What exactly do children learn in preschool and what is the purpose of their play? Here is the specific breakdown of learning in each of these areas.
This is one of the most important areas in a young child’s development. Children first must come to know and like themselves as well as learn to understand their emotions. Concurrently, it is important that children also come to understand how others are feeling and to develop empathy toward them. This plays a great role in assisting children to learn effective ways to handle conflict. It is our object to foster positive attitudes and learning strategies for the children in our care.
During circle time, children strengthen all areas of development in a group setting. Circle time focuses on encouraging receptive and expressive language development through music, literature and individual sharing. This helps children expand their vocabulary and gain confidence in expressing themselves. In addition, children learn to exercise their attention skills. We incorporate good morning songs, discuss the weather, feelings, math/language, and take time for reflection. Through participation in circle time, each child comes to learn that they have a voice and that they are valued as people.
Preschool-aged children are typically at the cusp of learning to control their fine motor skills and make precise movements with their hands, fingers, wrists and shoulders. Development in this area comes only with practice. Gross motor skills involve making controlled movement in the arms, legs, feet and torso. Children learn to climb stairs, jump, skip, run and hop, all of which require balance and coordination.
In every area of the classroom, children are exposed to spoken language and other forms of communication. Language development includes: communicating wants and needs, asking questions and listening to answers; understanding what others say; and expressing thoughts, feelings, and ideas. Stories, songs and class discussions are part of Circle Time, which is how every child begins there day here at Buonora.
In pre-school, children need to sing, chant, and encounter environmental print. Opportunities to explore books, have books read to them, recognize that printed words represent spoken words, and begin to recognize individual sounds in words (phonological awareness). The preschool reading experience often culminates in children learning to recognize and write individual letters and sometimes words.
Sorting, learning shapes, recognizing and naming numbers, patterning, grouping, and understanding concepts such as few and many, full and empty, tall and short, and learning to gain a basic understanding of time (i.e. before lunch, after nap), are all beginning math skills that children begin to acquire in preschool.
Young children exhibit a great deal of curiosity. It is the ability to ask questions, gather information, and make sense of this information by recording and evaluating data that translates into specific learning. Developing science skills involve exploration with natural objects, and using scales, magnifying glasses, etc. Children begin to understand and develop an appreciation for nature, learn concepts such as hot and cold, rough and smooth, light and heavy, etc.
Creative Expression and Arts Appreciation
Children are encouraged to participate in pretend play with different scenarios and a variety of circumstances to develop imagination, problem-solving skills, and empathy. Self-expression is also achieved through creating and reacting to art and music and movement.
Health & Safety
It is a valuable tool for children to learn to take some responsibility for staying healthy and safe. Daily activities such as staying clean, eating healthy food, and staying active reinforce the child’s at-home experiences.
Preschool is one of the earliest social, learning communities children will encounter. Classroom time allows for opportunities to experience diversity, cooperation, and social roles.