Language, Learning, Pre-School
Pre-school provides a significant learning experience to young children. They generally offer early childhood education for children three to five years old, a the time when children are attaining critical developmental milestones. Parents who want to expand their child’s speech and language exposure are right to consider school as a way to do this.
Every pre-school is different. The best opportunities for language development are at pre-schools where learning is acquired through a variety of ways. Music, play, language arts, and exploration of the environment incite thinking skills. These are also natural ways to develop vocabulary, which is the cornerstone of language.
When choosing a learning environment, or re-considering the one you’re with now, look into how learning is occurring. I have gone through the process of looking for pre-schools and childcare centers, and I want parents and caregivers to consider some things that would have helped me.
On a tour of a facility, a director or owner often talks about exposing children to reading and math basics. Avoid being impressed by what “is being taught” and ask about how the children are learning. Often due to low staffing and minimal investment, some childhood centers or pre-schools do not provide interactive, layered, and enriched learning opportunities. In places like this, children are typically confined to a room of limited space or sections. Movement is discouraged, often. Sadly, at places like these, children are sitting at desks and tables, except for a little bit of “circle time” on the floor. They have all of their interactions with the same one or two teachers everyday, all day.
True learning and enrichment stimulates thinking and language skills that rocket children toward developmental milestones and beyond. As parents, educators, health professionals, loved-ones, and caregivers we must expect the best in early childhood education. So this is why I loved the T-Shirt we wore during the Montclair African-American Day Parade this past weekend.
Here are two of the signs that I liked from “10 Signs of a Great Pre-school”: “Your child explores and creates everyday” and “Affordable-Excepting all families regardless of ability to pay.”
What do you think are signs of a great pre-school?”