This is Why You Should Enroll Your Child in a Preschool Program the Summer Before Kindergarten

academic preschool activitiesSummer 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.

5 Essential Questions to Ask When Choosing a Preschool

finding the right preschoolThere are plenty of preschool programs out there, but not all are created equally. There is a huge difference between a day care facility and a pre-primary school, though both exist under the larger umbrella of childcare programs.

Preprimary programs are groups or classes that are designed to provide educational experiences for young children, including kindergarten, preschool, and nursery school programs. As many as three-fourths of young children in the U.S. participate in preschool.

Finding the right preschool is not as simple as asking for recommendations or searching online for positive reviews. Finding the right preschool for your children requires a combination of research, visits, and asking the right questions.

Five Questions to Ask When Choosing a Preschool

  1. What is the school’s educational philosophy?
    There are many benefits of academic preschool as opposed to a daycare facility. Parents should look for a preschool that offers a rich learning experience to children, helping them with all forms of age-appropriate development. Academic preschool activities include learning through play, practicing color, shape, alphabet, and number recognition as well as basic social skills. Grade school readiness should be an important goal when it comes to the preschool curriculum.
  2. What is the educational background of the teachers and staff?
    Naturally, you want your child’s teachers to be experienced and fully qualified to care for children as well as teach them. Ask about teachers’ training, experience, and understanding of basic child care.
  3. Is there a nap time?
    Young children need to rest for a period during a busy day. Find out how nap time is enforced and whether you need to bring your own supplies or if the school provides a mat, sheet, and pillow. If these things are provided by the school, find out how often they are washed.
  4. Are meals and snacks provided?
    Inquire about healthy food options, as well as allergy issue and dietary restrictions.
  5. How is discipline enforced?
    Ask about classroom rules as well as the types of disciplinary actions that are taken so that you and your child know what to expect. Find out how the teachers encourage positive behavior.

Did you know that 70% of at-risk children are more likely to be arrested for committing a violent crime if they did not get a quality preschool education? A quality preschool is one that encourages learning and provides children with the necessary skills to achieve success throughout the rest of their academic years

5 Benefits of Attending Preschool

high quality educationPreschool provides a foundation for the life of your child. Over three-fourths of young children in the United States participate in a preschool program, and finding the right preschool for your child is a task that should be taken with extreme consideration. Here are five reasons why preschool is beneficial to your child.

1. An opportunity for growth
For many children, attending preschool is their first experience in a structured setting with teachers and other children their age. It is an opportunity to socialize, follow instructions, and share, all of which provide a foundation for a high quality education they can expect in kindergarten.

2. Grade school readiness
Most parents are enrolling their child in preschool in order to put them on the path to success in school. Academic preschool programs will offer a child the opportunities of constructed playtime and high quality education. Preschool teachers understand the ways young children grow and learn, and develop activities to help them thrive during the day.

3. It has long term effects
Putting your child in a quality preschool program will shape the outcome of their life. Shockingly, 60% of at-risk children were found to be more likely not to go to college if they didn’t get a quality preschool education, with 25% being more likely to drop out of high school if they didn’t attend preschool.

4. Promotes social and emotional development
In order to learn, it is necessary for a child to feel as if they are cared for in a secure environment with a teacher or caregiver. Developing a bond with a teacher will help a toddler build trusting relationships with adults outside of their family while helping to nurture warm relationships among teachers and parents.

Additionally, children thrive when there is consistency in care between home and school. In high quality preschools, teachers communicate with parents so they can keep a universal teaching style. As a parent, you can expect to receive daily reports on your child’s progress along with regular meetings to discuss values and goals for your child.

5. Children get to make choices
An important skill to learn before entering kindergarten is to learn how to appropriately choose activities that match the child’s interests. This will lead to a child feeling more responsible and confident in their decisions.

Your child can only benefit from attending preschool. Enroll them today!

What’s the Difference Between a Preschool and a Daycare?

academic preschool curriculumPreschool, daycare, what’s the difference? They are both just places to drop off your kid when you go to work, right? Wrong.

More and more parents are discovering the benefits of academic preschool, and how a strong academic preschool curriculum can set their children up for grade school readiness.

A daycare center is a place that provides supervision of young children when parents are busy or at work. The settings may look similar: a building with a playground, bright colored rooms with art supplies, toys, and cheerful music. The activities may even appear to be the same — drawing, coloring, dancing, building, singing — but the difference is in the purpose of these activities and the dedication of the supervising adults.

A teacher at a preschool is not a babysitter. The teacher’s primary role is to create a stimulating environment for the children in which they will be learning and cultivating important life skills. Oftentimes, this learning is conducted through play, but the games and academic preschool activities are designed to provide children with an experience that will foster personal growth.

By contrast, a daycare worker’s job is to ensure the children’s safety and keep them occupied while they wait for their parents’ to pick them up. Learning can certainly happen at a daycare facility, but it is not the purpose, and the daycare workers are not trained to educate, but rather to care-take.

