Essentials of Placing Your Child in a Preschool Program

Preschool Program taught to small students

As a parent, you want to set your child up for success in the best way possible. An excellent educational program is one of the ways you can do that. Learning and development begin from the moment we are born. In order to ensure your child develops properly, a quality preschool program can help. Strelitz International Academy is one of the best affordable private schools in Virginia Beach. We offer preschool classes that are dedicated to ensuring your child’s successful development and transition into elementary school.

Learning and Development in Preschool

It has long been determined that the early years of childhood development are essential for the long-term success of the child. According to a report from Harvard’s Center on the Developing Child, early experiences create a foundation for lifelong learning, behavior, and both physical and mental health. A strong foundation in the early years increases the probability of positive outcomes.

Outside of the home, preschool and early education programs have the largest impact on the child’s overall development. According to a report created by The Society for Research in Childhood Development, “Higher-quality preschool programs have larger impacts on children’s development while children are enrolled in the program and are more likely to create gains that are sustained after the child leaves preschool.”

Overall, there are numerous studies that demonstrate the positive impact a high-quality preschool (such as Strelitz’s IB PYP School Program) can have on your child’s overall development and success.

The Essentials Your Child Should Learn in Preschool

At the age of 3 and 4, your child is at an important stage of development. In order to ensure they are offered a high-quality preschool program, it is important to understand what they should be learning. In general, your child should be developing socially and emotionally, cognitively, academically, and physically. These key areas of development are essential for their long-term success. With these factors properly developed, your child can continue to be successful. The many preschool students who graduate from Strelitz International Academy go on to be successful in our IB elementary school program.

Social/Emotional Development

The social/emotional development of your preschooler refers to their ability to have meaningful interactions with others and form relationships with their peers and adults. To encourage their social/emotional development, teacher/student interactions are essential. A well-trained teacher will be able to engage with each of their students, ensuring they feel respected, listened to, comforted, and appreciated.

These interactions with teachers and peers allow them to be able to recognize facial expressions, regulate their emotions, understand social interactions, and develop necessary social skills. In the classroom, this will look like participating in group activities, following directions, communicating their needs, learning to share, and more.

What to Look For:

– Teachers interacting with students on their level
– Children feeling comfortable with teachers (hugging, hand-holding, etc.)
– Teachers responding to the emotions of children (expressing understanding of their anger/sadness)
– Teachers helping children solve disagreements (sharing toys)

Cognitive Development

Cognitive development in your preschooler takes the form of learning how to play pretend, remember information, solve problems, ask questions, and impulse control. In the classroom, this takes the form of providing new and interesting toys/objects to explore, asking children questions, and encouraging playtime and imaginative thinking.

What to Look For:

– Blocks
– Age-appropriate books (counting numbers, learning shapes, animals, etc.)
– Dress-up/costumes
– Play areas (kitchen, dolls, cars)
– Art supplies (paints, play-doh, puzzles)

Language and Literacy Development

Language and literacy development refers to the child’s ability to communicate effectively through language and to understand other forms of communication. This can include reading, writing, talking, and listening. In preschool, this may include learning letters, understanding emotions, and listening to stories.

What to Look For:

– Age-appropriate books (counting numbers, learning shapes, animals, etc.)
– Teachers reading stories to children
– Children learning songs
– Pointing to letters/words while reading to the child
– Providing materials that encourage children to write/draw

Mathematical and Scientific Reasoning

Mathematical and scientific reasoning skills refer to a child’s reasoning skills, spatial awareness, discovery skills, and exploration skills. In preschool, this can include introducing new ideas and topics to children, encouraging them to ask questions, counting/clapping to the beat of a song, and providing them materials to measure or count with.

What to Look For:

– Playing with blocks and counting
– Puzzles
– Activities outside the classroom (Pond, School Garden, Playground)
– New topics of learning (watching caterpillars turn into butterflies)
– Setting out materials for children to explore

Physical Development

Finally, physical development is another key area that children are developing in. This includes a range of skills that refer to a child’s ability to move their bodies, including gross motor skills and fine motor skills. In preschool, the development of gross motor skills includes providing children with time to run, jump, skip, roll, crawl, and climb. The development of fine motor skills includes offering children opportunities to draw, paint, cut with scissors, and grasp small objects.

What to Look For:

– Art supplies (paint, pencils, crayons)
– Outside time with a playground or toys

The Best Affordable Private School in Virginia Beach

Finding a preschool that provides your child with all the tools they need for development can be difficult. However, it is important to try and find the best solution for your child as it can be crucial to their overall success as a student and an adult. Strelitz International Academy is an IB PYP school in Virginia Beach. We offer a preschool program that focuses on providing your child with an environment that allows them to properly develop. Our preschoolers have access to a wide variety of toys, materials, and activities that encourage their social/emotional, cognitive, academic, and physical development.

Interested in learning more about the daily life of a Strelitz preschool student? Check out our Day in the Life page, or call 757.424.4327 to schedule a tour of our preschool classroom.

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