Summer is upon us! Sunshine, barbecues, baseball — who’s thinking about school?
If you have a little one heading to kindergarten in the fall, you should be. Summer is the best time to start preparing your tiny tot for grade school readiness, after all.
Perhaps your child has been attending a casual daycare program since she first started to crawl, or maybe she already has a couple years of academic preschool activities under her tiny belt. Either way, a summer program might be the perfect way to introduce your little one to the structured days of kindergarten while giving her a social and education boost in the process.
Preschool certainly is not a requirement for all children, but it is becoming increasingly common in the United States. As of 2013, 65% of American children aged three to five were enrolled in a preprimary program, up from 59% in 1990.
Of all American five-year-olds — the age at which most kids are getting ready to enter kindergarten — 84% participated in a preschool program in 2013.
If you have any experience with the preprimary curriculum, you may already be familiar with the many benefits of academic preschool programs. The importance of a high-quality education begins at a young age. In fact, studies have revealed that at-risk youth are 25% more likely to drop out of high school if they did not attend preschool as a child, and 60% are less likely to attend college.
Academic preschool activities promote the healthy development of a child’s social skills, intellectual abilities, and fine and gross motor skills. Many programs lay a foundation for math, reasoning, and reading — skills that will be built upon in kindergarten.
Sending your child to preschool is not just about giving him a head start when it comes to academics. It is also about easing him into the structural and behavioral standards of grade school so that he knows exactly what to expect when he walks through the classroom door on the first day of kindergarten.
It is also about fostering a lifelong love of learning and a sense of motivation for academic excellence.