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Preschool Skills: What You Can Expect Your Child to Learn

high quality educationIn 2013, a good portion of toddlers were enrolled in preprimary programs. Around 42% of three-year-olds and 68% of four-year-olds attended preschool programs that year. Many parents understand that, in theory, the high quality education their children receive in academic preschool programs will ensure grade school readiness. But they may not be entirely sure how common preschool activities will allow for the acquisition of valuable skills. To help you better understand how the typical academic preschool curriculum will help your child develop and learn, here are just some of the skills you can expect them to acquire.

  • Early Literacy
    Academic preschool activities such as reading books aloud can be both fun and educational, and they help children expand their vocabularies by connecting letters with the sounds they make. In preschool, children will learn how to identify all of the letters of the alphabet. They may also learn how to recognize their own names and write them on the adorable art projects they bring home at the end of the day. While they’re having fun, they’re also listening to sounds, identifying them, and repeating them — the essential building blocks on the path to literacy.
  • Counting and Numbers
    In addition to learning letters and the sounds they make, children will also learn how to recognize and verbally identify numbers. Typically, they’ll learn how to count to 10 and learn what the basic numerals look like. While counting often involves memorization to start, children will later understand the connection between the numbers they say and the number of objects they see. Being able to correctly identify numerals 0 to 9 will help students build on their math skills in the future.
  • Communication
    When they’re at preschool, children have a chance to converse with others their age. Being able to interact with both other students and adult teachers will allow them to better express themselves and understand how others communicate. They’ll also learn valuable listening skills in preschool. Understanding when it’s important to sit quietly, behave respectfully, and listen to instructions, as well as when it’s okay to talk to others, are crucial to their social development.
  • Sharing and Responsibility
    Preschoolers will learn how to share, take turns, and cooperate. They’ll also learn how to regulate their own emotions and behaviors, allowing them to be more productive and happy at school. Teachers will express the importance of taking responsibility for keeping a clean and safe space for everyone to enjoy. Children will also learn when and how to ask for help, and when they might be able to be a bit more independent. While these skills might not seem quite as academic, they’re still part of obtaining a high quality education.

These are just a few of the social, intellectual, and emotional skills your child will begin to develop throughout their enrollment in our preschool programs. To find out more about how our programs can provide a high quality education for your child, contact Learn and Grow Academy today.

Preschool vs Daycare: What’s the Difference Between Them?

daycareIf you are a new parent, choosing between preschool and daycare may seem like a rather difficult decision at first. Not only do you want to make sure your child gets the most out of the program, but you need to find something that fits into your schedule as well. In this article, we will point out some of the noticeable differences between preschool and daycare programs, and highlight why preschool is a better option for your child’s development.

The Hours

Preschool
Preschool hours are set up similarly to grade school hours. This can help provide grade school readiness, preparing your child for the schedule that they’ll face later on.

Daycare
Daycares don’t follow a typical school schedule, meaning that the hours may not line up with those needed by parents. This irregular schedule is also likely to cause children difficulty adjusting to grade school hours later on.

The Curriculum

Preschool
There are many benefits to the academic preschool curriculum, as its name implies. It is a precursor to grade school, meaning that academic preschool programs will focus more on the introductory skills a child will need when entering kindergarten. This can greatly benefit them in the long run, as it’s been proven that children who don’t receive a good preschool education have a tougher time reaching success down the road. In fact, around 60% of at-risk children who do not attend preschool do not go to college either.

Daycare
While some daycare centers do provide some form of education, they mostly just act as a safe environment in which parents can drop their children off when they are busy with work or other responsibilities. Daycare centers allow children to socialize with others without parents having to rely on a nanny. They do not, however, provide children with the necessary academic building blocks for success.

The Age Groups

Preschool
Preschools typically serve a set group of toddlers ages three through five. It can vary, depending on the center, but that is the general consensus. This allows teachers to formulate their curriculum around the age groups, thus providing a better education.

Daycare
Daycare has a wider variety of age groups from young toddlers to elementary school aged children. This means that the curriculum may be less structured, as the varying age groups need to be taken into consideration and activities adjusted accordingly.

When it comes to choosing preschool or daycare, the choice ultimately depends on your own personal situation. It is important to know how the two vary so that you can make the best choice for you and your child.

