There are many views when it comes to the benefits of preschool, some of which are debated by scholars and parents. I am pro-preschool, and it’s not just because I work at one. As a former elementary teacher, it was often evident which students had attended preschool. They were usually the ones who were on grade level or above, and more socially and emotionally mature. Preschool gives your child the benefit of a strong foundation to build on as they enter kindergarten.
My daughter will be in her second year of preschool, and she grew so much during her first year. Based on my experiences as a teacher and a mom, some of the reasons I believe preschool is important are:
1) Social Skills
As a stay-at-home mom, my daughter would sometimes go days without interacting with other children other than her cousins and kids in the church nursery. Being in preschool has taught her how to share, be a good friend, and play nicely with others.
2) Routine and Structure
Since children feel so many different emotions at one time, there can be moments when having a routine helps to calm them down because they know what’s coming next. Not only that the structure of a school setting helps to prepare them for kindergarten. They’ll know what to expect and therefore not be as anxious. Even something as simple as knowing how to walk in a line is a skill preschool offers.
3) Language Development
My daughter quadrupled her vocabulary from the beginning of the school year to the end. Being around other children her age allowed her to talk about things that she understood and were of interest to her.
4) Influence of other adults
Of course as parents we can do our best to promote growth and learning at home, but sometimes having outside influences can help tremendously. I admittedly need a break from my daughter from time to time, and it’s good for her to have a break from me. By being in preschool, she learned how to listen and respect other adults in authority. And it has been my experience that a child may be more open to trying new things with somebody other than a parent.
5) It’s fun!
The goal in preschool is for children to learn, but not make the learning process so rigid that kids aren’t allowed to be kids and to have fun! Preschool is a place for kids to do messy art projects, dig in the sandbox, and be exposed to new ideas. The ideal preschool teaches academics in the process of play.
Preschool is such a wonderful way for children to grow academically, socially, and emotionally. The experience has benefits that will carry into the rest of a child’s school years.