What skills are taught in a preschool setting?
Skills taught in preschool are skills such as language recognition, proper speech, the alphabet, basic mathematical skills and much more. Without these skills, it is very difficult for a child to adjust once formal schooling is started.
Why are these skills so important?
The skills a child learns at the early stages provide the foundation for all other skills that will be learned throughout life. If the proper foundation is not set, the child will ultimately struggle in school each time something new comes up.
How can your child gain these skills?
There are many ways for your child to gain this valuable knowledge. The most popular way is to send the child to preschool, however, do not just stop there and think that is the only way for your child to learn. There are a multitude of ways.
Early learning center -- While these are sometimes very similar to preschool, they often offer lower tuition fees for quality care and learning. Early learning centers are becoming more popular as parents search to find a more affordable way to give their children a good head start in life.
Daycare center -- Many large daycare centers offer the very same instruction as early learning centers, but are even more affordable. Remember to ask the operators of the center about their curriculum. Chances are if they respond to that question and discuss a curriculum, your child will be receiving some formal lessons, which will help to prepare for kindergarten. Don't forget to listen carefully to what the lessons will teach. Take notes and compare them to notes you have taken from preschool and early learning center interviews.
Home daycare -- Many of these type of providers also choose to teach preschool or pre-k curriculum. Be sure to ask home childcare providers about this. This option can save you money as well. This option also can be good for your child if he or she starts with the provider at a younger age, such as starting at 6 months or up. The reason for this is that the provider will always be the same face and your child can develop a close bond, resulting in more love as well as a great lesson in trust.
Homeschool -- Still another option is to forego all of the above options and take it on yourself. Many parents find that they already enjoy teaching their children. They also see that they are doing a great job already. So, why pay for an education that you could easily give yourself? While this does work for some parents, keep in mind that it won't work for everyone. It really works best when there is one parent that stays home, or at the very least, works part time. Most preschool education can really come from normal day to day playing, chores, and activities. Of course, there are many things that you will have to have the child do, like practicing handwriting that cannot come with just playing. If you choose to take this on yourself, just be sure you will be dedicated because a child's foundation needs to be set firmly or it will crumble quickly when that child starts kindergarten.
The answer to the question of whether preschool is needed comes in two parts: yes it is most definitely needed -- but it can come from many different places.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network