If you are a stay-at-home parent and your child has reached preschool age, you may be searching for the perfect preschool program to prepare him or her for kindergarten. Here are a few ways that the right preschool can help improve kindergarten readiness for a child who has only received home care:
A preschool curriculum will often include coursework that is taught in kindergarten, such as alphabet and number recognition, letter sounds, counting, sight word recognition and writing. The early establishment of these academic skills will help ensure that your child is prepared when he or she enters kindergarten. If the preschool curriculum is extensive, much of your child's kindergarten work may simply be a review of what he or she has already learned.
A national Early Childhood Longitudinal Study indicated that children who attended a pre-kindergarten program received higher test scores in math and reading than youngsters who only received care from a parent. In Georgia, kids who attended pre-k met or exceeded the national norms in eight out of nine standard assessments by the time they completed kindergarten.
Acclimation to Teachers
If you have been your child's only caregiver, he or she may be apprehensive to form a connection with other adults, including kindergarten teachers. Nevertheless, kindergarten is required by most states, so your child may have to attend. Only six states, which include Alaska, Idaho, Michigan, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, fail to make kindergarten mandatory.
Preschool, however, is not mandatory, so you can work with your child at his or her own pace as the youngster becomes acclimated to teachers. The trust that he or she gains in a preschool educator may help your child be more apt to trust his or her future kindergarten teacher.
Acclimation to a Structured Classroom Environment
To a preschooler, a structured classroom environment may feel prohibitive at first. However, over time, your child will adjust to the routine established by his preschool teachers. When the child reaches kindergarten, he or she will be prepared for the scheduled structure of a kindergarten classroom.
Social Skill Development
If your child has no siblings, he or she will have to adjust to social interactions with other children. Even if there are other children at home, they may not be near the same age as your preschooler.
Preschool prepares your child for group play and class participation that is expected in a kindergarten setting by promoting similar activities during class time. Your child will have a chance to forge relationships with peers so that he or she will be more ready for social adjustments in kindergarten.
If you are planning to send your child to preschool, schedule a tour of several preschools in your area. Be sure to compare the benefits of each program before making your final selection.
For more information, contact Family Ties Child Center or a similar location.