What Your Child Should Be Learning in Preschool
During the preschool years, children are like sponges absorbing new skills every day. For this reason, it is a wise decision to have your brain-ready child attend preschool. Plus, multiple studies have indicated that children who attend preschool tend to have a head start compared to their peers as they enter elementary school.
The US Department of Education states, “Studies also reveal that participating in quality early learning can boost children’s educational attainment and earnings later in life. Children who attend high-quality preschool programs are less likely to utilize special education services or be retained in their grade, and are more likely to graduate from high school, go on to college, and succeed in their careers than those who have not attended high-quality preschool programs.”
However, not every preschool program is quality. Therefore, it is necessary to choose a preschool program where your child is learning the right skills for future school success. Let’s look at the most important skills your child should be learning in preschool.
How to Be a Friend
Preschool is when a child learns how to be a good friend. For many children, preschool is one of their first significant social experiences. Children will learn how to share with one another, as well as how to take turns. Your child should also begin to play imaginatively with others. During this first year of school, children are learning how to be kind to one another and how to handle conflict.
An Introduction to Letters
During four-year-old preschool, your child will be introduced to letters. Your child should learn to say and recognize the alphabet. By the end of the school year, your child may even be able to spell his or her name. You can help your child master the alphabet by encouraging him or her to notice letters throughout the day and in your home. Also, books like Chicka Chicka Boom Boom are great for reinforcing this skill.
An Introduction to Numbers
Preschoolers will also begin to count. These are the very beginning counting skills, so you should only expect your child to be able to count to ten. However, this also means your child will learn to count objects and not merely repeat the numbers from one to ten.
An Introduction to Colors and Shapes
The preschool year is when your child should master the primary colors and shapes. Preschool teachers will work diligently to help children distinguish between the colors of the rainbow and the shapes in the classroom.
How to Use Writing Tools
One thing that surprises many preschool parents is that their children will be expected to know how to use writing tools correctly by the end of the school year. For example, if scissors are off limits in your household, you may be shocked to learn that preschool teachers are checking your child’s fine motor skills when it comes to cutting. Additionally, while much of the beginning of this year your child will be scribbling, you should expect your child to begin to learn how to draw circles and write some letters.
As you prepare to find a high-quality preschool, remember that research has proven children at this age learn best through play. While the aforementioned skills should be taught, they should be presented in a fun, playful way.