A Guide to Preschool Learning
The preschool years of a child are marked by a fascination for learning about things in the environment, manipulating objects, forming a foundation to reading, writing and arithmetic, and also learning about social interactions. The preschool curriculum in school is designed around these learning goals.
A child’s preschool years are filled with many adventurous moments. The preschool years are filled a huge scope of social, physical, emotional and intellectual development. The skills learned during this period can prime your child for the rest of his or her life.
Preschool seems like only fun and games to most parents but there is an intense amount of learning and brain-work that is happening behind the scenes. Children at this stage will learn through doing creative activities and playing. Preschool is also a time for learning positive self-esteem and good habits. According to Josie Meade from Creative Kids Preschool located in California, if a child feels good about his or herself and feels proud even after making a mistake, then everything will fall into place. At this stage, it is important to cheer your child’s successes. Allow them to fall, make mistakes and feel okay about it. The preschool child will learn and move on.
What is Included in the Preschool Curriculum?
The preschool curriculum has multi-faceted goals. The curriculum includes introducing preschool children to language, speech, colours, shapes, basic numeracy, art and social skills. Pre school learning can be divided into the following categories:
Sounds and Letters
During this time, the preschooler will learn about all 26 uppercase and some lowercase letters. They will also learn to name them. Some will learn to recognize their first name and start to imprint it. Common words like dad, mom and cat may also be recognizable to the child. Preschool children will also be exposed to the sounds of letters, particularly if they are in a school program where phonics is taught. Children who are exposed to reading, books and lots of conversation will pick up the concept of letters and sounds very quickly.
Objects, Shapes and Colours
At preschool, children will learn the names of most colours, body parts and basic shapes. Many are introduced to shapes, colours and body parts at home, but this continues in school. Games involving objects , body parts and colour identification are often played.
Counting and Numbers
Most preschool children will learn to identify and recognize number 1 through 10. Preschool teaching of numbers generally involves rote counting, repetition, or physical counting of objects. Preschool children are taught how numbers 0 through 9 look. With counting, memorization is first encouraged, particularly the order of numbers.
Drawing and Cutting
Drawing and cutting encourage the development of fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. At this stage, children will learn to hold crayons, color pencils, paint brushes and glue sticks. They will learn to use scissors and may cut paper.
Sharing and Socialization
The development of social skills goes into fast forward when the child enters preschool. During this time, the child will learn to share, co-operate, take turns and work together. Children are encouraged to take part in group activities like circle time and are also encouraged to do partner activities.
The preschool years are a time when exponential growth of a child’s learning occurs. This will form the foundation for the child’s academic years ahead.