THE MONTESSORI APPROACH
You want the best for your child, but the endless parenting research puts you in a deeper concern. You are unsure of which advice to follow. This is especially true when it is time to prepare your toddler for the next stage of life. The idea of preschool sounds great, but you cannot help but to doubt the necessity of it. Well, guess what? Sending him to preschool earlier provides life-changing benefits that help in his development.
Promotes Social Development
The first six years of life are crucial for critical learning. A child develops rapidly in his first six years of life, hence, making it crucial for children to gain a firm basis in one the most fundamental elements in life – social skills. Sending your child to preschool earlier means he has the opportunity to grow socially as he interacts with his peers and teachers.
In an article from the Star online, Datuk Dr Chiam Heng Keng, founding president of the Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE) Council says: “The foundation needs to be laid. Critical learning happens within the first six years, so the window of opportunity is very small.”
When you put your child in preschool, he will be separated from his home and family to face new environments, look at new faces and interact with new people. As he mingles with his peers and talk to teachers, he will pick up essential communication skills, learn to read body language as well as practice empathy. This then contributes greatly to the social development of a child, especially if he or she is the only child at home.
Improves Progression to School
Children who attend preschool will experience a smooth transition to their next stages of education like kindergarten and school. Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), Dr W. Steven Barnett says: “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.”
Your child will experience a smoother progress in school because he had already learned the basics of reading, writing, and even numbers in preschool. Preschools are known to conduct teaching in enjoyable ways to promote effective learning among children. As your child joins fun activities with his peers in preschool, he is indirectly learning the basics of calculations and vocabulary that are seamlessly incorporated into lessons. As he carries forward the knowledge obtained from preschool to school, your child will be a little ace in class in no time!
In preschool, your child also gets to quench his thirst for answers as he asks his teachers interesting questions. You will find your child freely expressing his creativity when he transitions to school because he has been exposed to a creativity-triggering surrounding since his preschool days.
Preschool is a place where your child learns about self-esteem, effective communication, responsibility and leadership. All these are fundamental in nurturing your child to be a confident individual. Activities in preschool involve children learning how to be independent. They scoop food, set tables, water plants, arrange materials and learn to clean up.
When children succeed in completing a task, they gain confidence and self-esteem, knowing that they can also do things on their own without help from adults. It is important for a child to learn to be independent, and in a way, a process of separation from his parents as this greatly affects children’s decision-making and problem-solving skills as they grow older. Independence is best to be nurtured when a child is young so that he will make it a lifelong habit that eventually readies him for the demands of adulthood, says Dr Jim Taylor, an American specialist in parenting psychology.
Children are such curious and creative individuals. Each mind is unique and expressive, making it fundamental that you allow them a safe and healthy environment where they get to develop as well-rounded individuals. A little goes a long way, so put your child in preschool earlier and witness the positive difference your action can make.