Most parents say their child's education is their highest responsibility. In fact, over half of parents believe they cannot be too involved in their child's education. While parents play a guiding role, some school readiness skills are developed primarily through practice and experience. For example, parents can teach shapes and colors, but socialization comes primarily from being around other children. Preschools vary widely, with over half of three- to five-year-old preschool students attending full-day programs. While there is no formal definition, "preschool" generally refers to any schooling that occurs before a child starts Kindergarten, while "pre k" is a specific type of preschool intended to prepare children for kindergarten by developing school readiness skills. Here are five school readiness skills that will have parents searching for the "best pre k schools near me."
Being able to play with other children is an important skill, but Kindergarten requires more social skills than that. For example, classrooms require the ability to form friendships, share, cooperate, and problem-solve with peers. These skills arise from empathy - the ability of the child to put himself or herself into another child's shoes. Socialization involves resolving problems and disagreements with peers by communicating rather than resorting to emotional or physical outbursts. While role-playing and discussing possible scenarios can provide a start, these skills are developed by interacting with other children. The "best pre k schools near me" provide options to help a child develop socialization skills for kindergarten.
Being able to separate from a parent without anxiety is essential for attending Kindergarten. Independence also involves being able to regulate behaviors, such as answering questions, saying "thank you," using the bathroom, or putting on a coat, without intervention or prompting from an adult. Just as important is the ability to regulate emotions, such as asking for help when frustrated rather than crying. Again, independence can begin at home with tasks and chores that the child performs on his or her own but independence, by definition, must be honed away from the child's parents. The "best pre k schools near me" will give a child the opportunity to develop the independence needed to attend Kindergarten.
Sense of Self
A sense of self involves more than knowing that "I am." A child's sense of self tells the child that he or she is a human being that is autonomous from others. A sense of self is the beginning of self-esteem and the ability to believe in one's self, but also the beginning of a child's understanding that other children do not always have the same thoughts and feelings as the child does. With self-esteem comes a sense of fairness and justice that is expressed when a child perceives unfair treatment. Again, this essential development can begin at home but is fueled by being around other children and experiencing diverse situations. Similarly, self-esteem is fueled by facing challenges and succeeding. The "best pre k schools near me" provide children with the opportunities, challenges, and experiences to develop a sense of self.
Work in a Structured Environment
The amount of structure in a daycare will vary from no structure to a structured routine. But nothing prepares a child for the structure of school than school. The "best pre k schools near me" prepare a child for the structure of kindergarten. This time period in a child's life marks a major change from home rules and a home schedule to school rules and a school schedule. Moreover, the child has to adapt from parents to teachers as the enforcers of those rules. The best preschools teach children to follow rules, interact with authority figures other than a child's parents, and work within a structured environment to prepare for kindergarten.
Learn to Learn
While it may seem second nature for adults, children need to learn to learn. Children learn in a variety of ways, including imitation, trial and error, following instructions, and repetition. Being in a learning environment at the best schools helps a child develop the ability to organize the child's thoughts to remember what he or she is taught. The "best pre k schools near me" create an environment where children can learn in many different ways to prepare for kindergarten.