Grab Your Backpacks! Ten Great Reasons You Should Send Your Child To Preschool

grade school readinessIt can be all too easy to overlook the benefits gained from enrolling your child in preschool. Many parents see preschool as nothing more than structured playtime for a few hours of the day. In fact, the number of 5-year-old children enrolled in preprimary programs dropped by 5% between 1989 and 2013 (from 89% to 84%), according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Nevertheless, enrolling a child in preschool can make a great difference in both their home life and their grade school readiness. Here is a list of ten extraordinary benefits your child can gain from attending preschool.

  1. Motor Skills: In preschool, a lot of physical activity happens throughout the day to keep your child entertained. This allows them to fully explore and develop their balance, hand-eye coordination and overall general motor skills
  2. Prepare for Math and Reading: Curiosity in children is commonplace. They want to learn, and academic preschool activities gives them a chance to do that. From learning numbers, letters, and sounds to all sorts of fun educational games, preschool offers a child the chance to begin learning about math and reading in a fun environment.
  3. Desire to Learn: In addition to teaching your child a solid base foundation for math and reading, academic preschool programs also foster your child’s natural curious nature. This allows them to want to learn more and encourages knowledge and discovery.
  4. Language Skills: Through preschool education activities and simply being in an environment where language is everywhere, this can exponentially improve your child’s own speaking ability. They will learn new words and learn to form longer sentences.
  5. Learning to Care For Each Other: Bit by bit, children in preschool learn to care for both themselves and others. Teachers show them how to be responsible, increasing their sense of self-worth, and show them how to help others, increasing their compassion.
  6. Choice: Though it may only be small choices, a child in preschool will learn how to make decisions for themselves. They can choose if they want to play a game their friends are playing and how to ask for help from the teacher when they need it. These tiny choices now will grow into much more responsible decisions later in life.
  7. Structure: The classroom provides a lot of structure and scheduling to a child. This helps encourage a child on how to think and act in an organized manner and how to follow simple rules.
  8. Social Interaction: The sooner a child can interact with a child their age, the better. They will learn how to communicate and voice their feelings in a calm and easy way, while being shown how to build strong friendships with others.
  9. Kindergarten: One of the most obvious benefits preschool provides is it allows a smooth transition into kindergarten for the child. It gives them grade school readiness and ensures that they already have a foundation for learning. Grade school readiness is crucial to foster a child’s growing, thinking brain.
  10. Growth: Far beyond that of just grade school readiness, a child will have the opportunity in preschool to grow in many ways. It promotes healthy development and helps a child learn skills they need in order to be prepared for school and life.

Every parent wants to make sure their child grows up health and happy. Enrolling them in preschool is just one of the many priceless things you can do in order to make that happen.

For more information on grade school readiness, or if you’re looking for a preschool in New Jersey, please visit Learn and Grow Academy’s website at www.learnandgrowacademy.com.

How to Determine Whether Your Child Is Ready For Preschool

 preschool education activitiesWhen parents seek out daycare alternatives, the benefits of academic preschool tend to win over families who want their children to develop both intellectually and socially. In fact, the number of three- to five-year-olds enrolled in preprimary programs like nursery school and preschool increased from 59% to 65% from 1990 to 2013. That means that the majority of parents understand that preschool education activities are highly advantageous for their children in terms of how they grow and learn.

Before sending their kids off to preschool, parents need to evaluate whether it’s the right time. Each child develops at a slightly different rate, and preschool education activities can help children at all skill levels. However, there are a few points you should always consider to determine whether your child is ready to go to preschool yet.

