When deciding when your child should start preschool, age isn’t the only determining factor. A major component of when to start preschool is your child’s readiness. Each child develops at a different rate, so it’s up to you as a parent to determine if they’re ready for preschool. Click To Tweet Potty training might be the top indicator that your child is ready for preschool. Additional indicators are an ability to listen and follow basic instruction.
Benefits of Preschool Attendance
Attending preschool has many benefits for both parents and children. For children, it helps them get used to a more structured environment and teaches basic knowledge, such as the alphabet and writing their names. This is instrumental in preparing a child for kindergarten. For parents it provides the peace of mind of knowing that their child is safe, allowing them to focus on other things for a time.
While there are preschool teachers on hand to help, parents are not. Children have to learn to speak up, put their things away, and follow direction. Being able to make choices is a natural part of growing up, but so is accepting that those choices have consequences. This learning process is all part of becoming a self-sufficient child.
Develop Social & Emotional Skills
Social interaction is just as important as academic growth for a child under 5. Preschool programs show children the right way to interact with their peers. Preschool time teaches kids vitally important soft skills, like staying focused, keeping an open mind and controlling their tempers.
Fosters Healthy Separation
In the case of separation fears, preschool teaches your child that he or she is capable. It’s important that you show confidence in their ability to thrive without you. When the routine of preschool gains traction, your child will gain trust in the fact that you always come back for them, and their fears and anxieties are unfounded.
Physical coordination improves in a preschool setting, allowing your child to explore their environment embrace new challenges. While there is a certain focus on academics, children are in motion for a good part of their day. Preschools provide many opportunities for children to run, climb, and play active games. Thus their fine and gross motor skills, as well as overall health, improves.
The Best Age to Start Preschool
When it’s all said and done, it’s up to the parents to determine their child’s readiness, taking into consideration social and emotional maturity and cognitive ability. Many preschools do fill up before the start of the year, so if you’re on the fence, it still pays to do your research sooner rather than later.
Consider the fact that a child’s brain grows to 90% of its adult size by age 5. This statistic should drive home the fact that these years are crucial. Then consider the benefits of preschool, which include overall academic achievement, less grade repetition and increased high school graduation rates. While there may not be a specific age, most children will benefit from preschool.
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