Is Preschool Really Important? Supplemental Activities To Do At Home
Yes! Preschool is very important! Childhood experts agree: Attending a high-quality program prepares kids for kindergarten and beyond.
There are a number of reasons that a parent should consider sending their child to preschool. Preschool is a great learning and social environment that can aid in preparing a child to enter kindergarten on a regular basis. When a child has the experience of preschool, they are often better prepared and equipped to handle the unique challenges kindergarten offers.
There’s increasing evidence that children gain a lot from going to preschool,” says Parents advisor Kathleen McCartney, PhD, dean of Harvard Graduate School of Education, in Cambridge, Massachusetts. “At preschool, they become exposed to numbers, letters, and shapes. And, more important, they learn how to socialize — get along with other children, share, and contribute to circle time.”
Statistics show that a majority of kids attend at least one year of preschool: According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), more than two-thirds of 4-year-olds and more than 40 percent of 3-year-olds were enrolled in a preschool in 2015. “Children who attend high-quality preschool enter kindergarten with better pre-reading skills, richer vocabularies, and stronger basic math skills than those who do not.
Academics are now being emphasized more than in past years because there is more research substantiating that a child is able to learn and perform more than what we used to expect. Also, there are more academics in the preschool curriculum now because the schools expect a child entering Kindergarten to know what once used to be taught in kindergarten
Yet, pre-kindergarten programs are critical to children’s long-term success, and experts at NIEER have documented that children who have been enrolled in high-quality pre-kindergarten programs enter kindergarten with better vocabularies and more advanced pre-reading and math skills than children who don’t have access to these programs.
Kids enrolled in pre-k programs aren’t just learning how to recognize letters and numbers; they are also learning critical social skills and the importance of working independently in the classroom. Through high-quality pre-k programs, they develop the confidence to take on more advanced classroom work.
It’s no secret that activities at home are an important supplement to the classroom, but there’s more to it than that. There are things that parents can give children at home that the classrooms cannot give: Love, Patience and spending time together.
Here are some fun activities that you can do at home with your child:
Beth Costanzo, M Ed.
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