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Long have the discussions been about whether or not preschool is necessary. The fact that this is even a discussion is one of my pet peeves! A child develops and grows the most from birth to 3 years old and their brains are the spongiest for academic development between 3-5 years old! Personally, I believe it is possible to begin the teaching process before birth. A fetus can hear as early as 18 weeks! They are learning the sounds of the outside world. They can hear music! When I was pregnant with my youngest, the 2 middle children were learning the abc song, and we sang it daily!
When the federal government first established the Department of Education on May 4, 1980, we were top tier in academics! Sadly, we have fallen to 14th (out of 34) in Reading, 17th in Science and 25th in MATH the WORLD!! U.S. Falls in World Education Ranking
Last year, in the county where I live, 50% of the kids who started Kindergarten were unprepared for public school. By this I mean, they struggled with some of the simple exercises used to determine placement in the registration process. Many didn't even know how to HOLD a writing utensil let alone how to use them! I believe that if more of them had been enrolled in some type of early learning or preK program, their first few weeks of Kindergarten could have been so much easier! True, there still would have been some clingers, some criers, some behavior challenges. But on the whole, the transition would have been easier for the parents, the teachers and most importantly, the kids!
Perhaps the children weren't enrolled due to an affordability issue or they were uninformed about what programs were/are out there for families. The Head Start program is a wonderful preschool program set up to help a wide variety of children and families. National Head Start Association
I have worked with and had children enrolled in the Head Start Program in the past. I served on the local Policy Council (as Vice President for 2 years!) which is like a Parent-Teacher association. I also served as our programs WSA (Washington State Association) representative for 2 years. Needless to say, I believe in this program!
Preschool is NOT JUST about learning to count, learning the alphabet, or silly songs ;) In preschool, the foundation blocks for creating a positive, successful PERSON are laid. Children learn about schedules and routines. They learn how to be community members. That's right, preschool is one of the first community experiences that your child can have! Children learn how to eat in a public setting, how to work in groups. Socialization is just as important as the academic.
(Steps off the soapbox) ;)
Where do you stand on this issue?