The Pros And Cons Of Preschool

Deciding to send your child to preschool may seem like an unwritten requirement in your community but it doesn't have to be. Investigate your child's individual needs before you decide.

Preschool used to be an indulgence for the wealthy that wished their children to have an educational edge, but in the past twenty years it has become the rule rather than the exception for young children. With so many two-career families in today's world preschool often becomes a sort of day care rather than simply an educational experience. If you do not send your child to preschool you may experience a look of shock from your child's kindergarten teacher on the first day of school. Deciding to send your child to preschool is a personal decision and you should consider the many factors that can make a big difference in the outcome of your child's educational experience.

The first thing you need to consider is the reason you are sending your child to preschool. Is it simply because every other child is going? Perhaps you want your child to get a head start on his education or you are looking for a chance for socialization. Parents who work may just be hoping for a better alternative to daycare.

Preschools can vary widely, even within your own town. Many preschools are nothing more than glorified babysitters that don't really have the time for individual attention for your child. These preschools may turn out children who are no better prepared for kindergarten than the child who stayed home and watched educational television. Preschools can be expensive and you may not be paying for anything more than daycare. Investigate preschools carefully and speak with parents who have sent their children there. A good way to find out about your chosen preschool is to speak to parents who have children in kindergarten that attended that preschool. Find out if their children were any better prepared for school than other children. Many preschools will allow you to observe their classes allowing you to see exactly what kinds of things your child would be doing. A good preschool is a great option for parents who don't have time to spend teaching their children early skills to prepare them for kindergarten. A preschool experience can be a good way to get a shy child acclimated to interacting with other children of the same age. If your child has no siblings or other playmates close in age you might consider a few days of preschool a week for socialization alone.

If you don't think that preschool is an option you want to pursue you should not feel obligated to do so. Children can learn the same skills at home and may even be able to surpass children in preschool because they have one on one attention from their parents. You can use flash cards to teach your child colors, shapes, letters and numbers. Writing skills can be introduced and you can teach your child his alphabet. Getting your child interested in learning before he starts kindergarten is a great way for him to be successful in school. If your child already has some skills under his belt he will be more confident in kindergarten and socialization may come more naturally. Signing your child up for a class or taking them to the park on a regular basis can help attain early socialization.

If you're not sure whether or not to send your child to preschool it is always possible to ask your preschool if your child can attend on a trial basis. Some children may not be ready for separation from their parents at this age while others may need the additional stimulation and interaction with other children. Above all, don't submit to peer pressure when it comes to preschool. Only you know your child's needs.

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