Should you send your child to preschool? Is he or she ready? Is there a benefit to your child attending preschool? These are questions many parents ask as they try to determine when to begin their child’s educational experience; and for many it is a very difficult decision that is not made lightly.
Many experts say that preschool is an experience that should not be missed out on; and the sooner, the better when it comes to a structured learning experience. Studies have shown that children who attended preschool received an essential foundation for future educational experiences. It was also found that children who attended preschool were not only better prepared to succeed, but also got more out of every grade in school; and were more likely to graduate from high school and attend college because they already knew how to get along with other children. Children who attended preschool also entered elementary school prepared with more language skills and a more extensive knowledge base than those children who did not attend preschool.
Although studies show that preschool is extremely beneficial for children and there are a number of advantages, parents should be cautioned when deciding to send their child to preschool. Generally speaking, the main goal of preschool is not to push children along; rather to teach children socialization, sharing, compromising, getting along as a group, and most importantly, that learning is fun.
If you can answer “yes” to the following statements, your child is probably ready for preschool. My child enjoys being around other children. My child has the ability to socialize with other children. My child is able to separate from Mom and Dad.
Readiness is fundamental for preschool being a success for any child. If your child is not able to separate from Mom and Dad, then the stress and anxiety of the separation will be most detrimental and will outweigh the benefits of preschool itself. Another indicative sign that your child is not ready for preschool is that he or she is not yet toilet-trained. Lastly, a child who is not comfortable with higher levels of stimulation, including music, movement, and transitioning from one thing to the next, will more than likely be resistant to preschool.
If your child is not yet ready for preschool, but you still would like to engage him or her in some socialization activities, you may want to consider putting him or her in some classes through a local YMCA, nature preserve, art center, or library. It is not as though a child will not be able to read, write, interact with others, make friends, etc. just because he or she did not attend preschool.