shapes and colors. Some start the children on reading and math.
The best way to learn these types of skills is by playing and not by doing worksheets. Doing matching and sorting, sizing and comparing while playing games during preschool teach many cognitive skills. Finding things that begin with a certain letter and counting games are also great way to learn while playing.
At preschool creativity is a given. When my children went to preschool, they came home with a new art project every day. An endless array of materials and ideas were used to get their little minds thinking. And then there were all the opportunities to be creative that couldn't be sent home. Puppet play, pretending, finish this story, what do you think about... There is something creative everyday, every minute of every day while children play at preschool.
And the best learning I left for last. Children learn self esteem at preschool. My preschool children were taught to shout "I CAN DO IT!" whenever they were able to accomplish something new or something hard. You can't put a price on this confidence. They are challenged beyond what parents can put in front of them. They have teachers that have been trained and they are around their peers.
The importance of preschool cannot be emphasized enough. Send your child to a quality preschool and through play they will learn their cognitive skills, build self esteem, get social interaction with their peers and learn ways of being creative.