When you become a parent, you have a lot of things to think about. Many people consider it to be the job of a parent to make choices to help their child be as well prepared for the world ahead as possible. One thing that a lot of parents do is enroll their children in a childhood learning center.
These centers go by many different names. Preschools, daycares, childcare, and many others. At the end of the day, if you’re looking to give your child a headstart on their educational journey throughout life, you’re probably at least considering enrolling your child into one of these programs.
As an astute parent, you probably want to make sure that this kind of thing would actually be helpful before you enroll your child into anything. After all, this is an investment of your child’s time during their formative years as well as an investment of your money.
We can make that assumption of you because, well, you’re here reading this article. Odds are, you would have only ended up reading this article if you were looking for more information about these learning centers and how they can help your child.
So, let’s see what the people who specialize in developmental psychology think about these learning centers so we can find out once and for all how they can help your child do better as a student and, eventually, as a contributing member of society.
Flattening the Learning Curve
As you’re probably aware, learning things can be pretty tough. Most things have a high learning curve, which can make it feel like a challenge to get past. It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about language, science, the arts, or really any other subject. It can be easy to get discouraged when starting from scratch.
When your child enters kindergarten, their teachers will teach them the fundamentals of pretty much every subject. This makes it a lot easier for the teachers that will come later on in their academic careers to expand on. Everyone has to start somewhere, after all.
A lot of kids are expected to hit the ground running. This is an expectation that is common in the world we live in, whether you’re talking about interpersonal relationships or even your professional life. Being able to adapt to new situations is a useful skill to have as a human.
That being said, it’s not considered to be a great way to start off your educational path. Imagine knowing how to speak French and spending a few years speaking French without much more than the bare minimum practice reading and writing it, then being expected to learn how to read and write with mastery one day out of the blue.
It would be jarring, to say the least, and a lot of children feel the same way with English. That’s one of the reasons why enrolling them into some sort of preschool program can help them so much. It gives them a chance to get more practice before they start being graded for their efforts.
Most preschools that are worth their salt are very good about having what we call educational enrichment. These activities serve a dual purpose: entertain the children while also helping them get an opportunity to practice on subjects that they’ll need to learn about for years to come.
This can include a variety of things, such as:
- Class games.
- Educational toys.
There are also a lot of other things that preschool teachers use, but every class is different so it can be a little difficult to keep it to a shorter list. At the end of the day, a good teacher will be able to explain why they’re having the children do what they’re doing no matter how odd it might seem.
Learning how to Socialize: The Art of Being Human
As human beings, we have no shortage of opportunities to use our social skills. It only makes sense that we would set up our society in such a way, humans are aggressively social creatures to the point that we regularly integrate other species into our closest circles.
You’ve probably even used your social skills multiple times today without even realizing it. It’s that big of a part of our life. For example, you use your social skills any time you:
- Sign for a package.
- Buy groceries.
- Pay for gas inside the gas station.
- Go to work.
- Take someone out on a date.
- Realistically, talk to people at all to any degree.
Socializing might be a lot more complicated than you realize. Of course, there are the things that people say, but there are also a lot of non-verbal cues that we take in on a subconscious level.
Things like facial expressions, vocal tone, body language, clothing choices, and many other things communicate a lot. In fact, these non-verbal cues make up most of the communication that we do. That makes communicating in general pretty complex.
Children are still learning how to handle basic social interactions, let alone the complex social situations that we find ourselves in on a daily basis. It’s definitely not an easy thing to learn, but it’s important to master it if you want to be successful as an adult.
This is another way that these programs help children excel as their lives go on. By enrolling your child into a learning program, you put them into a situation where they need to figure out how to socialize with other people in the same stage of development as themselves.
Will they do this perfectly right off the bat? Probably not, but that’s why we allow them the chance to learn this way. It gives them a chance to learn what is ok and what isn’t with other children that are learning the same thing at the same time.
Having this opportunity before kindergarten gives them an edge as they go on in life. Social skills are a matter of practice, so any kind of a headstart can help get your child prepared for life earlier than their peers that haven’t had the same opportunity.
How it All Adds Up
While all of these benefits are great, you might not know how they actually impact your child’s life in the long run. There have been countless studies done on this subject, and the vast majority of child psychologists agree that these benefits are priceless for the children that get to be in these programs.
Let’s start by looking at how the academic headstart helps. Children that are in preschool programs typically outperform children that are not enrolled in the same kind of programs at all levels of education, ranging from kindergarten all the way up to graduate school. That means enrolling your child in these kinds of programs will ensure that they have a better chance of being able to walk any path they choose.
This is because children in preschools get that headstart. By the time they get to kindergarten, they already have a rudimentary grasp on the basics. That makes hitting the ground running a lot easier for them because they’re already familiar with the topics they’re learning.
It’s a lot easier for them to stay ahead than to try and catch up from behind. It’s not impossible for children to catch up, but most kids are more interested in other things at that age. As they should be, they’re children and deserve to have their childhoods.
Now that we’ve covered that, let’s look more deeply at how getting early practice for social skills can help. There are a lot of ways that this can help, and it will actually help your child with all aspects of their life in the future.
As we mentioned before, humans are aggressively social creatures. That means that having good social skills is a must if you have any hope of getting ahead in life. Finding jobs, friends, and even romantic partners hinges on being able to socialize with other human beings effectively on a regular basis.
Enrolling your child in one of these programs allows you to socialize them earlier than children that aren’t enrolled in one of these programs. That gives them more time to prepare their social skills and makes mastering them before they turn 18 a lot easier than if they didn’t have this opportunity provided to them.
Planning for Your Child’s Future
It can feel like an impossible task to try to make sure that you raise your child to be prepared for their adulthood. Of course, there are countless books available to help you with techniques, but everyone is unique and that includes your child, which just adds to the challenge.
The old adage goes “it takes a village to raise a child,” and this is true. One way that you can get the support you need to help ensure that your child is ready for the world that’s waiting for them is to enroll them into a learning program so they can have the tools sooner rather than later.