Childhood experts say that all children can benefit from preschool programs that help them prepare for kindergarten. According to Kathleen McCartney, Ph.D., dean of Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Parents magazine advisor, “There’s increasing evidence that children gain a lot from going to preschool.”
Preparing Academically for Kindergarten
The academic aspects of Pre-K help students prepare for kindergarten. Children who attend a quality Pre-K program will be taught pre-literacy and pre-math skills. They are exposed to letters, numbers, shapes, and colors. These skills help prepare a foundation for when kindergarten begins. Children who attend Pre-K enter kindergarten with larger vocabularies, stronger basic math skills and better pre-reading skills than children who do not attend.
Preparing Socially and Emotionally for Kindergarten
Pre-K is not just about academic preparation. A child who attends a Pre-K program versus a childcare program or staying home with a parent usually enters kindergarten more socially and emotionally prepared to be a student. They have already been exposed to a classroom structure and will have a better idea of what type of behavior is expected of them.
Students who go to Pre-K start kindergarten with better social and behavior-management skills because they have learned to socialize with other children.
Other classroom skills Pre-K develops include:
- Focusing attention on a teacher
- Listening while others are speaking
- Waiting until it is their turn to speak
Children learn to become more independent by taking care of not only themselves but by helping their fellow Pre-K students. Young children are naturally geared toward wanting to help and to be able to do things on their own. Pre-K prepares children for school by setting up structured routines, such as:
- Cleaning up from activities before moving to the next
- Storing personal belongings in their own “cubby”
- Practicing personal hygiene by washing hands before lunch or snack times
Bayside Discovery Center provides Pre-K programs, including Florida’s VPK program. Bayside excels in providing developmentally appropriate environments and activities for all of their students, along with the socialization that preschool provides for young children. These programs help instill a love of life-long learning in your child that will help them prepare for kindergarten and achieve success in school and in life as they continue to grow.