Preschool may not seem that important compared to elementary school, middle school or high school. But actually, early education has been shown to be a major factor in a student’s success throughout his or her academic career and even after graduation. Children who attend preschool get better grades, graduate at higher rates, get into better colleges, earn more and are less likely to get into trouble with the law. Those positive effects can be compounded for students who attend a preparatory academy or private school. But regardless of what kind of preschool you choose for your child, you should be on the lookout for the most important developmental skills children should be gaining during those years. You can remember them as the five C’s:
While most preschoolers have begun talking years earlier, they need help learning the social conventions surrounding conversation. Those includes listening, staying on topic and reading people’s facial expressions.
Some preschoolers feel anxiety about going to school at first, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t ready. Around age 3 or 4, it’s important that kids learn to separate from you and do things independently without too much of a fuss.
This skill often gets branded as “sharing,” but it’s much bigger than that. This is the age where children can learn to work together toward a common goal — even if that goal is simply building a tower of blocks.
- Conflict Resolution
Problem solving can be tough for young kids, since they operate based more on emotion than on logic. But good socialization (and a healthy amount of adult guidance) can get kids started on thinking about problems from another person’s point of view, which is the basis of all conflict resolution.
Of course, one of the most important functions of a preschool education is to foster a child’s curiosity. Having good learning experiences at a young age is one of the things that can make a child into an enthusiastic lifelong learner.
What other important emotional and social skills does preschool help kids to develop? Join the discussion in the comments.