“The prime purpose of being four is to enjoy being four. Of secondary importance is to prepare for being five.” – Jim Trelease
At a recent social gathering, a friend asked how school was going for the boys. In particular, she wanted to know things were for my little son in preschool.
“Which preschool is your son going to?”- Friend
“My friend owns a preschool out in Lakeside. That’s where he goes. He loves it.” – Me
“What? Lakeside. That is a half hour drive from here. Why aren’t you sending him to a school closer. For goodness sake, it’s just preschool.” – Friend
I do not make quick parenting decisions. I take a lot of time to gather information, review and then make a choice. Choosing my son’s preschool took time. The director and teacher’s responsiveness and sensitivity to the children, is why I chose the school.
I am good at selecting good schools for my boys. As a former preschool director, I know what a quality school program looks like. The schools they have attended have been excellent. I am willing, very willing, to drive the distance for a school that is high quality.
Children benefit from a high quality, preschool program. Attending preschool has been linked to better memory and social skills. Preschool can encourage development with language, social/emotional skills and fine/gross motor movement. Children are introduced to math and reading. The academic edge for children attending a quality program can last for years.
Preschool is one of the rare school experiences that focuses on the whole child. It looks at the child’s social, emotional, and intellectual needs. It also takes into account a child’s health, nutrition, creativity and culture.
In a preschool setting teachers plan and create interesting learning activities that are play-based. A child learns social group skills in a baking activity or develops fine motor skills by painting on an easel. Learning is the side effect of having fun.
Parents benefit from having their child attend preschool. They are in contact with knowledgeable, professionals who can help with child concerns. My middle son’s preschool teacher was able to identify developmental issues, I was unaware of. She assisted me by providing support resources, prior to him attending elementary school.
Preschool is not babysitting. It also is not elementary school. It a rare school experience that should be valued and respected for what it offers. Preschool creates joy for learning. It knows the value of play. But most of all, it the most fun a child will have in their school career. Who wouldn’t want their child to be part of that?
I drive my son a long way to preschool because I have found a place for him to flourish. To me, that is worth the drive.