What can you expect your child to learn at preschool?
You’ve decided your child is ready to attend preschool and you’re both excited for her time in the classroom to begin. What can you expect her to learn while she’s there?
Social and emotional development: Your child will learn to feel secure with a pre-school teacher, and will be able to spend time away from parents and to build trusting relationships with adults outside the home. Preschoolers also learn to build friendships, share and resolve conflicts with their peers, and to be part of a group, while gaining a greater understanding of their identities as individuals within it.
Structure: In preschool, children learn to negotiate and structure a schedule – an essential skill to master as they grow. Rather than feeling constricted by structure, routine and order, most preschoolers find them comforting – even liberating.
Choices: Preschoolers will be given the opportunity to make their own choices and pursue their own interests, thus fostering a sense of independence and identity. Pre-school is where kids can learn to negotiate with other children and make choices together for group play.
Self-sufficiency and independence: As preschoolers engage in productive activities during the day – dressing themselves, toileting, setting the table for snacktime, cleaning up their play space, helping with attendance – they gain a sense of independence, confidence and heightened self-esteem.
Group and classroom dynamics: Preschoolers learn to take part in group activities, participating in circle time and being focused and attentive when the teacher or another classmate is speaking. This includes waiting for their turns to talk and speaking in front of their peers.
Language and Cognitive development: Preschoolers expand their vocabularies at a startling pace. Preschool will help expand kids’ language skills as they talk, sing, listen, negotiate games with their peers, and take part in imaginative play. They will participate in hands-on activities, solve problems, be encouraged to ask questions, express opinions, pursue lines of inquiry, and may even pursue science and art.
Excite curiosity and imagination: Preschoolers at this age have boundless curiosity and imagination, which all fuel learning. A good preschool teacher will work to encourage your child’s natural creativity and interest in the world through pretend play and environmental exploration. Imaginative play is also a great way for a child to learn to interact harmoniously and productively with peers.
Pre-math and literacy skills: A variety of activities provide the fundamental skills your child will build upon as she grows. These could include counting and sorting, exploring the alphabet and letter sounds, paging through picture books, singing rhyming songs, learning category and sequence, shapes and patterns, and putting together puzzles.
Motor skills: Whether it’s running and jumping, climbing and tumbling, stacking blocks, stringing beads or cutting with scissors, your child’s preschool experience is helping to develop her fine and gross motor skills and improving her hand-eye coordination and balance.
The vast majority of children will find preschool to be not only challenging, exciting and learning-filled, but also just plain fun.