From a bird’s eye view, preschools don’t look like something to be taken seriously. The activities conducted there, thinks the average parent, can be easily done at home also. For many parents, preschools are optional and more or less a mystery. If you too fall in the same camp, it’s time to change that perception. Here are ten good reasons why your child needs to be in a preschool.
- Preschools teach creativity: In a preschool, the number and combinations of activities are virtually unlimited. By contrast, at home, parents don’t have enough time, or if they do, they resort to age-old methods of having the child watch videos, play with toys, etc. However, more is needed for the right mental development of the child. Preschools specialise in creative activities – for example, making your favourite animal with clay – that improve not just visualisation but hand-eye coordination, among other skills.
- Preschools teach how to interact with the environment: How should a child approach the various objects around her? What about animals? How should she deal with a stray dog and cow? Should she be curious, bold or fearful? How to take care of a sapling? These are some of the important mental stimuli that are developed in a preschool. From these, the child learns how to interact with the environment and form first-hand judgment to take rational decisions.
- Teamwork: At home, children often suffer from lack of cooperation. For a single child, it’s not uncommon to develop a sense of entitlement, which can be a cause of concern for the rest of her life. Even in the case of siblings, the variety of interaction is limited. In a preschool, however, children of all temperament are present, and the child learns to work with and deal with them. Needless to say, this is an important part of the mental development that just can’t be catered to at home.
- Preschools teach how to think: How do you teach a child to think? It’s a hard process. You can pass on your knowledge, but it’s virtually impossible for a parent to lead their child on a path of structured thinking and discovery. In a preschool, however, teachers specialize in asking the right questions and gently leading the child to start thinking correctly. This alone is reason enough to favor preschools over at-home development.
- Build self-confidence: As a child progresses in a preschool, she learns to develop mental habits that bring her closer to her true temperament. This phase of self-discovery, though unconscious in early years, builds self-confidence and allows the child to take on the world as she grows up. At home, the opposite happens. When parents lash out at the child or are unable to give right guidance, the child’s morale is affected and self-confidence is eroded.
- Emotional development: A preschool is a melting pot of temperaments and challenges. As such, the children there are constantly put out of their comfort zones and experience a range of emotions. This helps them discover human nature to its full extent and contributes to emotional development. For instance, competition with other students, learning to be compassionate, etc., are important skills imparted in a preschool in subtle ways./li>
- Basic manners: Some parents realize quite late that they forgot to teach their child table manners on time. Same goes for greeting elders and strangers, and other manners of etiquette necessary in a modern society. Since preschools have a structured program for imparting basic manners, they are better placed to imbibe the same in the child as opposed to how much can be done at home. Some preschools even teach toilet manners, which is invaluable.
- Introduction to reading skills: Reading and writing skills are paramount in today’s world. Surely these can be developed at home, but here again, preschools are a better option. At preschools, there are dedicated teachers to oversee the child’s learning development and provide guidance and correction as needed. Moreover, in a social setting, the child feels more stimulated and will learn faster.
- Improve nutrition habits: Modern households are busy places. As parents, there’s rarely time to explain the ins and outs of good nutrition habits. While we make sure our children are eating right, we may not be able to explain things at a level that will convince the child. At a preschool, the child learns what to eat and what to avoid, which forms an important part of their health at an early age. Done right, these nutrition habits last a lifetime and help the child grow right.
- Physical activity: The average child does more physical activity in a preschool than she does at home. There are regular play sessions, where children are made to run around, pick up objects, and be otherwise active. The importance of this cannot be overstated. At home, there’s a limit to how much physical activity a child can do, which is why preschools are a better bet.
No matter how you slice it, preschools are a must for your child’s right development. In fact, we can even say that later on you can compromise on selecting a primary school, but don’t settle for anything less when it comes to a preschool. A strong tree is strong because of its foundation, and you want the same for your child.