Monday, June 8, 2009

A Teachers View - The Case for Preschool

I am blessed to live next to a elementary school teacher who loves my kids and we love her!! She has multiple education degrees and is the first person I run to when I am worried about speech, development or anything learning related!! She has agreed to write a weekly post for me on some common concerns involving little ones. If you have a topic that you would like to see addressed, please e-mail me at

Preschool Part 1: The Case for Preschool

As school winds down and summer starts, many parents start planning for next fall. If you have a small one, you may be thinking “How soon can I get them out of the house?!? They’re driving me crazy!” If you have a three or four year old or a five year old who isn’t old enough to go to kindergarten in the fall, preschool might be a great option for you.

Preschool is more than kids getting out of your hair to play with their friends for a couple of hours a couple of days a week. Preschool really does teach important skills. Preschool is about socialization and learning interpersonal skills as well as early reading, writing, math, and science skills. In a preschool setting children learn how to play with others, how to share and take turns, how to express their wants and needs with words. They also learn letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. They learn early math skills in counting, sorting, and sequencing. They use science skills to observe leaves for differences, see how much something weighs or how long a stick is. Early writing skills are developed by exploring with pencils, crayons, markers, and all kinds of other writing tools on paper, in sand, in chalk.

Preschoolers also learn how school “works”. They learn how to sit together and listen to a story. They learn to clean up when they make a mess (yea!). They learn to leave Mom and Dad and go into a classroom like the big kid they are (this is usually harder for Mom and Dad!). They learn seemingly smaller things like asking to use the restroom, lining up, and walking in a line.

In most preschools, you will find a staff who is more than happy to listen to your child’s fervent desire to be Batman for Halloween for the 500th time, who is willing to have their arms elbow deep is whatever wacky substance is in the sensory table, and most of all realizes that you just dropped off your most prized possession at their door. Tune in next time when we discuss choosing a preschool.