A good preschool for your child
A preschool is not a mandatory grade and the curriculum is abstract, exploratory and essentially unfathomable. Yet, it plays a very important role in a child's life, as it lays down the foundation of learning for the coming years. Hence, selecting a preschool for your child is an overwhelmingly arduous task. A parent should consider doing some digging and research soon enough to decide upon a preschooler program. Since the preschool is the stepping stone of the child’s formal academic career, it is important that the building blocks are right in place.
Preschool is basically preparing kids for kindergarten. Preschoolers learn about the world through play. They spend time working with classmates and developing thoughts and language. They focus on learning the alphabet, numbers, shapes, writing, social skills, listening skills, and more. It’s a great time of developing and learning.
Although there is no yardstick, there are some basic elements for effective preschool programs. Let us consider them briefly.
1. Practical - These are the practical situations which differ from individual to individual like the location of the preschool, proximity from home or office, number of hours, options for extra hours, transportation facilities and other likely practical necessities. Every parent has to first know what they want and what would be the order of priority while considering the practical elements.
2. Basic infrastructure- The close second after practical requirements is that the basic infrastructure of a preschool should be child friendly, safe, secure, well maintained, hygienic, well ventilated and spacious enough.
3. Routine activities - A preschool is a place where children cultivate a routine to their daily lives. They learn to perform their daily activities at more or less the same time and the seeds of discipline are sown in early childhood. A good preschool should have timely routine such as meal times, nap time, indoor and outdoor play time, prayer time and so on. Of course, once in a while subtle diversions would crop up as per individual child temperament but more or less there should be a routine to a preschool. Some room can be allotted for special or different activities as well as occasional let go time so that children can freely indulge in activities as they like.
4. Preschool teachers - As children learn and develop skills mostly by observing and copying adults in their vicinity, it is very important to keep them in good company. A parent should ensure that their children are in safe and secure hands. The teachers should be well trained to understand differences of behavior of different children. A warm, amicable and person without prejudices would make a good teacher to be with.
5. Development of skills - Your child's first years of school are filled with many wondrous moments. It's a time of tremendous social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development. Children learn through play and creative activities. A good preschool should provide for opportunities and choices for development of fine motor skills, language skills, concept development, science and social skills, basic reading and writing skills. A few instances would help us quantify and assess these skills. Basic reading and writing skills means holding a book properly, able to turn pages one by one, hold a pencil or pen correctly, write something more than just random scribble and so on. Building blocks provide a gateway to the world of physics and science.
6. Development of good habits - Preschool is also a time for developing good learning habits and positive self-esteem. If children feel good about them and know how to feel proud even if they make a mistake, everything else will fall into place. Being neat and tidy, sharing toys, developing empathy with peers, teachers and groups and routine good habits can be culminated in a good preschool.
7. Development of life skills - At the core of any learning is a loving and trusting relationship. In the formative years of life, it would greatly help a child in his future to form strong roots of love, peace, empathy, trust and companionship as essential life skills. A preschool program should be a breeding place to enrich and foster such skills.
8. Reporting pattern - I have listed above as to what a good preschool program should look like. However, last but not the least, the most important thing to ensure that all the above essentials are reasonably fulfilled would only be possible if there is a systematic reporting pattern of activities, events, projects, games and everything that takes place in a preschool. It is very easy to tell that so and so skills should be developed, but what is the way to assess it? There has to be a way to quantify and exact the learnings in a preschool by some measure or yardstick. Definitely, it cannot be proven like a scientific research, yet the learnings can be inferred, noticed, observed and recorded in some form of report. Here, the role of parent teacher interaction is of utmost importance. A parent should closely observe the child and smart enough to notice subtle changes in behavior. Any deviant behavior should be discussed and assessed on a regular basis. Teachers should plan and execute activities and make timely reports of the child's observation.
The list is not exhaustive. Every individual can add another essential to the above-mentioned checklist. However, just looking for excellence and exposure in the founding years of your child would work wonders. Also, parent's responsibility does not end once a child is enrolled to a good preschool. At all times, parents should be well informed and aware about the littlest of changes in their child's life. Learning begins at home and parents are the role models in the life of children.
A good preschool prepares a child to step in the outside world with confidence. It makes the child independent and ready for the adventures of life.
Author: Rakhee Jain - Mommy Blogger at Tiny Chaps
About Tinychaps: It is a FREE and the EASIEST way to find a daycare or homecare that fits your family's needs. Tiny Chaps has a comprehensive database of daycare and preschools spanning all over the US & Canada. Let’s together find a caring, safe and secure haven for your child.