As many as three-fourths of children in the United States attend an academic preschool program. The percentage of children between the ages of three and five enrolled in these programs increased from 59% to 65% Between 1990 and 2013. The number continues to grow today as studies have shown the positive effects an academic preschool curriculum has had on participating children.

One study showed that one-fourth of at-risk kids were more likely to drop out of high school if they did not get a quality preschool education. Furthermore, 70% of at-risk children were more likely to be arrested for committing a violent crime if they did not attend a quality preschool.

The academic preschool curriculum does not directly deter children from committing crimes or staying in school, but it does instill in them an interest in learning. When a child starts at a young age, she is more likely to understand the importance of education; when education is mixed with fun and play, she may develop of love of learning and even a love for school.

Learning How to Combat Summer Learning Loss

preschool education activitiesSummer learning loss — a phenomenon you may have heard of before. It’s not just a way to poke fun at how quickly kids forget everything they’ve learned once school is out — it’s a real, observed issue that occurs to millions of children every year.

Previous studies estimate that the average child forgets about 2.6 months of mathematics education and 2 months of reading. In fact, a percentage of the achievement gap in reading that occurs later in high school has been traced back to summer learning loss.

Why does this happen? The current school schedule is based on an outdated system. In the beginnings of the public school system, the majority of Americans were involved in agriculture. Today, few Americans work on farms — and yet the long break persists.

So how can you combat summer learning loss in 2016?

Enroll Your Child in Summer Learning
For younger children, taking an academic preschool curriculum over summer can help them prepare for the rigors of grade school. About 75% of kids in the U.S are currently enrolled in a preschool program, yet the summertime is often ignored. Getting children involved in grade school readiness during July and August allows for a more smooth and prepared transition into their first year of grade school.

Research All Your Local Options
According to a recent study by the Afterschool Alliance, many students and parents want summer learning programs — they just don’t always have access to them because of location or finances. Luckily, preschools often cater to a wide range of demographics, and about 45% of children living below the federal poverty level are currently enrolled in preschool. It’s easy to assume that no summer program will fit your family’s requirements, but in many cases, the right program is out there.

Things to Look for in a Preschool for the Summer
There’s a difference between daycare and preschool. Preschool focuses on grade school prep. Daycare, on the other hand, is essentially the same thing as babysitting. Look for preschool education activities that focus on encouraging scholastic growth. It’s worth noting that 60% of at-risk youth were found to be less likely to go to college if they didn’t receive a quality preschool experience.

Make Frequent Trips to the Library
Not everything you do to combat summer learning loss needs to be a massive undertaking; sometimes, it can be as simple as visiting your local library. Middle income students actually experience slight gains in reading over the summer compared to their peers — and this typically relates back to the ability to access books through a library or bookstore. Preschool education activities often include reading time.

Whether it’s preschool education activities like reading a new book, or attending a summer learning class, there are ways to cut down on the effects of summer learning loss.

The Long-Term Benefits of Enrolling At-Risk Youth in Preschool

preschoolAs one of the cornerstones of contemporary society, receiving a quality education is a priority for many parents and children alike. The benefits of receiving a quality education have been showcased for decades. However, little attention is brought to the benefits of starting young, especially for at-risk youth.

With 75% of young children through the country participating in academic preschool programs of some sort, many parents are getting their kids’ educational careers off on the right foot. Unfortunately, that number shrinks dramatically when turning the lens on impoverished families. Only 45% of children who live below the poverty level are enrolled in preschool.

Research shows that participating in a quality academic preschool curriculum gives at-risk youth a much better chance to continue their education long-term. A recent study found that 60% of at-risk youth — three in five — were more likely to avoid college if they didn’t receive a quality preschool education.

Aside from continuing their education, there are many short-term effects of enlisting your child in academic preschool activities. Here are just a few.

  1. Socialization: By spending time around other children and adult authority figures, children learn how to harmoniously interact with others. They also learn about conflict resolution, varying cultural differences, and social cues. Exposing your child to different people from a variety of backgrounds allows them the opportunity to become open-minded.
  2. Grade School Readiness: Preschool is designed to get a head-start on your child’s educational career. While many preschools choose to avoid the traditional sit-down and teach method that many kids encounter in elementary school, they are nonetheless exposing children to new knowledge they’ll absorb and retain. Preschool features a large level of exploration for young children, something that allows them to learn more about their interests and the world around them. Activities such as telling stories and singing nursery rhymes helps build language and pre-reading skills, all the while keeping a child interested and intrigued.
  3. Independence: A huge part of preschool is teaching kids how to be independent and think for themselves. For many youngsters, the first day of preschool can be their first day away from their parents. Though it can be daunting, it teaches children that to be more self-reliant. They will learn that it’s okay to be away from their parents and there are plenty of things outside of their comfort zone that are enjoyable.

If you have any questions about the benefits of preschool, feel free to share in the comments.