There are a number of reasons that a parent should consider sending their child to preschool. Preschool is a great learning and social environment that can aid in preparing a child to enter kindergarten and go to school on a regular, full time basis. When a child has the experience of preschool first, they are often better prepared and equipped to handle the unique challenges kindergarten offers. The following are some of the reasons that preschool is important.
First, it is a good experience for a child to leave the home regularly each week and take instruction from, and interact with other people. It helps them learn things like self-confidence and self discipline. It teaches them to respect authority figures, and helps them recognize what is appropriate in various social situations. When a child enters preschool there is usually a learning curve. They have to learn how to handle sharing the attention they are used to getting with a whole classroom of their peers. Often it is best to do this in preschool, rather than in kindergarten because the classes are smaller, and they can focus on this without putting their academic future in jeopardy. If they only start to learn it once they enter kindergarten, they may fall behind academically because they are trying to figure out the social nuances of a classroom.
Second, it is important for children to learn academic responsibility. When a child enters preschool they are given the chance to a few days a week be responsible for knowing where their backpack is, where homework or other items needed for school are. It helps them ease into the time when they will have this every single day. They will have to learn to pay attention and learn things without mom or dad hanging over their shoulder. This is an important skill, and one that is best transitioned into. Preschool offers a great stage for this.
Third, preschool is an important opportunity for children to be away from their parent, and for the parent to be away from their child. It offers them the chance to get used to separation and doing things on their own. With this opportunity, kids suffer far less separation anxiety upon entering kindergarten. In addition, they learn to do things for themselves, like put on their backpacks, take off and put on coats, hats, gloves, etc. In addition, for many, it is the first time they use the bathroom, and do up their own pants without the help of a parent. It is a great place for independence to grow, and for children to prepare for their academic future.
Of course, other aspects of preschool that make it important is the learning. It is always a good idea for kids to enter kindergarten with some of the foundational learning of the alphabet, numbers, shapes, etc. in place, so that they can start off on the right foot, advance quickly, and feel confident in their academic prowess.