If you are thinking of keeping your child at home until he or she starts kindergarten, you may want to reconsider. Studies show that children who attend pre-k are more ready for kindergarten than kids who are taught at home by a parent. The national Early Childhood Longitudinal Study indicates that kids who attend pre-k have higher test scores in reading and math than kids who only receive parental care before kindergarten. Pre-k students even outscore children who attend other types of preschool programs or child care centers. In addition to higher test scores, here are two more reasons to send your child to pre-k.
Parental training can be inconsistent.
Regardless of your good intentions, chances are that teaching your child about his or her letters and numbers is not your only responsibility during the day. Even if you stay at home full-time, you may be inundated with other work, such as cleaning the house, paying bills and caring for your other children. At times, your child's education will likely take a backseat to another household priority. With pre-k, there are trained teachers who systematically focus on preparing your child for kindergarten each day.
Your child can get used to school.
For a child who has never attended a daycare or preschool, kindergarten can be a frightening change. It takes some children weeks to adjust to being away from a parent for a full day. There is usually no transitional step with kindergarten. A child who has never attended any type of school may go from only spending time at home to spending seven hours a day at kindergarten.
Pre-k allows a child to gradually transition to full-time school. Many pre-k programs are tailored to the needs of the child and permit varying amounts of time at school. For instance, a pre-k program may offer full-day, half-day, and partial-week programs.
Full-day programs may work well for children who have spent time in a daycare environment or who have parents who work outside the home. However, for children who have never been enrolled in a daycare or who have parents who work from home, half-day or partial-week pre-k programs may be more suitable. Once the child has been adequately introduced to the concept of school, he or she will be more prepared to spend a full day at kindergarten.
If your child has spent most of his or her time at home, pre-k counts as a transitional step to allow the child to acclimate to school. Contact a local pre-k today to start preparing your youngster for kindergarten.