The Preschool Advantage

advantages of preschool Short article discussing some of the many benefits of preschool.  Specifically, this article discusses the academic benefits of foundational (preschool) education as well as the benefit of early childhood socialization.  Children who attend preschool are generally better prepared for formal schooling, both intellectually and socially, than are children without the preschool advantage. 

These days, education is more important than ever before.  In an increasingly competitive world, one that requires more specialized skills and intellectual aptitude than at any time in human history, a child’s educational experience will determine much of what a child’s future might be.  Children who do well in school, children that possess the skills and learning strategies to thrive in an academic environment, are the ones best positioned for later success in life.

Many educators, today, stress the benefits of preschool in preparing young children for their formal education.  Preschool not only introduces a child to the concepts he or she will encounter in kindergarten and beyond, it also hones the socialization skills necessary for children to thrive in a demanding, competitive social environment.  Where it might once have been seen as a supplement, preschool is quickly becoming an essential part of a child’s education.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the benefits of preschool in preparing children for academic success.

How Preschool Differs from Daycare

First of all, preschool should not be confused with day care.  Though similarities exist, the two are hardly the same.   Preschool is generally a formal educational program for 3 and 4 year olds, covering specific subjects, such as letters and numbers in preparation for a child’s formal education.  Day care is generally less focused, less educationally-based, and while some day care centers do include preschool programs in their service, this isn’t true for all.  Parents interested in both day care and preschool should research carefully when placing their children.

A Priceless Academic Foundation

Preschool, quite simply, gives a child a great leg up on formal education.  Studies have shown that children who attend preschool are typically far better prepared when they reach kindergarten than children who have not had the preschool advantage.  Introduced at an earlier age to such things as numbers and the alphabet, children are primed to move ahead more quickly as they begin their formal education.

But preschool isn’t just a younger version of primary school.  Subjects are covered in a way that’s designed to interest and appeal to a young child’s mind.  Instead of “teaching” children in the more formal manner that children will encounter later in their school careers, preschools often use play, storytelling, and creative activities to introduce children to the elemental concepts of arithmetic, reading, and geometry.

In short, the children don’t know that they’re learning.  School is introduced to them as something engaging and fun, and this can easily translate into a lifelong love for learning.  Preschool lays a priceless foundation for later scholastic success.

The Benefit of Early Socialization

But there’s more to preschool than academics.  Children who attend preschool are much more likely to gain critical social skills than are children who stay at home.  This early jump on socialization means that when preschool children reach kindergarten, and beyond, they’ve already learned how to get along with other children, and how to resolve conflicts when they inevitably arise.

In short, preschool teaches children how to be students.  When the time comes for them to begin their formal education, they’re ready and primed to focus on schoolwork.  Children who have attended preschool are generally free of the unfortunate distraction that comes with learning unfamiliar social skills, a distraction that can take much needed focus away from a child’s academic education.

Preschool is beneficial to young children in so many ways.  Attendance is often considered to be a good predictor of life success.  Children who attend preschool tend to be much better prepared for formal education, both academically and socially, than are children who lack the preschool advantage.

In short, preschool gives children a leg up on life!

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