Preschool is so much more than just a childcare service. Quality preschools provide countless learning opportunities, from math to reading to building greater confidence and communication skills. The right preschool will teach your child vital skills to get ahead in kindergarten and all throughout life. Give your child the greatest chance at success by enrolling them in a preschool that teaches them everything their little sponge-like brains should be learning at this vital stage in their development.
Preschool Must Prepare Kids For Kindergarten
There is an entire list of things your child should know before starting kindergarten, and the right preschool makes that happen. Many children that do not attend quality preschool fall behind as early as kindergarten, at which point it’s very difficult to catch back up. Preschool should teach your child all of the important skills needed for success in kindergarten and beyond. Including social skills, language and literacy, mathematical thinking, physical development, and familiarity with the arts.
5 Of The Most Important Things Kids Learn In Preschool
1. Social Skills
Social skills are an important part of the preschool experience. This is your child’s first real chance to interact with large groups of same-aged peers they do not know outside of school. As a result, they learn how to share, resolve conflicts, practice self-control and make new friends. Working in a class environment helps teach children how to properly participate in classroom curriculum. They learn to raise their hand when they have something to say or ask, as well as approach materials, teachers and peers with respect and a good attitude.
2. Language and Literacy
A basic understanding of language and literacy is fundamental to kindergarten success. In preschool children learn to listen while others speak and follow 1 and 2 step directions. They also work on speaking so that others understand what they want and have to say. Children also learn how to relate experiences with some concept of sequence of events.
Preschool is filled with story time, giving kids the chance to appreciate a good story and listen to someone else read. They also learn how to retell the information from a story to someone else. Exposures to story time helps children learn how to create logical story lines based on sequences of pictures.
While writing isn’t the best at this age, preschoolers are developing their writing skills through the use of scribbles, shapes and letter-like symbols to jot down their ideas. They learn how to recite the alphabet and identify the differences between lower and upper case letters.
3. Mathematical Thinking
Math is so much more than 1+1. A basic foundation is key to someday understanding more complex concepts like geometry or even trigonometry. Preschoolers start learning about math by working with colors, shapes and different sizes. They should be able to order or categorize a series of objects in regards to certain attributes, such as color, shape or size. Preschools learn how to identify certain patterns and then duplicate them.
Preschoolers learn to count to 20, match numerals and visually identify numbers 1-10. Kids learn about the most common shapes, triangle, rectangle, square and circle. They also develop an understanding of concepts like up/down, over/under, behind/in, stop/go, and so forth.
4. Physical Development
Preschoolers exercise gross-motor skills in numerous ways, such as pedaling and steering tricycles on the playground, jumping in place, catching and throwing a ball, climbing playground ladders and so forth.
Daily preschool activities should be structured to exercise fine-motor skills like stacking blocks, stringing beads, independently printing their first name, cutting construction paper, using glue and so forth.
5. The Arts
Art is important too and largely ties into physical development, especially in regards to fine motor skills. For instance, preschoolers should use a number of different art materials for unique tactile experiences and exploration.
Music is another key aspect of the arts, which is why preschoolers often participate in group music exercises and creative movement/dance. Kids also partake in make believe and role-playing to help them better understand others and see the world through different perspectives.
Florida’s Free Voluntary Pre Kindergarten (VPK) Program
Preschool is not a requirement, and therefore many children start kindergarten without all of the vital knowledge their peers that attended a quality preschool program have. The state of Florida adamantly believes that every child deserves the chance to go to a good preschool. In fact, preschool is so beneficial to children that it virtually pays for itself over a child’s lifetime. That’s why Florida started a free VPK program for all 4 and 5 year old residents.
ABC Learning is a proud participant in Florida’s free VPK program. Contact us today to learn how you can enroll your child in preschool for free!