Three, four, and five year olds are like sponges. They are eager to learn, excited to experience, and perpetually asking questions. They are curious answer-seekers, and that makes this time the perfect opportunity to kick start their education.
“Young children have the capacity at a very young age to be academically challenged, and we need to educate them strongly during those years instead of waiting until they are older,” says Alise McGregor, founder of Little Newtons, an early education center with locations in Minnesota and Illinois.
This growth of the brain’s network establishes a fertile foundation for learning and an opportunity to be better prepared for grade school and beyond, experts say.
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We reached out to preschool professional McGregor for her top reasons parents should consider ramping up their pre-K child’s education:
- Socialization. Socialization with people other than the child’s family in a safe environment is an essential foundational element. “It’s important to introduce our children to other children and support their transition into their own friendship groups, and the earlier we do this, it helps children overcome shyness and gain self-confidence,” McGregor says.
- Personal experiences. These assist the brain’s organizational development and functioning in many situations, helping children develop learning skills as well as social and emotional abilities. “A good early-education center creates an environment where imagination, love and innovation all come together for a daily adventure,” McGregor says.
- Enthusiasm for Learning. Lessons can be given in a fun and exciting way that will encourage children to be effective learners. “Feeling inspired and excited to learn takes root in preschool,” McGregor says, “and can last a lifetime.”
- Learning respect for others. A fundamental building block for happiness, friendships and success in life starts early by learning how to share, cooperate, take turns and be nice. “By carrying on conversations, following rules, listening, accepting consequences of actions, the child learns early how to start getting along in the world,” McGregor says.
- Resilience. It’s important that early childhood educators and parents work together to develop resilience in children as early as possible. “By creating a consistent and stable environment with clear expectations and predictable consequences, children can develop skills in managing themselves and their emotions,” McGregor says. “They may experience bumps, bruises or losing a game, but this is the foundation for building coping strategies for greater challenges in life.”
Alise McGregor is the founder of Little Newtons (www.littlenewtons.com), an exceptional child care center focusing on early childhood education with four locations in Minnesota and one in Illinois. She is the author of an upcoming book, Creating Brilliance. Also a nurse, she has a B.S. in Exercise Physiology with a cardiac rehabilitation emphasis.
This is not a sponsored post. Expert tips were provided.