What Should Be Included in Preschool Learning

Your child is about to embark on a journey that will set the groundwork for the rest of his or her life. Preschool learning is very important. With your help and guidance, it will be an amazing, wonderful and successful growth period full of fond memories. You have the opportunity to contribute to the emotional, physical and social evolution of your little one. Keep a daily journal of the skills learned, review it in a couple months and be astonished at how smart your kid really is. The following milestones may seem simple and are often taken for granted by adults, but this is the beginning of great achievements to come. Take note of the tips showing how you can help and keep your child engaged at home too.

Preschool Learning

1. Literacy

Learning to read and write begins with recognizing letters and the associated sounds. Kids will first learn the uppercase letters and a few of the sounds; gradually, some lower case letters will be included. They should also be able to recognize and write their own name and maybe even the name of mom or dad.

How you can help

Get some letters—they can be foam or magnetic or even cardboard ones. You can sing the alphabet together and put down each letter as you sing; with repetition, it will sink in.

Reinforcing those skills can be easily included during everyday activities, and soon your child will look at each word differently. Take their favorite drink or box of cereal, teach them the sound of the first two or three letters, and ask them to say it for you. When you go to a store or restaurant, make them aware of the name and write it down so that they can visualize it.

Read to them every day. Their attention span is short, so it only takes a few minutes; and it's one of the most impactful things you can do for their learning process. Try to involve them in the story, substitute their name for the main character, or ask them questions about what you have read. Ask them to find an object on the book's page and praise them for their efforts, not just their success.

2. Numeracy

Learning the numbers 0 to 9 is a paramount step in forming their confidence in math. First, they have to be able to identify the actual shape and sequence of the numbers, and then the correlation between numbers and counting can be integrated. Eventually, they will realize the relationship between counting and quantity. This will use the skill of memorization too.

How you can help

Use their favorite objects to inspire them to count—gather several of their books and ask them to count them. Toes are always fun to count, especially if it ends up with a tickle or two. If you walk up stairs, ask them to count each step with you. Give them snack foods, like raisins, in an increasing number each day and ask them to count how many they have. Soon they will be counting everything in sight.

3. Colors and Shapes

One of the most fun activities they will have is learning colors and shapes, which always attract their attention.

How you can help

You can make a game out of anything; it makes learning fun and it's a great way for you to reinforce what they are studying at school. You can use their clothes to relate to color, asking them to pick out the red shirt or go get the blue shoes. You can use utensils like forks and spoons for different shapes and see if they can find the square or triangle shape in a picture in a coloring book. Don't forget to praise them. Even if they make a mistake, you can just say, "You almost got it," and then show them the correct answer.

4. Science Concepts

Kids can use their skill of observation and are able to describe what they see.

How you can help

Get their little brains in stirring. Looking at trees or bugs offers a great deal of things to ask them about. How tall is the tree? What colors are the leaves? How many legs does that bug have? Where do you think he lives? You could have them describe the rain or even draw a picture of it. Give them a magnifying glass and show them how different everything looks, and then let them go to town exploring the world around them.

Observing is easy to assess. Ask them to look at something and see how many things they can point out correctly; then show them a few they may have overlooked.

5. Motor Skills

Fine motor skills are so important.Learning to control a pair of childproof scissors, crayons or a fork is a huge step forward. Kids need to have this task fairly well mastered before they enter kindergarten. Hand-eye coordination is the key to moving forward.

How you can help

Using larger sized crayons and chalk has proven to help kids control them. Once again, something fun, like drawing or painting, motivates them to participate; don’t make it a chore. Have them do something to increase the strength in their hands, like kneading bread or just playing with the dough. Setting up an art area is often intriguing to kids, like their own blackboard.

6. Social Skills

Social skills consist of a lot more than just getting along with others. Children will learn how to communicate when something is wrong or when they need something. Sharing is a basic tool everyone needs to have throughout life and definitely before you start kindergarten! This goes right along with following simple rules, taking turns, and working with groups.

How you can help

It all starts with you. Arrange and observe social interaction with other kids at every opportunity. Lay down some simple rules for home and include sharing, taking turns, and talking about the day even if it's just with family members. Making their own beds (not perfectly), cleaning up after themselves, and putting their dirty clothes in the right place are a few ideas to get you started. Ask them what they do today and what they like best. Just get them to share their ideas or thoughts, and don’t forget the "please" and "thank you" parts when you address being polite.

7. Other Things About Preschool Learning

  • Problem solving skills. If they are hungry, they ask for food; if they are reading a book and the pages don't stay open, they put something on them to hold the page in place.
  • Taking orders. Ask them to write down their name, your name, and your phone number. Give them two different tasks in one sentence. For instance, change your shirt and bring me the comb.
  • Logically thinking is teaching them to classify objects. Take 2 green apples, 3 red apples, and 4 oranges, mix them up in a basket and have kids put them in order. You can get teaching aids with numbers, letters, or patterns on them and have them put the same ones together. Show them how to do it a few times first, and then see what they can do on their own.
  • Solving simple puzzles. Get a large puzzle and show them how to put it together; then break it apart and ask them to help you fix it. Kids love to help.
  • Recognizing differences in the features of people. When you are around other kids, ask your child if he is older or younger and see if he can tell the difference in a baby versus a child.
  • Creativity. Pretending is a great teaching tool. Ask them to pretend to be the parent and you be the child. Play along with them and allow the creativity to flow.

The following video offers more insight into the developmental milestones in preschool:

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