For millions of families, preschool is the first step toward formal education in a child’s life. When your child is approaching this age, you might consider this option for your own family. There are many reasons why you should carefully think about this. Preschool comes with its own sets of benefits and drawbacks. In this article we will explore the pros and cons of having your young child attend preschool. You’re setting the stage for your child’s future in education at this point, and we know you want to get it right.
The Pros of Preschool
Parents send their young children to preschool for many reasons, some of which you may not even find on this list. If you’re considering sending your young one to preschool, here are some of the benefits you can look forward to seeing in your child’s ongoing development.
Yes, your home probably has some type of structure that helps you navigate your day-to-day lives. But a classroom environment is an entirely different matter. Schools, including preschools, generally go by a fairly rigid schedule to make sure that everything is accomplished as planned each day. Attending preschool allows the child to get acquainted with a new type of structure in their lives before being introduced to the world of all-day kindergarten.
There’s a very good chance that your child attending preschool will be their first time spending a lot of their time around a bunch of their peers. This can, and likely will, lead to some awkward moments with other children. It happens, and it’s a part of growing socially. Young students will learn more about the finesse that is social interaction, including how to play nicely, share communal items, and communicate using their words.
Of course, the primary function of any school is to educate the youth. Preschool is no exception, even if at first glance it looks like toddler-fueled chaos. Many preschools are staffed by educators who are knowledgeable of childhood education. They know what it takes to reach even these young children and help them to retain knowledge that they will use in the upcoming years.
These educators can also spot areas where the child has difficulty learning. They will work alongside the parents and the student to help them conquer whatever hurdles are making their preschool education (and perhaps even their later education) more difficult.
As you might already know from having your child at home, preschool-aged kids love to help out! In the structured environment of a preschool, they will learn how to help themselves and others to get things done. A preschool teacher might give students little “classroom jobs” to perform, for example. This teaches not only responsibility, but also problem-solving. It is never too early for children to become acquainted with these concepts.
School provides an environment that is rich in language, which helps a student’s budding vocabulary to flourish. Children of preschool age are starting to develop quite an arsenal of words, with sentences becoming more complex as they approach the age of 5. Engaging verbally with other students and their educators helps a child’s language skills to grow and strengthen. This makes them more confident in their speech, as well.
Children in preschool are on the move much of the day. They’re frequently exposed to new things within this environment, which helps to improve their motor skills without it feeling like a big deal. They will run, climb, and experience many hands-on activities that do this for them. And they do it all under the watchful eye of an educator who will ensure their safety and well-being at the same time.
The Cons of Preschool
Just as it goes with anything else, preschool has its own set of drawbacks. We’ll explore what these are below. How big an issue these perceived “cons” can be will depend entirely on your preference and why you’d want to send your child to preschool.
Lack of One-on-One Time
Many parents believe that the best approach to educating a child before the primary school years is to do so on a one-on-one basis. They may choose to educate their child themselves or hire a tutor of sorts to spend one-on-one time educating the child. Preschool doesn’t offer as much of this individualized time, which some parents consider problematic.
Another concern commonly expressed by parents of preschoolers is the worry that their child might feel too pressured, too soon, in regard to their education – which will be ongoing for the next 12 years, at least. How true this is depends on a lot of factors, so it is up to the parents to decide what is the best fit for their child.
Separation from Parents
It can feel like a big deal – for both parents and their young children – to be separated at such an early point in the child’s development. Even just a few hours during the school week can be enough to bring separation anxiety into a family’s life, which is tough to deal with.