A child’s time in preschool is important. Usually entering preschool between the ages of 3 to 6, they are at the age where they are learning extremely fast, absorbing knowledge and picking up lessons from experiences around them.
Academic studies such as science, math, and languages are slowly making sense to them. They will begin to repeat words, actions, and ask questions.
It’s a good sign when they start wanting to make more friends and looking forward to understanding the world around them.
Your child will spend at least two years in a preschool. It is during these years that they will pick up essential skills that they will carry for the rest of their lives.
But what do preschool teachers teach at kindergarten? Here are the skill sets your child should have upon completing preschool.
1. Motor Skills
At the age of 3, your child can already walk, run, jump, and more. But they don’t have a lot of opportunities to work on their fine motor skills.
At preschool, teachers will conduct activities like drawing, coloring, writing, building blocks, and so on to work on your child’s fine motor skills.
Through these activities, your child will learn how to hold a pencil correctly and how to write words. This usually extends to exposing them to use crayons and chalks as well. It’s through these activities that children begin to exhibit whether they are more inclined to use their right hand or left hand.
In addition to that, craft activities will teach them how to safely work with scissors. They will also use their hands to explore playdoughs, building blocks, puzzles, and more.
Lastly, outdoor activities like climbing or kicking a ball help with fine-tuning motor skills on the lower half of the body.
While these activities may seem natural for you as an adult, they play a big role in preparing your child for complex tasks in the future.
2. Social & Communication Skills
An important aspect of going to preschool or kindergarten is that it exposes your child to their first classroom environment with other children.
By the time your child finishes preschool, they would have built up social skills like learning to make friends, communicating with their peers and compromising with each other.
Working in teams and groups will let your child learn how to share and help each other. Typically, they learn the right way to ask questions, favours, or how to make requests to borrow items.
This could be simple communication skills such as saying ‘please’ when making a request and saying ‘thank you’ when they receive something.
You can also ensure that these skill sets are ingrained in them by practising them at home too.
This not only teaches your child social skills, but it also helps them gain more confidence to speak and further develops their communication skills.
Besides engaging with their classmates, going to preschool also means your child learns to communicate with their teachers and generally people older than themselves.
3. Emotional Development
Emotional development is something that comes along as your child picks up social and communication skills.
When your child starts making friends and communicating, they also start understanding the feelings of others.
For example, if a classmate is crying, your child will learn to reach out to the teacher to attend to it immediately. And if your child accidentally hurts someone, they know that they should apologize.
Through this, they learn how to react to different emotions and figure out what needs to be done.
In preschool, teachers will also help your child understand themselves and guide them through how they feel in different situations. Through that, they start understanding the different emotions they feel when they are happy, sad, angry, and so on.
For example, they will be able to say “I feel happy when I eat ice cream”, or “She is sad because she didn’t get to play”.
At the end of preschool, your child should be able to communicate their feelings and react to feelings of people around them, like parents or siblings.
4. Increased Attention Span
As a parent of a preschooler in Malaysia, you probably realize that they have very short attention spans.
It is difficult for preschoolers to pay attention to the same person or stay engaged in the same activity. But upon completing preschool, your child should have an increased attention span and is able to stay more focused.
This is because, besides having a more developed brain as they grow-up, being in a classroom also teaches them to adapt to a structured environment.
Your child will learn that they need to pay attention to their teacher or towards the activities that they are participating in.
Preschool activities also nurture your child’s attention span and focus through sensory activities like completing a puzzle.
5. Organisational Skills
Another skill that your child will have upon completing preschool is organisational skills.
In preschools, your child’s organisation skills will be nurtured through simple tasks like sorting photos, following simple instructions during playtime, and learning how to place things back into their respective labelled boxes.
Your child will also be given designated places to keep their bags, jackets, water bottles, and books. This will help them learn that there’s a place for everything.
As a parent, you can do a few things to further develop this skill at home. For example, when your child returns from school, you can teach them that their shoes should go onto a rack, their bags go on a shelf, and that their clothes go into the laundry basket.
You can also come up with a simple checklist like “3 things to do before bedtime” or “things to pack for school”. Creating and following lists together can help with your child’s ability to organize and follow a structure.
6. Literacy Development
By the age of three, your child should be able to read and write simple words. Something that you may begin to find is that they will begin to string three or four-word sentences together at home.
This is usually because of the reading and writing sessions carried out at preschool, which is designed to help them with their literacy. This is also where the Q-dees’ Link & Think methodology excels in.
Children can pick up literacy skill sets easily by combining their logical and creative mind.
Your child will not only be able to recognize familiar words, but also expand their vocabulary and learn new words to use in conversations.
To help them develop further literacy skill sets, encourage and challenge them to include new and complex words into their sentences when you speak with them.
What should you expect by the end of their preschool years?
7. Early Math Skills
By the time your child finishes preschool, they should have a good grasp of numbers and be able to make simple additions and subtractions.
Generally, you will find that a child at the age of three can count from one to ten. They are able to recognize some single-digit numbers.
After completing preschool, you will find that your child can recognize double-digit numbers and count up to 20.
What’s more important is that they should be able to apply mathematics to everyday life, such as counting candies before they eat, counting toys and blocks, or counting how many friends they have.
Teachers at preschool will guide them to understand calculations using simple, real-life examples like, “I have four cookies. I’ll give you two. How many do I have now?”
With that, your child should also be able to think logically and make comparisons, such as who has more or fewer cookies?
At Q-dees, we use our specially designed Q-dees Mathsboard to help our students visualize numbers with its symbols.
In this way, our students will not only memorize the numbers but will be able to grasp the meaning behind these abstract concepts.
Preschoolers are naturally creative and their imagination is boundless. They love playing games, experimenting, and simply exploring the world around them. It’s important to make sure that they do not lose this.
In preschool, your child will be exposed to activities that will further develop your child’s creativity and imagination. Some activities they would be exposed to at preschool are like music, dance, acting, role-playing, painting and crafts.
These activities are tailored to nurture your child’s overactive imagination and help them channel it towards other areas.
By the time your child completes preschool, you will find that your children are able to use creativity to solve problems, make predictions, and so on. This can also help boost their confidence and take charge during conflicts among siblings or friends.
What can parents do at home to further develop these skills?
Honing your child’s skills does not depend entirely on their preschool. It’s recommended that you practice it at home too.
Here are some things that parents can do to make sure that learning continues beyond the classroom.
- Have an allocated time every day for reading and telling stories with your child. This can help your child practise what they have read in school and remember new words that they learn. Encourage them to speak and teach them to be as descriptive as possible.
Make use of their favourite cartoons to keep things interesting. For example, ask them to describe a day in the life of Superman or describe the characteristics of the Ninja Turtles.
- Encourage your child to clean up and pack their toys after playtime. You can also teach them where to place their bags and shoes after school, so they understand that things need to be where they belong.
- When your child is feeling down or seems upset, communicate with them. You can ask them why they are feeling that way and what incident led to that feeling. Ask them to tell you about their day and their friends.
- Children love asking questions. You may encourage critical thinking by doing the same to them. Ask them why the sky is blue, or why animals cannot speak. Come up with answers together.
As a parent, it helps to provide a conducive environment for your child to keep learning. Ask their preschool teachers to understand the skills that they have picked up during preschool and further develop it at home.
Looking for a preschool to help your child be the best they can be? Find a preschool near you here: https://www.q-dees.com/starters/find-a-centre/