Your little bundle of joy, as she arrives on earth, becomes the center of your universe. You pour all your attention, love, care and affection on her and cannot think of spending an hour without her out of your sight. But as she grows, she needs to get out of your protective shell because there is a big and exciting world waiting for her to be explored. And the first step towards getting to know about that world is attending a pre-school.
You might have already read or attended a lot of debates about pre-school/Pre-K. While many can’t stop talking about how beneficial it is for toddlers, there are many who are strictly against children attending pre-school. Of course, as a parent you might have a lot of apprehensions – Would my child settle well in a pre-school? Would she be able to cope with the separation or would she cry and miss me? Would the staff of the pre-school take good care of my child? Would she be able to eat, drink, and relieve herself on her own? The questions are many but the answer is pretty simple – you will never know unless you try and let go of your child.
Overcoming Your Apprehensions
The first and foremost step to prepare yourself to get your toddler enrolled in a preschool is to overcome your apprehensions. And worry not, because there are many ways to help you get over your fear. The internet is a storehouse of knowledge. To start with, you can read many articles on why pre-schools are good for kids and how a pre-school is instrumental in the growth and development of your child. You can also talk to friends and family members who have kids that attend pre-school or have attended one in the past. This really helps because you get first-hand information on how things work in a pre-school and also get to know how their children have benefitted from going to a preschool. They can also provide you with information about the best pre-schools near your home or in the area you live in. You can also visit the nearby preschools in your area and talk to the management to get a clear idea of how the school functions and how it will benefit your child. This would also help you overcome the fear you might have about your child’s safety. Here is a guide on how you can select a preschool for your toddler.
How Will Your Child Benefit By Attending a Pre-School
As discussed earlier, pre-school plays an important role in the overall development of your child. In a preschool, children get exposed to a new environment where they learn a lot of new things and develop new habits. They learn how to share, contribute, and care for one another. They also develop emotional and social skills, which can go a long way to help them in life. Children are quite eager to learn and grow at a young age and a pre-school provides them the right platform.
• Socio-Emotional Development
Socio-emotional skills are basically a child’s capability to build relationships with others, control her own emotions and behavior, get along well with other children, teachers, and adults, learn to compromise, and understand and respect the feelings of others around her. A pre-school is a place where they learn all this and much more. They realize how self-dependent they can be and you might be surprised to see how after attending a pre-school, your three-year-old can pour her glass of milk all by herself without seeking your help.
• Language Skills
First and foremost, you must know that in a pre-school, kids are not made to sit down and taught lessons. Instead, fun activities are used to teach them letters and numbers. Yes, they will learn the maths and rhymes but at their own pace and in quite a fun way like story-telling sessions, singing classes, memory games, building block games, etc. A child’s vocabulary grows from 900 to 2,500 words between the ages of three to five, and a pre-school ensures that the growth is strong and steady.
• Physical Development
In a pre-school a child is in motion almost throughout the day, which helps to improve her physical coordination. Through the various activities like climbing, running, threading beads, etc., a child learns to challenge herself in different ways and builds balance, develop new skills, and become more physically active.
How Does Your Child Develop In These Domains?
• Your Child Will Learn Basic Manners
A preschool acts as a platform for young kids where they learn to interact and work with other children and adults. As they develop social skills, they also learn basic manners, like saying sorry if they have committed a mistake, a thank you after receiving a gift, etc.
• Your Child Will Become Independent
You will be surprised to see how self-independent your child becomes after attending preschool. They realize their capabilities and potential and learn to do various small things all by themselves without asking their parents to step in and help.
• Your Child Will Learn To Interact With Others
If you thought that your child is an introvert, enrolling her in a preschool could be a great decision. Your child will meet a lot of children of the same age in the preschool and will build new bonds. They will learn to play with their peers, work together, share with each other, and grow together.
• Your Child Will Develop Language Skills
A pre-school helps your toddler learn and develop language skills through various fun activities. They conduct various fun activities like storytelling and fun games which help your child express herself and also understand what others are trying to tell her.
• Your Child Will Undergo Physical Development
Through various activities and games, a child remains active through most part of the day in a preschool. Through large movements like running, climbing, and small movements like helping out the teacher in class, drawing, enacting, etc., a child fine tunes her motor skills and hand to eye coordination.
• Your Child Will Learn To Express Better
If your child used to throw a tantrum or cry every time she needed something, a pre-school will help her change that about herself. Through various activities, a child learns to express herself better and also respect and understand her elders. They will learn to follow instructions and rules, be respectful towards others, and be more understanding.
How Does A Preschool Benefit The Parent?
- Seeing your child learn new things every day will surely help you feel more confident about your child’s future.
- If you spent 80 percent of your day running behind your toddler, you will find more time for yourself when she goes to a preschool. So, you can finally start doing all the things that you wanted to do.
- If you had to give up your job because you had to look after your child, you can get back to work because your child would be happy and safe in a preschool.
- Your child will be less dependent on you for the day to day activities and would slowly learn to do things on her own with little to no intervention from your side.
- Your child will be prepared to attend regular school after being trained in a preschool.
How To Make Your Child Ready For Preschool?
From spending the entire day at home to spending half a day in a structured environment like a preschool, the transition is pretty major for your child and you need to prepare your little one beforehand for this transition. You can start by leaving your child all by herself for short durations before she starts playschool. You must also communicate with your child and give her all the information you think she must need before she starts going to the preschool. These social stories on how to prepare your child for her first day at preschool can help you in your endeavor.
Key Contributor: Venus Khaneja