Research shows between birth and five years old, 90% of brain development occurs and the foundation for learning is being laid. Learning that occurs in this “window of opportunity” has a life-long impact. But we may ask, what they have learned while attending preschool?
Social-emotional development is now seen as the most important aspect of education, starting in preschool. At this age children are learning to manage their feelings and follow limits and expectations. As they enter the preschool setting they make friends and can participate cooperatively and constructively in group situations.
I am sure you have noticed how much your children have grown physically in this past year alone. They are stronger and faster and demonstrate balancing skills. Getting ready to write confidently, they have improved their fine-motor strength and coordination. They are provided many opportunities during the day to develop these skills and to enjoy time outside in nature.
In language, there has been great strides in pre-reading skills and developing an appreciation of literature. They have increased their vocabulary substantially and are learning to identify different sounds, rhymes and alliteration in words.. They demonstrate a knowledge of the alphabet and letter sounds. They interact during story time and can retell a story.
There is much emphasis put on math and science in education and it begins in preschool. In math, young children are laying a strong math foundation by counting, recognizing quantities and patterns, and understanding shapes and spatial relationships. Science is all around them and they are recognizing the characteristics of living things and physical properties of objects and materials. They have been introduced to scientific inquiry and thinking skills by being asked “open-ended questions” that help them make connections between what they know and observe in the world around them. Being children of the 21st century, they readily use technology, as well as simple tools, to perform tasks.
What does a young child learn about social studies? First, they learn about themselves, who they are and where and with whom they live. They are developing a basic understanding of people and how they live. With this strong sense of self and the preparation they receive at home and school, they are off to meet life’s challenges and make a meaningful contribution to humanity.