The preschool educational stage is a fun and exciting time for parents and kids alike. Of course, it would be unreasonable to put too much pressure on a preschool child - now is not the time for him to become an overnight whiz kid in math, but it's an excellent opportunity for you to encourage later academic and intellectual growth through organizing preschool activities and games. If you decide you want to send your child to preschool, you may also need some help in choosing the right one for him.
Whether you're taking on your child's preschool education as your own responsibility, or whether you're providing back-up at home to the work his preschool teachers are doing, you'll need to know more about preschool activities. Remember that a lot of preschool learning is achieved through play, in a fun, safe and positive atmosphere. Don't be surprised if modern preschool lesson plans don't seem to contain any obvious learning element - songs and preschool games are an important part of this stage of child development.
Preschool online resources for kids, teachers and parents are plentiful. Whether you're looking for preschool songs, games or even preschool worksheets, a quick internet search will soon produce what you're looking for. Preschool websites for kids often contain moving images, music and sounds, and can be a great way to introduce your preschooler to the world of information technology - an important skill he's definitely going to need in later life.
So why should you sing with your preschool child? Well, studies have found that listening to music and song helps children develop language and reading skills. Think about it - how many first graders learn to read using the Alphabet Song? It also teaches them to express themselves freely and take enjoyment in music, and (depending on the songs you sing together) teaches children about their family traditions and cultural background. If you're like many parents, you may not have sung a note since you yourself left kindergarten - if so, why not check out the many preschool websites on the net that provide not only lyrics but also sounds of preschool songs.
There are tons of preschool online games that teach your child coordination and basic problem solving skills - if, you don't like the idea of sitting your kids down in front of the computer for too long, research the net yourself for some ideas for active preschool games in the garden or in your living room. Games can be very simple story telling activities, requiring almost no special resources, or more complicated craft or even cooking activities. If imagination isn't your strong point, there's still no way you could fail to be inspired by some of the ideas you'll find in cyberspace.
Preschool Lesson Plans
Preschool lesson plans are available to download or simply to view on a wealth of sites online. Although many of these plans are primarily directed at teachers and are more suitable for classes of several preschoolers, there's no reason why they can't be adapted for use at home with just one child. Lesson plans sometimes come with preschool worksheets that you can print out and work on with your child. These sheets combine math and literacy activities with art and coloring, ensuring that your child is learning and having fun at the same time.
Find A Preschool
Sending your child to preschool outside the home allows him to socialize with other children of his own age and to learn to cope with situations in which he's not constantly the center of adult attention. These are very important learning experiences that will benefit him in elementary school. But how do you find a preschool that's right for your child and for you?
First, you should decide on your own priorities. Is distance from your home a deciding factor for you? Or do you want to have certain activities on the learning curriculum? Once you've thought about this, you should find out which are the licensed and accredited preschools near you. Talk to other parents, look in the phone book and consult national databases which are available online (try the homepage of the National Association for the Education of Young Children).
When you have a few candidate schools, visit during lesson hours, talk to the teachers and check how many pupils there are in each class. Look for a warm, safe and clean learning environment, and don't be afraid to enquire about staff turnover. Preschool kids need consistency!