It is not always easy being a parent, particularly when your little one figures out they really do have you wrapped around their little finger. Being a stay-at-home parent, you may be wondering whether you really need to send your child to preschool since you are already available to teach them. You may also be wondering what a preschool could teach them that you can't. However, a better way to look at this is to remember that preschool isn't about what you can't teach your child; it's about having extra help to teach your child the life lessons they need. There are many opportunities for your child to learn while they play and socialize with other children, and these are just three lessons they will be exposed to as they head into preschool each day.
It is not always easy for your child to gain the independence they need once they reach 3 and 4 years old. This is particularly true for children who have a stay-at-home parent caring for them. A parent naturally wants to help their child with everything they do, but by doing this, the art of learning to be independent gets delayed. Psychology Today points out that, when you raise your child to be independent, you are installing a belief they are capable enough to look after themselves. When a child feels they are competent, they get the mental freedom and encouragement they need to try new things.
Of course, a preschool is not teaching your child to pack up and move out. But your child can learn how to throw away plates, pour drinks and to put their school bag in the right spot. These little tasks you may battle to teach are instead a basic expectation by the preschool. These expectations teach your child to do things for themselves, and this leads to independence.
Time To Learn
As a parent, there are two things you will do that a preschool won't. Both of these tasks relate to letting your child grow as an individual. The first point relates to getting frustrated when your child takes too long doing something, and at some point that frustration grows to the point you start doing it yourself. The problem with doing it yourself is you are removing the opportunity to learn from your child. While a preschool certainly won't let your child take all day to do one task, they do have the extra time and patience needed to give additional time to learn.
Secondly, as a parent, you don't always accept the way a child performs a task, so you may redo it after it has been done. For example, do you straighten up your child's bed after they have already made it? The problem with doing this is you take away a child's desire to be self-sufficient. You're telling your child their efforts weren't good enough, and this can serve as a discouragement. A preschool, however, teaches each child to do things their way, and this encouragement helps your child to grow.
Cooperation With Others
Unless you have a large number of children in your home, you can only teach your child about cooperation and getting along with others on a limited basis. A preschool, however, has a whole room full of little individuals who need to learn how to get along. Teamwork, negotiation and cooperation are all skills your child will learn by spending time in a group. When your child grows up and heads out to the real world of college or work in later life, they need to be able to get along with a diverse range of people. The earlier they learn how to do this, the less stress they will endure.
Despite being on hand all day to teach your child lessons yourself, a preschool is an extra tool you can use to teach your child the life lessons they need. This leads to well-rounded, happy little people who are more able to effectively deal with a range of situations in real life, and this is the growth they need before heading off to elementary school.
For more information about the benefits of a preschool program, contact one such as Sammamish Montessori School.