We were so fortunate to find a nanny who came to our home to take care of our son from the age of 5 months to 4 years. I cannot say enough good things about her, she is so important to us still even though she no longer watches him. Many of my friends have family that are able to watch their children. Some send their children to day care already, which normally transitions on its own to preschool. For those moms who stay at home, or use family or friends to watch their children, this post is for you. Here are 8 reasons why I think preschool is important.
- Social Skills – This is a given. If your child does not get exposure to other children often, they will not survive when they start grade school. Preschool allows them time to play with other children and learn how to handle situations. Kindergarten teachers don’t have time to make sure your child is socializing properly. It is super important to nip this in the bud early on. My son was super shy and would hide behind me any time people would talk to him so we knew he had to go to preschool. Now he makes new friends like it is nothing and talks to almost anyone.
- Kindergarten Readiness – There are certain things that schools require that your child know before they start school. These usually consist of counting to ten, recognizing letters, and writing their name. I can honestly say without our nanny my son probably would have been behind. The last thing I wanted to do when I got home from work was teach my son things, I just wanted to play with him! Plus, if I had a grandparent watching them the chance of them teaching him anything would be slim also since they just want to enjoy their time as well.
- Emotional Development – Has your child thrown a tantrum lately? Preschool can help them learn how to have self-control. Exposing them to other children and seeing how they handle themselves can be beneficial. Plus, preschool teachers are specially trained to handle situations where the child lacks self-control.
- Structure – Most preschools will have a schedule. This helps children know what to expect and be able to prepare for the day. If they know that from 9-10 is quiet time every single day, they will come to expect it. It has also been studied that a schedule and structure for kids helps them with their cognitive development.
- Decision Making – Being in a different environment around several other children will force your child to make their own decisions. I mean, for the last 3-4 years all of their decisions were pretty much made by you. Making their own decisions has consequences or rewards in preschool. It will teach them to make the right decision on their own.
- Language Development – Did you know that between the ages of 3 and 5 a child’s vocabulary grows from 900 to 2,500 words? Holy cow. Wouldn’t you want them to be able to do this to the best of their ability? Preschool teachers will ask thought-provoking questions. They will not only learn new words from their friends, but during their lessons in art, math, science, etc.
- Motor Skills – Hand-eye coordination is an important skill for everyone. In preschool they can learn to use their hands in a more intricate way, making crafts, cutting paper, using glue, etc. They will play games, run, and play on the playground. All these things will help define their motor skills.
- Independence – It is nice to tell my son to go play while I have to get something done. He can play by himself. This is especially important since he is an only child. Preschool can help your child be more independent. Just the drop off alone will help this because he or she will discover that being without mom or dad can be an okay and sometimes fun thing. We may want to spend every second with them, but honestly it is not healthy for either of you.
My son has become almost a different kid since we made the excruciating decision 2 years ago to put him in preschool. It killed me to stop using our nanny as we had grown to love her. Not to mention the price, WOW. With our son being our number one priority, however, that price couldn’t matter. He needed to be prepared for the world and he needed to learn more skills before he started grade school. He is so smart and independent now. While I attribute a lot to our nanny, most of his independence and social skills have come from preschool.