As your child approaches that age, you may find yourself ponder the question of preschool. It is much more common now than it ever has been before to send children to preschools. In 1960 only about 10% of children went to preschools in America. Now that number has changed and most children do attend preschools at some point. Some go early and some go late, but still some don't go at all.
Preschool is by no means mandatory after all, and that is not going to change anytime soon. Many parents feel that it would be redundant to send a child they've chosen to stay at home with off to another caregiver. Some parents can't find a way to fit preschool into their budget and other simply do not feel that it offers what their child needs, when they need it. Ultimately it's a decision that you will have to make for yourself, but here are a few thought s you might find helpful.
Preschools offer different things to different people. This can also vary by school facility as well. Some preschools are very academically oriented and will offer children a rigorous, but age appropriate curriculum. Some are simply the equivalent of a paid childcare or play date facility. Most fall between these extremes. For most families, preschools offer several different benefits.
* They allow the children to learn to socialize with other kids and even make friends that will follow them to kindergarten.
* They offer an experience of a space where the child is not the center of the universe, sometimes the first.
* They teach social and emotional skills, manners, and graces.
* They teach basic and age appropriate concepts.
* They offer a place to practice parent and child separation.
* They offer a place to draw out shy and sensitive children.
* They are a great place to for outgoing children to excel.
Of course, these are only a few of the functions of a preschool and you will need to find one that you like and approve of if you choose to go that route.
Whether or not a child needs to attend preschool is up to that child's parents. Educationally speaking, preschools cover the same general territory as kindergarten. This means that a child who does not attend preschool will be learning the same material as the child who does. The timing of the learning process will simply be slightly different.
Developmentally speaking, a child might benefit from preschool before kindergarten if he or she has not had the normal opportunities to socialize with other children. No one wants their child to be the one who can't make friends because they don't know how to be nice yet. It is also believed that children who need to learn to overcome shyness in social situations benefit from preschool.
Finally, children who are ready to tackle the issue of parent child separation before kindergarten also benefit from their time in preschool.