Some parents view preschool as an unnecessary bonus – a trivial head start. They could not be further from the truth. Not only is preschool important, it is possibly more important than any other grade from elementary school to college, for the simple reason that it is the child’s first exposure to structured learning.
First impressions are deep and lasting. The young child who walks into a classroom unprepared finds himself lagging behind other students and wrongfully imagines that he is less capable, intellectually inferior. To his knowledge, he has received the same instruction that the other students have, but it is taking him longer to make sense of the lessons. So, he concludes that he must not be as smart and his enthusiasm for school evaporates. Of course, the children who enter school prepared – or even ahead – have just the opposite experience. School is coming so naturally to them while their peers seem to be struggling, they imagine that they are highly capable and their enthusiasm to learn new things grows.
Most Important Reason for Preschool
Now, there is another reason why preschool is so important, and it has to do with the age of the preschooler. The first five years are special – their potential is wonderful. Most experts agree that there is something extraordinary about a young child’s ability to learn and absorb almost anything taught. Think about it; within just a few years of coming into the world, toddlers teach themselves to fluently speak a completely foreign language. They do so without the aid of schools, teachers and textbooks.
Using our Christian Preschool Curriculum, I have taught children as young as 2 years old to read! And those children were no more gifted than other children. Or, I should say, those children were extremely gifted – like all children! Yes, those first five years are magical and should not be wasted.