  • Potty Training
    Many preschools and daycare centers require children to be potty trained. That doesn’t mean your son or daughter will be expelled over an accident, but his or her progress in potty training should be a factor in your decision making. If your preschool of choice does have such a requirement, you’ll need to ensure your child meets this obligation. Some preschool centers don’t require kids to be potty trained, but it’s still a good idea to at least get started before enrollment begins.
  • Sharing and Social Interaction
    While it’s not a requirement for kids to master all social niceties, they should at least have experience interacting with other children. If your child has had limited playtime with other kids, consider getting him or her involved in a play group before starting preschool. Your child should be able to share, take turns, and cooperate with other students.
  • Following Instructions
    In preschool, children will be in a structured environment, and they will be expected to follow simple rules and instructions. Preschool students will learn how to go from one activity to the next throughout the day, as well as clean up and follow other directions. While not a requirement, if your child is not able to consistently handle such transitions, you may want to work on this prior to enrolling.
  • Separation
    When you send your child to preschool, he or she will have to be separated from their parents for at least a few hours during the day. Children who have gone to daycare or who have spent time with babysitters or nannies usually don’t have a problem entering preschool. On the other hand, children who have rarely spent time away from their parents or outside their home may have trouble adjusting. The first week of preschool may still be difficult for both student and parent; however, in most cases, children are able to quickly adjust and overcome their anxieties about separation after experiencing a few days of routine and fun with their new classmates.

Preschool education activities and lessons are the best way to ensure grade school readiness for your child. For more information or to discuss whether your child is ready for preschool, please contact Learn & Grow Academy today.

3 Reasons to Choose Preschool Over Daycare

day careWhen it comes to choosing a childcare provider for your family, you’ll undoubtedly have several options to choose from. While around three-fourths of young children in the U.S. participate in a preschool program, other working parents rely on family members or daycare facilities to provide care for their children. Out of all early childhood care programs, the benefits of academic preschool well exceed the others. In a preschool program, your child will get the individualized care and attention they need while learning valuable skills from an academic curriculum. If you’re still unsure about what type of program is right for your child, here are just a few reasons to choose preschool.

Preschool is More Balanced

While both daycare and preschool programs can allow children to discover, play, and socialize, preschool also helps children develop academic skills they need for kindergarten. Preschool activities have been shown to improve language, literacy, and pre-math skills, and is done in a way that promotes curiosity and fun. It’s essentially the best of both worlds: your child will develop better cognitive and behavioral skills and will feel prepared, but he or she won’t have to sacrifice valuable play time.

Preschool Teachers Have More Training

Although both daycare centers and preschools may be regulated by some of the same agencies, preschool teachers and staff members are typically held to higher educational standards. While some daycare instructors may have a lot of experience in early childhood care, teachers are certified and trained in educating your child by utilizing several different styles of instruction to reach every child’s needs. This is often a concern for parents, who understandably want to leave their children in the most capable hands.

Preschools Offer Socialization and Structure

Compared to the unstructured environment typical of many daycare centers, in a preschool, children can get the attention they need and socialize with others in a safe, healthy, and happy setting. Preschool classrooms are organized in a way that promotes socialization among children of the same age while minimizing the likelihood of conflicts. A more structured environment doesn’t mean there are endless rules; rather, it just helps guide children along the way while ensuring their involvement in both play and learning.

When you’re wondering about things to look for in a preschool, you’ll ideally want the perfect balance between learning and play. If you’re looking for an educational childcare option for your family, Learn & Grow Academy may be perfect for you. To find out more about us please visit our website www.learnandgrowacademy.com.

How Parents Can Help Their Children Learn Outside of the Classroom

preschoolChildren go to school to learn new things, but their education shouldn’t stop there. Even in your child’s day-to-day life, it is important to remind them about the lessons that they’ve learned.

Reflection and repetition are some of the most important parts of the learning process. As a parent, you are able to shape your child’s future by reviewing what they’ve learned in school. Here’s how:

  • While it’s best to follow up on school lessons when the material is fresh in the child’s mind, doing so immediately after school or on the way home may not be ideal. Like adults, children are tired after a long day’s work.
  • Instead, give your child some down time to relax, have a snack, or take a nap. Then, once they have regained their energy, ask them how their day went.
  • Your questions do not need to be so structured. Make it fun! Instead of asking them a yes or no question, leave it open ended. Ask what they did at school that day or what they learned instead of if they learned anything new.

Another way for children to learn is to repeat their lesson in a natural setting. Instead of asking them to answer test-like questions, help them apply their skills to their everyday life.

