Preschool is necessary for starting your child on a path to success.
Little or no evidence exists of preschool education being harmful; while numerous studies have stated that it is either helpful or quite advantageous. Therefore, if you are able to, sending your kids to pre-school school is a no-brainer. Getting kids into a preschool curriculum pays dividends for years to come.
We do not have a standardized preschool program throughout the United States. However, preschool curriculum is based on the skills required in elementary school.
In its most basic form, preschool is a way to practice going to primary school akin to rehearsing a dance before performing in front of an audience. And it makes sense, if your kids are going to study for 12 to 16 years, then why not prepare them for such an undertaking first?
Consider The Teachers
Another consideration is the impact on teachers. Even though it is obvious, it should still be said that teachers who are teaching kids that completed preschool have an easier assignment than those teaching kids without any preschool experience. We have teachers who are overworked and underpaid.
Now imagine a kindergarten teacher, first day of school, facing two groups of children. One group has no idea what to do, what to expect, and how to act in a classroom setting, while the other group attended preschool and learned about:
- Asking questions
- Providing answers
- Following rules
- Sticking to schedule
- Adjusting behavior according to the environment
- Reading, writing, drawing
- Singing, playing with others, socializing, among many other skills and competencies
Poor areas lack the funding for proper facilities, top-notch teachers, and often have too many students. How can teachers excel in those conditions? There’s only so far passion can push anyone’s performance when overworked and lacking resources. These areas often have a high percentage of kids who did not attend preschool. These schools and students are playing catch up from day one. This is a significant disadvantage.
Experience Is Essential
Sending your kids to elementary school prepared means they will require less attention since they already learned the necessary skills and most problems have already been ironed out. But if the child did not receive any preschool education, then it will be up to the teacher to spend the additional time to correct any academic or behavioral problems. If you are lucky, you will end up with a teacher that is capable of addressing these issues, but what if you are not?
If you are not lucky then you’ll have a stressed child with academic issues from the get-go. We are talking about a six year old child who just experienced a sudden environmental change and is sharing the attention of one teacher with 20 or more children.
If you are lucky, you will have a teacher that will work with your kid as much as possible and that point it is just a matter of catching up with everyone else.
A child that goes to preschool typically performs better overall since that child would have either a 1 or 3 year advantage over others. That’s at least 1 year of finding out a child’s overall academic behavior and having that period to buffer out any kinks that will lead to a harder time in elementary school.
Preschool Kids Are Prepared And Perform Better
It’s easy enough to recommend preschool, there’s just no logical reasoning to skip it, but there’s a lot of reasons why preschool is so important. While the debate rages on what exactly the long-term effects of preschool are, we do know that it produces positive outcomes.
Multiple scientific studies show that kids test and perform better if they go to pre-primary school. In addition, there is also a mental advantage to preschool. After all, how important is it in the long run if your child scores a little higher on math during first or second grade?
A child that receives good grades gets praised for doing better and is more likely to stick to that behavior. Now in 1st grade math that might not be too important, but that opens up a path to a brighter future for a child. The significance here is that this could apply to different activities. If a child wins more in a game then they’ll have a positive experience and feel encouraged to keep performing and apply themselves to get better.
Kids Who Did Not Attend Preschool Are Playing Catch Up
Now on the other side a child who never went to preschool will be playing catch-up. Imagine trying to match someone who has 3 years of experience under their belt. Kids that went to preschool are 1 to 3 years ahead and receiving encouragement from their teachers because they are excelling. On the other hand, kids who did not attend preschool are mainly receiving encouragement to keep up. This is a significant paradigm.
- “Little to no evidence of pre-primary education being harmful” Harmful Effects of Academic Early Education? A Look at the Claims and the Evidence 1. J. Stockard 2015.
- “Numerous ones stating that it is either helpful or quite advantageous” Long-Term Impacts of Pre-K Education on Childhood. Educational, Social, and Behavioral Development. Alsobaie 2015.
- The Effect of Pre-primary Education on Primary School Performance. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/222011848_The_Effect_of_Pre-primary_Education_on_Primary_School_Performance
Gutaa, Tarekegne, Tegegne 2017
- Pre-Primary Education: Its Impact on Academic Achievement of the Learners Learning at an Elementary Stage. https://researchleap.com/pre-primary-education-impact-academic-achievement-learners-learning-elementary-stage/
- A Study to Determine the Effects of Pre-Kindergarten on Kindergarten Readiness And Achievement in Mathematics. Perry 1999.
- The Effect of Pre-School Education to Students’ Learning Experience in First Cycle Primary School. International Journal of Sciences: Basic and Applied Research. Gutaa, Tarekegneb, Tegegne 2020.
- A Multicomponent, Preschool to Third Grade Preventive Intervention and Educational Attainment at 35 Years of Age. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamapediatrics/fullarticle/2668645. Arthur J. Reynolds, PhD1; Suh-Ruu Ou, PhD1; Judy A. Temple, PhD2
- Abecedarian Project. https://evidencebasedprograms.org/programs/abecedarian-project/
- Teachers lacking resources. Chicago schools shut down as the country’s third largest school district braces for a teacher’s strike. https://www.businessinsider.com/american-teacher-shortage-underpaid-overworked-teacher-strike
- ‘I Work 3 Jobs And Donate Blood Plasma to Pay the Bills.’ This Is What It’s Like to Be a Teacher in America. https://time.com/longform/teaching-in-america
- International Survey: U.S. Teachers Are Overworked, Feel Underappreciated. https://www.usnews.com/news/education-news/articles/2019-06-19/international-survey-us-teachers-are-overworked-feel-underappreciated
- Results of encouragement on development. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170329102508.htm. University of Cambridge, 2017
- Does Teacher Encouragement Influence Students’ Educational Progress? A Propensity-Score Matching Analysis. Benjamin Alcott 2017.