On the surface, preschools and kindergartens may just seem to be all about fun and games, but these are actually vital stepping stones to a child’s growth and development. As an early childhood educator myself, I take pride in being a part of this very crucial moment in their lives, and I am more than eager to share just how important an education is for your child at an early age.
Why is it important to start child education early? According to some researchers, brain development among children, especially between the ages of 0-5 years old, is very active. Hence, it the best time for them to be exposed to learning. It also greatly influences a child’s holistic development – which touches on one’s emotional, social, mental, and physical aspects of personality.
In this article, I will be closely discussing how early education may benefit your child in the various aspects of their lives. Moreover, I will be also lightly touch on two of the most well-known types of education methods to give you an idea on which one will be more suitable for your child’s needs.
The 4 benefits of engaging your Child in early education are:
- Brain development
- Social development
- Value for camaraderie
- Preparation for “big school”
1. Brain Development
Since brain development is actively occurring during these formative years, it is best for the child to receive new learnings at this stage. Active learning enhances brain development. Preschools provide structured activities where your children will get a chance to hone their analytical and logical reasoning skills. One of which is through storytelling, where basic lessons on numbers, alphabets and colors are incorporated. Repetition is very effective in enhancing a child’s memory.
2. Social Development
Exposure to other children and teachers is just one major stepping stone in widening your child’s social circle. This also serves as a gateway to enhancing their communication skills. Social interaction is very much present in preschools.. This also gives an opportunity to develop your child’s self-esteem and confidence, as well as appreciation for diversity.
3. Value for Teamwork and Camaraderie
There will be many times when teachers will engage your child in group activities. Storytelling, circle time and singing nursery rhymes are just some of the activities which may help develop teamwork and camaraderie. At the same time, if your child happens to be the shy type, this can be a good avenue to overcome it. It may take a while, so patience is key.
4. Preparation for “Big School”
Exposure in early education is a good preparatory course before sending your child to a bigger school setting. Slowly easing them to get a feel of how school life can be is most likely to help them in their transition. This may also help in lessening the feeling of separation anxiety since your child already has prior exposure in being around people outside of their family circle. Likewise, being equipped with the basic lessons on numbers, alphabets and colors may make them more confident in taking on the new challenges awaiting them at the big school.
The 2 Types of Child Education Setting
When choosing the type of education to provide, it is also important to consider your child’s personality. After all, the ultimate goal is to have an effective learning experience. As such, I have narrowed down two of the most well-known education settings below.
Traditional School Setting
The traditional school is the most popular setting there is. It’s either public or private, and this is where your child attends with the rest of the other children coming from various locations and backgrounds. It presents a well-structured program and curriculum, taught by professional teachers. Everything is scheduled and prepared beforehand. As parents, you will be hands-off from providing the lessons and the only time you will possibly intervene is helping out your child in homeworks and projects when needed.
Homeschooling is considered to be an effective alternative in providing education and is usually conducted by the parents or a tutor. There are various reasons as to why some parents prefer homeschooling than sending their child to traditional schools. It may be because of financial reasons, their child being extremely shy and anxious around strangers, or simply because they want to be hands on and closely monitor their child’s learning.
It has its own advantages such as being able to bond more with your child and putting you in more control in designing your own curriculum. Conversely, it may also present some disadvantages such as lack of social interaction which might become a difficulty should you suddenly decide to suddenly transfer your child to the traditional school setting. Likewise, if your child gets too comfortable with you, there might be some difficulty in trying to get their attention especially when they get restless. Hence, patience and extra understanding will be highly needed in this kind of set-up.
Providing the best education for your child is probably one of the highlights in your parenthood journey. From a teacher’s point of view, I can assure you that we share the same sentiments. Investing in a child’s education as early as you can may guarantee you a lifetime of bountiful returns. Starting them young can open a lot of doors and with the right guidance, they are sure to reach great things as they grow older.
What can I do to lessen my son’s crying whenever I drop him off at his preschool? While it is common for preschoolers to shed tears whenever they see their parents or guardians leaving, it will help if you can engage your child to some positive talk if this happens. You can try to mention things that is likely to make him excited and hyped up.
What if my positive talk won’t work and my mentioning of school already upsets him? There are different angles which may considered here. It could be that your child isn’t ready for preschool yet, or perhaps his environment might need to be changed into what will suit his learning style and personality more.