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Kids are such little sponges at that age, soaking in everything you try to teach them. We should try to get them to absorb as much as possible while they are little.
While trying to decide which elementary school to send my child to, I visited quite a number of different schools, both public and private. One school I visited, a school with a good reputation and one known to focus on the basics, the three R's, the principal stated quite emphatically that if your child was not currently in preschool, that child was not ready for that school. Wow, already behind the curve while applying for kindergarden.
I agree with grammaddy, they will soak up as much as you give them. Preschool is a great investment, one that will pay dividends for years to come.
another person who thinks teachers are babysitters and are overpaid and loaf around all summer and winter vacation. for many kids, especially from deprived/chaotic family situations (read no cognitive enrichment available, probably poor nutrition and medical care, minimal and ever-changing adult caretakers), preschool is ESSENTIAL to helping these disadvantaged kids keep their heads above water when Kindergarten starts. often more advantaged kids are already receiving these kinds of opportunities in their homes and other environments, so it's perhaps not as important, although socialization is important for all.
If we had parents who would take the time to teach their children while they are toddlers, there would be absolutely no need for preschool. Unfortunately that is not the case for the most part. Parents are to interested in themselves and their personal lives and fun to take the time to teach the children through interaction...
JUST MY OPINION!
I was in pre-school for 2 years and I was in daycare from when I was 2 and it had nothing to do with my parents being self-interested in their personal lives. It was because they needed to work so they could provide for their family. I'm a huge supporter and advocate for pre-school. It allows for a gradual change in a child's life in preparation for attending school. The child starts to get into the routine and structure of being in school before they are in kindergarten. My older sister never went to preschool (partly because my mom is an immigrant and didn't know that preschool existed until it was time for me to start going) and she had a lot of problems in her early years of school. Whereas I was already in the routine of going to school by the time I was in kindergarten and excelled in my classes. My sister turned out fine and her struggles in her first couple of years didn't hinder her academic progress at all and she graduated with honors and completed her BA in 3 1/2 years. I too graduated with honors and completed my BA in 3 1/2 years. I just think it helps the child ease into schooling.
Sending kids barely past toddler stage to pre-schools before enrolling them in Kindergarten is more important now than ever before. The way Governor Brownback and conservative Republican legislators are cutting public education funding, our very youngest kids need all the early education they can get since, academics-wise, the 6th Grade could soon end up being their senior year.
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