Many parents wonder whether or not they should put their child in preschool. For years, preschool was an optional thing, but it seems like more and more people are thinking of it as a necessity.
Kids need to learn certain skills and social interactions before they enter school. A child who does not know the basics, and does not know how to interact with other kids, is going to have a severe disadvantage once they start going to school full time. Preschool is usually only a few days a week, and only a couple of hours at a time. It is a great way for kids to get into the most of organized schooling without overwhelming their senses. Even though kindergarten is typically only a half-day, many kids struggle to go from no school at all to school five days a week. Preschool is a great transition step.
Will you teach them at home? If you will take the time with your child to learn the alphabet, spell their name, work on numbers, colors, and shapes, then it is not as important to send them to preschool. Preschool offers them a learning environment where they can learn the things they need to know before they enter school. If you are going to teach them, and consistently help them learn those things, they won’t need to go to preschool to learn it.
Two of the biggest advantages of preschool are that it can help them adjust. Kids who may not be used to a schedule, or are not used to organized learning may struggle, and have even smaller attention spans than the average. So, being able to adjust to school before they are in school helps.
The second advantage is that it helps you adjust. Many parents need just as much adjustment time as the kids need. They need to get used to getting themselves and their kids up and ready for the day by a certain time, checking backpacks for notes and notices, etc. Preschool can be a great thing for parents and students alike.
When a child does preschool, they are less likely to repeat a grade. 6% of kids 6-11 repeat a grade, and 11% of 12-17 do. By sending your child to preschool, and letting them start school on the right foot, with or ahead of the curve, they feel more confidence, and do better, allowing them to progress at the proper rate.
Is preschool really necessary? No, you can teach your child what they need to learn for kindergarten, and you can help them socialize without sending them to a school. But if you are not going to do it, it might be good to enroll them in a preschool so that they do not start the year behind other students, or have to play catch up once they are already in school. Overall, most parents agree that there are far more positives than negatives for sending a child to preschool, and because of this, many states offer tax paid preschools.