By Meriem Cherif
For children, the first five years of their life are the most formative stages of growth. Because of the rapid development experienced in cognitive, social, and motor skills, extra consideration must be taken to nurture them during this time. To most effectively promote social development, the answer is simple, and may be surprising to many: enroll your child in preschool.
According to Early Childhood Education Zone, over one hundred studies suggest that preschool benefits children in deep ways that persist into regular school years and beyond. The consistent interactions with teachers and peers alike cultivates the communication, problem solving, and playing skills of children, all of which contribute to milestone developments in their childhood. Preschool allows children to practice their independence in a nurturing environment, spending time away from parents that allows for the creation of relationships outside of family. Importantly, friendships with other children encourage the internalization of social norms, like taking turns, asking for permission, and telling the truth. In addition, the formation of friendships in preschool prompts the imagination of children, with initially trivial games like “make-believe” leading to the enrichment of a student’s social skills. As they step into new roles, like race-car driver or popstar, children emulate behaviors they perceive in media and real life, which helps them understand the environment around them and their place in the world. The structure of preschool allows for these skills to develop in a caring environment, optimizing the growth of your child.
Another vital benefit of preschool comes from the role of teachers, who help promote children’s social skills in an academic environment. Attending preschool helps a child discern the differences in their behavior towards friends, family, and teachers. They discover the importance of cause and effect; if they do not pay attention to the teacher, then they will not understand the directions for an upcoming activity. Moreover, teachers prepare preschoolers for kindergarten and beyond, confronting them with thought-provoking questions that require critical thinking, and training them to focus and put a pause on playtime.
Enrolling your child in preschool is a far-reaching way to nurture every component of your child’s development. There are many affordable options for preschool, and community-based initiatives make preschool an opportunity for every child.
Check out Bamrec Preschool for a program that emphasizes Arabic learning, Islamic values, and the development of your child—we’re waiving the ($75) application fee for the first five families!