I am a married Mom of 3: Boy (4 yo), Boy (2 yo) and Girl (11 mo old). I founded MomsOutLoud.com in 2008, which is now DFWMama.com. (Basically, I decided I liked Rachael and her team so well I wanted to join it!) Now I'm here, writing about what I know and love - raising kids in North Texas.

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The Preschool Decision: The importance of sending children to preschool

This article is the first in a series in which Moms Out Loud takes a look at all aspects of preschool. Upcoming articles include a look at Montessori preschool, an examination into traditional preschools, discussion about the choice not to send children to preschool, how to find the right preschool and other issues surrounding this important topic. Stay tuned!

The Preschool Decision Series

I loved preschool as a child. Years later, thousands of hours of education tucked under my belt and one master’s thesis written and defended; I still love preschool.

I loved climbing the large white wooden steps up to the gigantic glass door each morning.

I loved belonging to a group of my peers.

I loved creating sticky art projects, which I would proudly present to my parents.

I loved preschool.

Back in my days of early education, preschool was more of an activity rather than an academic exercise. Sure, basic concepts were taught and socialization occurred. However, most parents were not letting little Johnnie off morning after morning in hopes of enhancing his future. Mother usually needed a “day out” and preschool provided a safe and happy solution.

These days educators know a lot more about the benefits of a quality preschool program. They understand that the cutting and the pasting, the singing of the “ABC’s”, the romps around the playground are all shaping and stretching young minds in ways that provide a lifetime of benefits.

Although it sometimes carries a frivolous reputation, preschool is big business. Society is beginning to take notice that early education is doing more than simply introducing concepts and providing a place for peer interaction. Rather early education has been discovered to have a positive impact on the life of an individual.  The US Department of Education found that individuals who attended a quality preschool (“quality” being the key word) are more likely to graduate high school, more likely to have higher paying jobs and more likely to own their home. Parents know that early education does more than simply teach basic concepts; it gives children a jump on life.

Studies have shown that children who attend a quality preschool are ahead of their peers who did not attend preschool in math and reading skills upon entering kindergarten. They have learned self management skills, are able to follow a routine and understand how to adhere to social norms outside of the home. Children from low income areas who attend a quality preschool experience an even greater positive effect that extends into thei
r community. Crime rates are reduced, high school graduation rates are boosted and economic returns are generated for the community.

When faced with statistics telling of the positive benefits reaped through preschool attendance, parents are anxious to jump on board the early education train. However, such enthusiasm can quickly fade as parents realize that although the idea of preschool appears simple, the process of determining what type of preschool is best for one’s child can be tedious and mind-numbing.

Taking time to self-educate about the various types of founding principles which guide potential schools allows parents to make a well-informed decision that best suits the needs of their child and their family.

 

Lynley PhillipsDuring the time she is not sporting a feather boa and sipping tea with her little girl, Lynley Baker Phillips is a stay-at-home mommy and freelance writer. Her work can be found in various publications, at Examiner.com, and on her blog. Contact her at savethephillipsfamily@hotmail.com.

 

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Comments (1)

  1. Mary G 04/13/2010 at 4:42 am

    Interesting point of view. My children did not attend preschool and are fine 🙂 oldest is working on his Master's with honors. You hit the nail on the head with the statement that preschool is big business. Like all things we are told that we should want for our children, preschool is just that- a want. It is not -a need -for every child. Preschools will advertise to pull at our heartstrings, make us feel we are somehow neglecting by not allowing our children the benefit of that experience.
    The truth is- it is not needed by all children. And it can be a negative experience just as easily as a positive one, then harmful to a child's emotional development. A good parent can model to their child how to follow a daily routine and also how to behave in various public settings. The child through their parent's behaviors can see how to form natural friendships and have time to free play using their wonderful imaginations without the confines of a classroom setting. This article makes me sad for DFW 3-4 yr olds.