Important Consideration that Every Parent Ponders On: Is there an appropriate preschool starting age?
Knowing when to enroll your child for early education
A little girl named Kayla, with her favorite doll held in her arm, walks toward the kitchen one evening while her mother was preparing dinner.
“Mommy! Mommy,” says the girl, while swaying her doll.
“Mom hmmm bored,” replies the child.
Kayla’s mother picks her up and places her on the counter. Her mother squeezes her shoulders playfully.
“Oh, don’t you like your new toy sweetie?” she asks slightly concerned.
Kayla nods but continues to have a pout on her face.
“Hmm. You’ve been playing your toys all day and sometimes I think it’s time you want to get out and see the world,” says the mother almost quietly to herself in realization.
Kayla doesn’t say anything but the next day her parents decide it’s time they enroll their child to preschool. Four weeks later, they notice Kayla as carefree and curious as ever, and her vocabulary has grown quickly in just a short time. She interacts cheerfully with her parents and has made new friends. Even Kayla’s teacher praises her for her excellent character and blooming talents.
“Mommy I love school!” says Kayla one morning before leaving school.
“I know dear. I’m so glad,” says her mother. And both parents plant a kiss on Kayla’s cheeks.
“When should my child start preschool?” This is a question many parents ask. Pre-school starting age is a concern many parents face because of important matters such as:
- Appropriate age to enroll their son or daughter for learning
- Preparation and management of time when child begins schooling
- Guidance the child needs when it comes to studies
- The right amount of time to balance between work and care for their kids
These are important matters brought to light. Although many experts believe that the best age for preschool is around 2-2 ½ years of age. In fact, most preschools start accepting children at the age of 2 ½. But there is no best time to start preschool. When raising a child, your decision should be based on your little one’s development. Consider your child’s emotional, physical, cognitive and social standing. Do you think he/she is ready for a more structured educational system along with a new group of kids? Try to observe your child and how he/she learns and interacts.
For many parents, sending their child to school at ages 2-3 promises rewarding outcomes for their children’s intellectual growth, skills development and overall future. There is a considerable increase in creativity, openness, and inventiveness for these children. On the other hand, children who are not yet fully prepared to be enrolled to preschool at around this age but have been enrolled in school will have some difficulties pacing themselves in a new environment. This may sometimes result to a decline in otherwise full potential.
Here are important things to consider before sending your child to preschool:
Early education requires certain basic skills from children. Because with preschool, it’s a more formal learning environment. Most of the schools will want the child to be, for instance, potty-trained or can do even a simple napping and eating of lunches without supervision.
If your child has a babysitter or relative to take care of him/her, he/she should be able to know how to cope without having to constantly be around the adult and especially you as the parent. It’s healthy to spend time with your child but he/she also needs to learn that being separated does not mean he/she is abandoned. Your child simply needs to adapt to different people and surroundings. And if taught well, your child understands this well early on.
What is my child like with others?
Ask around. Talk to your parents, your siblings, your neighbors, your child’s physician, or to any person that knows your child well enough in order to determine whether or not he/she is prepared emotionally, physically, cognitively and socially for preschool.
As a parent, you have the ability to gauge whether or not it is the appropriate time for your kid to start education. However, other factors such as the ability to relate well with others can come as a basic skill. Preschool, versus daycare, is a more structured environment and thus kids starting school will need to obey their preschool teachers and to certain school rules. Teaching kids will be harmonious for the teachers if kids know when to be participative and well-behaved.
Train your child to adjust
Teaching children to adjust in small doses will enable them to get comfortable with other people and other environments. They need this especially when it’s time to start preschool. Drop them off for a few hours with a close friend or sibling. Do this routine for a couple of weeks then gradually lengthen the duration. For example, you can have your child stay with their grandparents over the weekend.
Ensure that your child does not feel anxious when presented with new people, situations and atmospheres. Your child should be fully ready to face a new environment that encourages their unique potentials to grow. Preschool is a wonderful milestone for your child. It isn’t simply for textbook education, but your child will get to learn plenty of important values such as friendship, generosity, responsibility, fun and most of all, a fondness and love for learning. Find the right time that you see your child is suitable to be in a new and exciting learning environment where he/she can further develop his/her innate and wonderful skills.