Importance and Benefits of Preschool Education
Let’s Play! When a child is born, the first thing he or she gets is a stroke/slap on bum; this prompts the child to cry and the lungs get activated. This signifies the importance of play!
Let us go back to the era when there were no schools! Let us even go back further – when the modern world didn’t exist! Let us even go even further back – till you can imagine! There always existed some form of pre schooling. Yes I am serious. May be not in the form of colourful brick & mortar structure – but they were. It is not just for humans but for animals too.
Earlier the grandparents acted the note of teachers and the siblings & kids from neighbourhood were classmates and other elder family members were like visiting faculty to teach specific skills. The children were very comfortable in the secured environment of the family and home. Now the preschools are playing the same role because the times have changed. Nuclear families and working mothers especially, have necessitated the need of preschools to fulfil that role.
Let’s now elaborate and understand.
In a class a teacher was teaching science. During the discussion the teacher told class that Oxygen was discovered in 1783!
The class got confused: – If oxygen was discovered in 1783, how could people breathe before?
You are thinking correctly: Exactly it was not named oxygen but it existed! Similar is the case of preschooling. Only we didn’t name or see playschools there.
We all know that human beings are social animals. The development of a child is directly proportional to the kind of environment he or she is in!
I am not a great advocate of the Child Brain Development at an early age but I advocate very energetically and aggressively the development of the social skills and motor development. I very firmly believe that preschool provides those set of conditions which accelerate the social skills and motor skills in a child which helps the child in reaching greater heights in life.
The modern world and the world of tomorrow needs children who are balanced and socially comfortable in this world where boundaries are fast in vanishing. Children are expected to be more sociable and adaptable.
Preschool promotes social and emotional development
High-quality preschool programs nurture warm relationships among children, teachers and parents. This helps the children in trusting relationships.
Young children learn social skills and emotional self-control on their own. They learn to manage frustrations or anger. This lays the foundation of independence among children.
Children learn to take care of themselves and others
Children’s sense of competence and self-worth grow as they learn to take care of themselves and help others. Teachers appeal to a young child’s desire to engage in activities by offering them chances to help out in the classroom, for example, by setting the table at snack time or helping in other little ways. Children are expected to wash their hands before snack time, keep personal belongings in their respective places and put away toys before moving to a new activity.
Throughout their school years, much of children’s learning takes place in the company of their peers. Children are introduced to various types of behaviours required to function successfully in a formal school. Children learn to focus attention on the teacher, listen while others are speaking, and wait for their turn to speak.
Preschool promotes language and cognitive skills
Preschool-age children’s language skills are nurtured in a “language-rich” environment. Between the ages of 3 and 5, a child’s vocabulary grows from 500 to 3000 words (depending upon the environment), and their sentences become longer and more complex. In a conversational manner, and without dominating the discussion, teachers help children stretch their language skills by asking thought-provoking questions and introducing new vocabulary during science, art, snack time, and other activities. Children have many opportunities to sing, talk about their favourite read-aloud books, and act out stories.
Children at preschool get opportunities to develop cognitive skills which are strengthened by engaging in a wide range of hands-on activities.
Preschool activities boost pre-maths and pre-literacy skills
Young children show growing interest in pre-maths and pre-literacy skills. They are curious and observant, and they want to be competent in their early day to day skills — such as reading the instructions for assembling a toy, or selecting the correct bills or coins to pay for a purchase.
Singing an alphabet song while following along in a picture book builds a child’s awareness of the connections between alphabet letters and word sounds. Learning rhymes and recitation helps them to notice the distinct sounds within words. Engaging children in a discussion about an exciting read-aloud story encourages their listening, comprehension, and expressive language skills. Playing with alphabet letters may inspire children to ask a teacher to help them write the first letter of their name.
Matching games, sorting games, counting games, and board games build children’s understanding of number, categories and sequence, which supports later maths learning later. Putting together puzzles encourages children to notice patterns, plan ahead and problem-solve.
Preschool helps develop motor skills
There is a great deal of similarity between kids and animal babies. They all like to eat, play and sleep! Play helps them to develop the motor skills.Physical coordination improves, allowing the child to explore their environment — and to challenge them in new ways. Young children are in motion for a good part of the day. Preschool programs provide several opportunities daily for children to run, climb, and play active games. Activities are offered to help children develop fine motor skills, such as threading beads or cutting with scissors. Children are challenged through a variety of activities to build their hand-eye coordination and balance.
There are many benefits of the preschool but let us focus only on those benefits which Mother Nature wants us to develop to make us & compete – “Survival of the fittest”. Preschools lay the right foundation for that.
I would not like to stretch this discussion further and in the end I would like to quote the names of two very popular characters: Tarzan &Mowgli! They learnt from their environment. Preschool provides the foundation for learning both socially and academically. This will positively help children to succeed.