The academic preschool activities and curriculum should help your child do this already, but here are some ways you can make sure your child is able to engage with the educational material and use it outside of a classroom setting:

  • Don’t be afraid to ask questions about material they haven’t learned yet. Tapping into their critical thinking skills at an early age will help develop their logic skills and encourage them to ask questions.
  • Make simple tasks a learning opportunity. Take cooking, for example. When following a recipe, let your child help out. Have them measure out the ingredients using measuring cups. Ask which measurement is larger.

Of course, if a child isn’t being taught properly at their preschool, these lessons may not resonate as well. Did you know that 25% of at-risk children are more likely to drop out of high school if they don’t receive a high-quality education from the start?

In order to ensure grade school readiness, children need to participate in a program with a strong academic preschool curriculum.

At Learn and Grow Academy, our academic preschool programs are designed with a child’s future in mind. From developing social skills to fostering a learning environment where children can gain a sense of self, Learn and Grow Academy is dedicated to helping young children prepare for the road ahead.

Learning Through Play: How Your Child’s Favorite Activity Is Helping Them Grow

academic preschool programsYoung children are like sponges — they soak up information. This is why it’s important to enroll them in academic preschool programs so they can obtain a quality education from a young age.

Considering the fact that children learn with all their senses, playing is one of the best ways a child can learn new things and have different experiences. Providing your child with a variety of playthings while also enrolling them in academic preschool programs that encourage play can bring them many benefits. So how exactly does your child learn by playing?

Develop their physical skills
Children work on both their fine and gross motor skills while playing without even realizing it! Gross motor skills are developed when a child learns to reach, grasp, crawl, run, balance, and throw. Fine motor skills are worked on when a child handles a small object, such as using scissors or crayons.

Develops their cognitive abilities
Simply put, children learn to solve problems when they play. They also learn how to count, to recognize colors, identify shapes, and even learn to read. Not only does play positively impact their memory, it also helps them enhance their attention span. In addition, a stimulating play environment will also develop their critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

Develops their language
Play is one of the easiest ways to help develop your child’s language. Playing with their peers will teach them how to construct simple sentences, improve their vocabulary, and enhance their hearing and listening skills. Anything involving language such as reading a story or having a sing-along will do wonders in developing their speech.

Hones in on their social skills
Not only will play introduce your child to others, it will help them figure out how to negotiate, cooperate with their peers, take turns, and be gentle with others. These skills will only grow as the child gets older, and are especially beneficial for their grade school readiness.

A full three-fourths of young children in the U.S. are enrolled in academic preschool activities. If you are looking for a high quality education, a team of experienced teachers, and a place for your child to grow, consider speaking to a member of our staff at Learn and Grow Academy today.

10 Essential Questions to Ask Your Child’s Preschool Teacher

preschoolParent-teacher meetings are designed to facilitate open communication between two of the adults who spend the most time with your child every day. You both care very deeply about the development of your child, but if you’re not on the same page, it’s hard to manage and support that growth, which is so important during these early years. Here are 10 questions to ask your preschooler’s teacher at your next parent-teacher meeting.

  1. How is my child doing socially? Social development is extremely important at this age. In fact, having the chance to develop these skills is one of the benefits of academic preschool. Your child will learn to get along with other kids and interact with adults outside of their immediate family.
  2. How is my child doing emotionally? Your toddler may be sad when you drop him or her off every morning, and happy to see you when you pick them up from preschool, but how are they feeling and expressing themselves throughout the day when you’re not around?
  3. How is my child doing in terms of grade school readiness? Academic preschool programs provide early high quality education, which can help kids prepare for school. Studies show that as many as 60% of at-risk children are less likely to attend college if they did not receive a preschool education. Talk to your child’s teacher about whether or not kindergarten is the logical next step.
  4. How is my child doing behaviorally? Does he or she follow the rules, respect classmates and teachers, and demonstrate acceptable behavior? Behavioral issues need to be identified and addressed early on.
  5. What methods of discipline do you use? Make sure your disciplinary philosophy lines up with that of the preschool and your child’s individual teacher. Everyone approaches this in their own way and it can be a delicate subject. However, it is one that you need to discuss.
  6. How are my child’s basic life skills? This includes hand-washing, eating, cleaning up, putting on outerwear, using the restroom, and any other basic skills for self-sufficiency.
  7. How are my child’s cognitive skills? Find out if you child is progressing at a healthy pace. Talk about the following skills for preschoolers: counting, colors, alphabet, weather, and shapes.
  8. What are his or her strengths? It’s good to know in which areas your child excels.
  9. What areas need improvement? Find out where he or she struggles so that you can provide more support at home.
  10. What are his or her favorite activities? Does he or she enjoy coloring, playing make-believe, solving puzzles, building with blocks, or active play like climbing or jumping? Your child may be developing new interests in preschool, and you can encourage those — but only if you know about them.

