While there is a tremendous amount of flexibility that each and every parent has regarding their child’s education, there’s one thing that’s consistent among almost all children, and that’s starting kindergarten education at around five years old. Their schooling proceeds predictably from there, as they climb up through grade school until they ultimately graduate as a young adult.
This is true for most kids, but what differs from child to child is what happens before kindergarten. Preschool is not a part of the public schooling system, and it’s up to every parent to decide if they want their sons and daughters to take that path.
While many see preschool as being superfluous, there are, in fact, many benefits to your child getting a jump-start on education. As a preschool in the Chantilly area we have to admit we’re a bit biased on the subject, but we wouldn’t do what we do if it didn’t provide long-lasting value to the students we teach.
Here are some benefits to early childhood education:
Preschool Helps Children Value Learning
One of the biggest drawbacks to the public school system is that it often results in children or teenagers who grow a resentment for learning. The regimented system of school and the routine nature of homework causes a lot of students to build distaste for the system, and before you know it, learning becomes a chore instead of an opportunity. This is something we cannot allow to happen — once somebody disregards the value of learning, their lifelong potential for achievement is dramatically reduced.
That’s why it’s important to foster the love of learning at the earliest age possible. Preschool age is when the tiny minds of young children really start to take off. They have an irresistible urge to explore their curiosity and figure out how things work, and they have finally developed the ability to articulate their own thoughts and communicate with others. This is the prime time to start teaching them new concepts, and if done right, you can help to implant a love of learning at a very young age.
It’s not impossible that this desire to learn and explore could diminish over time as they grow up, but you can bet they have a much better chance of retaining it than if they started school at a later age.
Preschool Helps Your Child to Get Used to Order and Structure
While not every child has experience in daycare prior to starting preschool, a lot of them do. But even if they have, daycares don’t quite have the structure and order that preschool does. On a base level, preschool operates similarly to kindergarten and grade school, albeit to a degree that’s appropriate for the children’s ages. At this point in their life, being in such a structured environment may be unprecedented for the child. This can come as a nasty shock in Kindergarten if they haven’t been adequately prepared.
If a child doesn’t take well to being in this kind of environment, it’s best to iron out the kinks early on in preschool instead of letting them come out in kindergarten. The concepts taught in Kindergarten are more advanced than the ones in preschool, and it can be detrimental if the child’s learning is impeded by a reluctance to accept the structured nature of school.
With that being said, we use the words “structure” and “order” pretty liberally, because preschool is still relatively open-ended compared to kindergarten. It’s less about direct instruction, and more about letting the child learn through play. It’s not the same thing as the first years of “real” school, but it does help prepare them for that.
Preschool Has Resources You Don’t Have
One of the biggest philosophies behind preschool is allowing children to learn by doing what they do best — playing. Children often build a distaste for school because it starts to feel like a chore. One of the goals we have at Madame Curie School of Science and Technology is to subvert this idea and provide our students with countless ways to organically learn new things through the ways they normally love to have fun.
The problem is, as a parent, you only have so many resources. You can’t just buy an infinite amount of toys and learning materials, nor do you likely have all the space to store them all. And when you make purchases for your child, you’re likely learning to get long-term value out of them. There are many activities that can teach a child lessons if they spend a couple days with them, but you can’t go out and buy items all the time that only provide transitory value.
At a preschool such as Madame Curie, we’re completely loaded with toys, activities, books, and learning resources that will be a boon to your child’s young developing mind. Not only that, but we’re always acquiring more; we are constantly on the lookout for new tools that will help us to engage the minds of our little one.
Preschool Promotes Social Interaction Between Children
Parents now are facing a challenge that’s heretofore unprecedented — screen addiction. Children as early as two years old are often exposed to iPads and other screen devices. As screen-immersed children grow, it can impact their ability to meaningfully socialize. We’re already seeing some of the effects that technology is having on rising generations, and that’s why it’s more important than ever to make sure that your child is frequently given the chance to build their social skills.
Preschool is a great environment for that — it allows your child to foster relationships with other children their age, and also helps them become accustomed to communicating with authority figures who aren’t their parents. As with most other things, the sooner that a child can get a jump-start on this, the better.
At preschool age, many young kids are growing into their ability to speak, communicate, and express themselves. There’s no better time to put this to practice, and preschool will ensure that they have many different personalities to engage with — this allows them to learn social cues from others, and learn more about themselves.
Preschool Helps to Define Your Child’s Interests
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to put your best effort into the well-being of your children. One of the best ways to do that is to provide them with tools, toys, and activities that will be mentally stimulating and productive for their development. One great thing about preschool is that it exposes children to a variety of different activities — by observing your child’s reaction to these and pinpointing the ones they enjoy the most, you can learn some valuable feedback about your little tyke.
While you don’t want to jump to conclusions extremely early, your kid’s preferred preschool activities can be telling. Some kids are obsessed with building, creating, and art. Others take great interest in numbers, letters, and storytelling, while others still demonstrate love for physical activities which get their bodies moving.
It’s good to observe what clicks with your child. The earlier, the better — if you work hard to help your kid hone their interests in their early years, they could do truly great things as they grow older with a love for learning.
Early Childhood Education in Chantilly and Herndon
Ultimately, the decision is yours to make whether or not you want to enroll your child in preschool. But the benefits are there, and at Madame Curie School of Science and Technology, we love seeing our children learn, grow, and progress. If you’re in the Chantilly or Herndon area, we encourage you to give us a call to ask about our programs. We know your children will love it. Are you ready to get started? If you want to enroll your child or ask us any questions, be sure to contact us today!