Once your child turns three-years old, they become eligible for most early learning programs, including Montessori preschool. Preschool isn’t required in America, but it’s a valuable experience that prepares children for formal education while building self-confidence and social skills.
Preschool promotes positive emotions about school and learning
For many children, preschool is their first exposure to a structured learning environment. Their impression of formal schooling can change over time, but it’s easier to go into kindergarten with a positive attitude, especially as curriculum becomes more complex.
Preschools focusing on early learning can also give an academic boost, sending children to kindergarten with higher self-confidence than children who haven’t yet experienced structured learning. Students who attend high quality preschools, including authentic Montessori schools, enter kindergarten with pre-literacy and pre-math skills. Montessori preschool graduates in particular learn the ABCs, numbers, and pattern recognition by the time they enter elementary school.
Preschool develops social skills
Whether a child attends a regular preschool or a Montessori preschool, they’ll be talking, learning, and playing with children of different personalities and backgrounds. Their classmates will also range from three- to six-years old, expanding their social experiences. They’ll learn to respectfully communicate with teachers and peers and approach disagreements without losing their temper. These improved social skills will build a strong foundation to build upon throughout their childhood, and will make transitioning to elementary school easier.
Preschool teaches self-regulation
Preschool might be a child’s first time spending hours at a time away from their parents. Now is their opportunity to discover their independence. At Montessori preschools, teachers encourage children to make their own choices regarding their approach to learning. Children determine how they’ll approach a curriculum topic, assist their peers in group work, and make their own decisions.
Montessori preschools also dedicate a part of their curriculum to practical life. Children learn to tie their shoes, button coats, wash dishes, and care for themselves. This teaches them how to self-regulate so when they leave the classroom, they have the confidence to act independently at home.
Preschool strengthens fine motor skills
Around three-years of age, children start to greatly increase use of their fine motor skills. These are the small hand muscles that allow them to write, button their clothes, tie their shoes, and manipulate objects. Preschools with highly-interactive environments, such as the prepared environments at Montessori preschools, give countless opportunities to strengthen fine motor skills.
Preschool is a child’s first major opportunity to get ahead
All parents should consider sending their child to preschool to get a leg up in academic, emotional, and personal development. If your child is approaching the preschool age, consider giving your child that beneficial boost.