Everyone wants what is best for their child, and getting ahead in their education is a big part of many parent’s goals. If your child is already familiar with their numbers and letters, adjusting to kindergarten will be much easier.
Early learning is more than just the educational aspect of things. Children also learn how to behave in social settings, including other students and listening to teachers. Studies show that children who have the best social skills in kindergarten are more likely to grow up to be a successful adult.
Although the academic advantage children have from early learning often fade by kindergarten, many benefits of early education stick around for decades. Children who participate in early learning are more likely to attend college, and less likely to need public assistance.
What kids learn in early learning environments
Much of a child’s critical brain development happens before kindergarten. It’s an important time for learning. A child that falls in love with learning at this age will carry with them a lifetime of benefits. A person who loves to study is more likely to be successful even when things get difficult.
Learning social skills such as how to take turns, noticing when other people are feeling sad and reacting appropriately, and listening to teachers are all critical skills that will be used the rest of their lives.
Early education is more than just a time for learning social skills and how to love learning itself, it’s also a foundation for kindergarten.
Kids learn how to solve problems in early learning, from putting together a puzzle by themselves, to figuring out what colors to mix to make a new color to paint with. Kids in early learning may also benefit in terms of vocabulary, as they produce longer sentences to try and describe what they want to teachers.
What to look for in early education
A great teacher can make all the difference in your child’s success. It’s worth spending time looking for the right teacher who will help your child grow. Important aspects of a great teacher include patience, a passion for teaching, and a spark of creativity.
Another key thing to look for is how they model behaviors such as acceptance of others, and how much energy they have—after all, they’ll be with small children all day long. The ideal teacher will still have some energy left after a busy day of helping young children grow their minds.
Just as there are wonderful places for children to learn, there are also red flags to look out for. Avoid any early learning center where teachers are comfortable yelling at students or shaming them. Teachers should also be aware of children’s current intellectual abilities. A teacher who expects a 3 year old to sit quiet and still for 45+ minutes, or that attempts to drill them with flashcards, is pushing those children too hard.
Always view an early education center first before enrolling your child. It’s important to see for yourself what kind of educational center it is, and what they have to offer for your child.