You enrolled your child in an academic preschool for the amazing benefits of getting an early high quality education. Make sure your child is learning, growing, and developing into a strong, smart, and kind human being by discussing his or her progress with the teacher.

3 Tips for Managing YOUR Separation Anxiety on the First Day of Preschool

requirements for preschoolYour child may have passed all the requirements for preschool, but have you? Your little one is ready to go out into the world, make new friends, learn new things, but is your own separation anxiety making this transition extra hard?

Your job as a parent is to protect your child, and this means having a close relationship. So of course, when you are apart, you’re going to be sad and worried. This is totally normal. However, you can’t keep your child by your side forever, so when it’s time for school you need to learn to let go. Here are a few bits of advice for managing your separation anxiety.

Three Back to School Tips for the Parent With Separation Anxiety

  1. Develop a goodbye ritual. Whether it’s a song, a secret handshake, or a special little phrase, coming up with a unique goodbye ritual is a great way to reinforce your bond and comfort you and your child before you part for the day.
  2. Put on a brave face. Kids pick up on our emotional cues, so if you’re crying, your child might start crying. Your uneasiness will make your child feel uneasy. If you put on a brave face and act like everything is normal, he or she will be more likely to feel the same way. And guess what? So will you. Fake it ‘til you make it, as they say.
  3. Have faith in your child and in the school. Remember that your child is in good hands and that a high-quality education is one of the most important gifts you can give him or her. There are so many benefits of academic preschool, and research shows that 25% of at-risk children are more likely to drop out of high school if they don’t get a quality preschool education. Have faith that the school will know how to teach, protect, and nurture your child. Most importantly, have faith that your son or daughter will thrive even when you’re not around.

We’re often too worried about how our little one will react on their first day of preschool, not realizing that we might be the ones who end up crying like a baby the whole way home. It turns out that there are a few requirements for preschool that parents must pass as well, one of which is learning how to let go.

How to Establish Healthy Bedtime Habits With Your Preschooler

academic preschool activitiesIf your child is among the three-fourths of kids in the U.S. who participate in a preschool program, you’ve probably been lectured about a variety of back to school tips. One of the most fundamental tips that can’t be overlooked, however, is the importance of helping your child get a good night’s sleep. A lack of sleep can be detrimental to a child’s ability to learn and grow, particularly when it comes time to engage in all those fun academic preschool activities.

Here are some ways to help your child get the best sleep possible.

Tips for an Effective Bedtime Routine

  • Establish a half-hour winding down period before bedtime.
  • Keep the bedtime consistent and alert your child 30 mins and 20 mins beforehand.
  • Keep mealtimes and playtimes consistent, as well.
  • Avoid sugary foods and/or beverages near bedtime.
  • The bed should only be used for sleeping, not playing or watching TV.
  • Keep the bedroom quiet or play soft, soothing music or white noise.

Naptime
Between academic preschool activities, kids need time to slow down and rest so they are ready to learn and play for the remainder of the day. If you want your child to nap during the school day, it is essential that you establish a naptime routine at home as well. Just like you do at bedtime, establish a set time and routine to encourage rest and relaxation. Your preschooler may resist, but you must keep the routine consistent for it to work at all. Many academic preschool programs have an hour-long naptime, but it is ultimately up to you. Let your child rest for as long as you feel is necessary. One of the benefits of academic preschool is the teachers’ willingness to work with parents around their individual parenting styles. If you wish your child to sleep for longer or shorter than one hour, communicate this to your child’s teacher.

The key to a good night’s sleep is establishing healthy bedtime habits early on. That is why creating a solid routine is so beneficial. If you are concerned about your child’s sleeping habits, consult your pediatrician to rule out any health or medical issues that might be disturbing your child’s sleeping patterns.