Preschools can delight and educate the smallest among us
Nursery schools and preschool education started in the 20th century for a number of reasons. There was a new scientific interest at this time in early childhood and a focus on children of this age. This was caused by the blossoming of research in psychology, medicine, psychiatry and education. There was more recognition at this time that children needed guidance and that they needed it at an early stage. More women were also going into the work force, creating a need for childcare at this stage.
Today, you can find a nursery school in any community and most parents send their children around the age of three. While there are certainly programs available for younger children, three is the age when most people agree that real socialization and learning start to take place – and this has become the collectively understood time to send children on to school.
Some children send for a half day, while others send for a whole day. Some send every day and others select the every-other-day model. Whatever decision a family makes, it has to be one that will make the parents comfortable and the child happy.
Choosing the right preschool makes a difference
If you’ve had your child at home until preschool (and even if you haven’t) it can be a daunting decision to think about your choices. What is the best school for your child and how to you ensure that you start them off on the right foot?
Here are some considerations that may help you as you make the decision for yourself and your child.
1. Play versus work: Some nursery schools see their task as helping kids to socialize and listen to rules. They emphasize play time a great deal. Other schools focus more on work, introducing letters to children sitting in school desks, asking kids to recognize numbers and such. Ask at the schools that you visit what they focus on the most and find out what the school day looks like.
2. School day length: Do you want your child in a full day program or a half day one? Do you want them to go every day or every other day? These are obviously important considerations.
3. Class size: Some schools are quite large and others are very small.
4. Religious education: Some preschools take place in churches or synagogues and have a religious component to them. You obviously have to decide for yourselves if this is something that you want.
Armed with these ideas, you should be able to find the best location for your child.
Teaching Language Development Can be Rewarding
One of the most important parts of the nursery school and kindergarten education is language development. This is the time when children develop true speech and meaningful associations with words. Oral speech is one of the most important developments between 2 and 6 years of age, and it includes both expression and comprehension.
By the age of four, most children know the fundamentals of the grammar system of their language. By the age of 6 they have a vocabulary with about 2500 words. One of the biggest jobs of the early childhood environment is to help children with their language development. There are many listening skills games and processing games that can help kids to focus better, listen better and pay attention. There are also loads of language games that can help kids to develop their language skills and vocabulary. They can sit on the school furniture and learn to build and develop their language skills daily.
This is also the perfect age for multi-language acquisition. Think about this if you are a family that values having more than one language spoken. Many people will start to send their child to an immersion program in nursery school where the child will gain another language without much effort.