Research shows that preschools are important for four year old children. Early learning helps a child learn a great deal in preparation for school. There are a variety of activities that can be included so which are important? What is the relationship between price and quality in reaching goals?
What Should be involved in a Preschool
There should be lots of time for play. Play is a child’s work. They learn language and new vocabulary, caring and sharing, large and small muscles coordination, and have fun while socializing. Children learn perseverance by engaging in activities that require problem solving.
A preschool should include reading picture books and the introduction of reading. There should be some letter and number recognition. Beginning writing, tracing, and art projects increases small muscle development. Art projects increase creativity, individuality and pride.
I am a believer in music as a learning tool. Music help enjoyment, language development and learning concepts such as number, letters, people and animals. Activities with music helps with socialization and muscle coordination.
Also, large muscle activities should be included. These can be dance and activities with music, beginning gymnastics,and outdoor play. A snack time should be included to help learn manners and sharing.
How long should a preschool program last? Is seems like a lot to include all these things but each area should last only 10 to 15 minutes. Teachers should rotate between active and passive activities. A schedule could be at follows: Open play, Circles time ( for books and number,letter recognition, calendar,etc.), Music time, Snack time, Creative art, and Large movement. A preschool can run from two to three hours.
How Important is Preschool
Many sources say that that preschool for a child is a great investment of time and money. Besides socialization, a child begins learning a variety of skills and knowledge through fun activities. Don’t allow your child to fall behind socially or academically or experts warn there can be negative consequences. Yes, your child should have some preschool activities but it not imperative that the preschool be a commercial one.
Most day-cares include some form of preschool. Check to see what your child is learning. You can even make suggestions as a parent. Decide if this preschool is enough or if you should change day-cares or add another preschool.
Put your child in preschool at age four following general guidelines. Today, many parents work full time so some sort of preschool activities are necessary earlier. Every child is different. Many children do not do well in very early academic environments. Children under four still need a great deal of unscheduled time and nurturing time. If possible, they should be at home with a parent the majority of the time.
Cost of Preschools
A good quality preschool can be very expensive. Many schools now have preschool for at risk children. Sometimes you can have your child included for a smaller than normal fee but it may be on a lottery basis. Churches often run preschool to make good use of their space. Another alternative is home preschool as it is more affordable. Talk to other parents who have used preschools and ask around early. Start looking in the spring for next fall because the schools fill up quickly.
If you are home part of the day and like working with children, consider doing your own home preschool and include some children from the neighborhood. It can work into a good part time job. I had two of my children in trading preschools. A group of parents get together and plan on what days they will take turn having the children at their home for preschool. There are lots of resources on line for curriculum and activities. One good curriculum program is Joy School. As with others schools, there is a fee but it is much less than commercial preschools.
If you can’t afford preschool and do not want to do a home version, take time to read and work with your child on a daily basis. Consider trading play groups so your child can learn to socialize and play with others. No matter what preschool you use, this small window of time should be a fun learning period for your child.