Many parents like the idea of preschool just to get their kid out of the house for a few hours a week and doing something different, but what are the real benefits of preschool? Should you send your child?
Exercise: Believe it or not, one of the biggest benefits of preschool has to do with recess. Most preschools offer a playtime where kids physically play and interact with one another. Many kids spend a lot of their day in front of the television, computer, or video gaming system. The recess time at preschool gets them out playing, getting some exercise, and learning how to get along with others in a fun environment. It is very good for them.
Schedule: Having a schedule, having to do homework that is due back on a certain day, and have to get up and be dressed in the morning, etc. is very beneficial to children. It helps them learn to stick with a routine, and it helps prepare them for when they enter school more full time and have to get to bed at a certain time, and do things on a schedule. Structure and organization are great for young children, and preschool often forces parents to be a little more organized.
Teacher time: Most young children are used to their parents being the authority figure in their lives. Having a teacher gives them a chance to recognize other adult authority. It forces them to change their tactics, and may be a great learning experience. They will have teachers for several years of their life, so getting them used to it early, and having them practice listening to them, their rules, and what not from a younger age is great.
Group time: One of the best things about preschool is it makes children aware of other’s and their needs. One teacher cannot give each child all the attention, make everyone the spotlight, etc. When a child is in preschool, they learn skills like waiting their turn to talk, giving others the chance to share their ideas, etc. Group time is a critical time for kids to master before entering school. A child needs to be able to share the attention of the teacher with others, and preschool is a great stage for learning that, as it is only a few hours a week.
Stories: Preschool is great because of story time. Kids need the interactive reading where they are asked questions, and expected to think about the things they are hearing. It is also great for them to do this with other kids around because it allows them to hear what others have to say about the same things, and understand that people all have opinions.
Learning skills for education: Academically preschool is important because it lays the foundation for the rest of their learning. It is the time when they learn to identify different letters, and recognize how numbers work.