Pre kindergarten is the introduction a young toddler gets to formal education system. It isn’t a requirement for toddlers to go to school but many parents are convinced it provides something to the child that they cannot give – and that is interaction with other children of the same age but different backgrounds.
Historically, Pre-K was known as Nursery School. The first of its kind in the United States was established around the early 1900s although the first federal-funded program called Project Head Start in 1965. In 1990, the term Nursery School was phased out and replaced by Pre-Kindergarten or Pre-K.
Compared to day care, pre-k has a more structured schedule where kids are taught how to behave in a group, fall in line patiently, follow instructions from an older person, and encourage weaning instead of clinging to parents, guardians, or siblings.
The importance of the social interaction is the heart of pre-k. Here’s why:
It Teaches Them To Play With Others
Social interaction does not just refer to being around other people and not getting into a negative situation. It also means learning to play, learn to be part of a losing team, learn to be part of a winning team, and sharing equipment, toys, and stories.
Most households do not have the wide variety of educational toys and supplies that a pre-school would have. This would be highly advantageous to young children who will learn to paint and show one’s work to others; draw and do crafts with another child, etc. This is the foundation for teaching human beings how to work, play, and share things with a group.
It Creates Friendships
Many lifetime friendships are born inside a pre-k classroom. In a study done by professionals from the University of Illinois, the findings reveal that quality friendships among boys forged during the early classroom rooms lead to less social misbehavior and improved social skills once they get to grades 1 to 3. The study also found out that young female toddlers are less vulnerable and can catch up faster than the boys in developing social skills. That is provided they are enrolled in a school where cliques are not yet present.
It Prevents Bad Habits From Developing
Since the child in pre-k is supervised by an adult (who has different emotional ties to the children than a parent), everyone gets equal and balanced attention. In a nutshell, no spoiled brats are born in pre-k classrooms. They may come in as brats in the beginning of the school year but they will most likely leave the classroom at the end of the year happy and a lot less bratty. One of the main reasons for this is the social interaction the child is exposed to. He or she will see how well-behaved children get coveted prizes and more friends and will try to copy them in order to receive those wonderful stickers or stamp prizes from the teacher.