For many parents like myself, it is a struggle to decide when they should enrol their kids into preschool.
Some parents do not have a choice on this matter because both parents are working and cannot get a nanny to watch over their kids. Others may not have the funds to enrol their kids to nursery. A few may consider homeschooling their kid even if one parent is at home.
When a child is enrolled in a preschool, they would learn a lot of things which would benefit them as they grow older. One key pulling factor that is on all the parents’ minds is to create an environment where their children pick up life skills and socialization.
To help you decide on whether you should get your child enrolled to preschool, here are the things you should consider:
Kids are notorious for being picky eaters, especially when it comes to fruits and vegetables. They may also refuse to eat certain types of food when they are not at home. If they don’t want what is served to them, they may throw a tantrum outright until they get the meals they want.
Being in preschool, the kids of similar age share a bond during mealtimes. It cultivates good eating habits as they mirror each other. Good eating habits will prevent your child from being picky eaters and learn good table manners such as finishing your food or no talking when your mouth is full.
While at home, you can try to be strict during mealtimes, it is hard to carry through when the parent is not eating with the child together or when mealtimes are erratic due to different family members’ schedules.
You might even end up serving a different kind of meal between your child and your own since your child’s diet shouldn’t consist of anything too oily, too salty and too spicy.
Manners and ‘Good’ Behaviour
When your child is in a classroom, teachers can help them learn manners and right conduct. They guide kids on how to do things which they can do at home, like cleaning their toys or dressing up properly. They would also teach your kids basic arithmetic, science and language, which they will need once they enter primary school.
But, teachers often have different styles when it comes to teaching kids how to behave. Some parents may find certain teaching styles too strict or too controlling which may traumatize the child. Others may see certain teaching styles to be lacking and may hamper your child’s development.
When checking out a preschool, watch a session to see how the teachers work with the kids. You can also ask questions from the teacher if you have any inquiries about their classes. If your child has special needs, you can ask the preschool what their programs are for kids with special needs.
For some kids, it is difficult to mingle with other kids because they are not used to playing with them. Some kids are used to being in adult company and being the centre of attention. They may be an only child or that is the environment they grew up in. Other kids may prefer playing on their own because of their independent or shy nature.
If they are enrolled in school, it is possible that the child will be unable to enjoy playing and cope with not being the centre of attention. Games played in school are often group-based so your child may be pressed to play even if they don’t want to.
If you do not want to enrol your child to preschool, you can opt to sign them up for playgroups or just bring them to parks or playgrounds. These areas can still help your child meet with their peers and mingle with them. This will also give you more control over the amount of time they get to socialise and you can decide to take your child away if there is too much stimulation.
If you opt to keep your child at home, you can select the people they meet and befriend. You can arrange playdates with your neighbors or pick the playgrounds they go to. You can also pick the activities they can do outside your home.
If you decide to enrol them to school, you have no control with regards to the kids your child meets and plays with. Kids in preschools come from different backgrounds and have different personalities. Some of these kids may become your child’s friend, while others may become your child’s bullies (or maybe even victims!)
Your kid may also find themselves hooked to things you do not want them to learn about until they are older. For example, your child may end up getting hooked on cartoons because their peers in school often talk about it. Even if you do not let them watch these shows at home, your child may press on for them so they can relate with their peers.
Your child’s eating habits may also be affected when they are in school. Some parents tend to hold small parties at the school and bring the food they would eat. Even if your child refuses the birthday cake given to them, they may be influenced to try them because their friends are eating the cake without complaints and with much relish.
Which Will You Choose?
Preschool is an important part of our child’s life because it is their first foray to the outside world on their own. It is where they can meet with their fellow kids, mingle with them and learn basic life skills they need as they grow older.
Of course, there are some downsides to enrolling kids into preschool which us parents do not want them to experience.
As parents, it is important for us to consider all the pros and cons before deciding on whether its time to enrol our kids to preschool or not. Do your research on the preschools where your child can enrol into and see if whether these schools are perfect for your child’s needs. Check your budget if you can enrol them and see what alternatives are available.
You must also consider if your child is ready for it. If they are too young, wait until your child is old enough (or ready) before you enrol them to preschool.
If you are considering homeschooling your child, we have some tips for you: