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Preschool May Not Be for Every Child

Education Expert Advice from Peggy Gisler, Ed.S. and Marge Eberts, Ed.S.

Q: What do you think of a three-year-old not attending any school until kindergarten? What are the pros and cons, if any?

A: It is unusual today for children not to have been in some type of preschool before they go to kindergarten as more than 85 percent have had this experience. Nevertheless, it is not necessary for children to attend a preschool program to be ready for kindergarten. Parents and other caregivers can give them the experiences needed for a successful start in school.

Good preschool programs have value. They give young children an idea of what school is like and help them learn appropriate classroom behavior, making the transition to kindergarten easier. Here are some more reasons for sending a child to preschool:

  • Training in social skills
  • Picking up pre-literacy skills such as learning all or most of the letters of the alphabet
  • Learning to count
  • Achieving a greater sense of independence
  • Learning to deal with adults other than parents
  • Improving a child's listening, speaking, and communication skills
  • Exposing a child to a wider range of activities from artwork to field trips
  • Having the opportunity to play with more children

The number-one disadvantage to sending a child to preschool is that all programs are not quality programs with expert teachers. This can damage a child's future attitude toward school and even make her reluctant to attend school. In addition, there are some real advantages to a child staying at home with parents or caregivers. It allows for more valuable nurturing time and gives a child the opportunity to deal one-on-one with adults, which enhances developing vocabulary and speaking skills.

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Peggy Gisler and Marge Eberts are experienced teachers who have more than 60 educational publications to their credit. They began writing books together in 1979. Careers for Bookworms was a Book-of-the-Month Club paperback selection, and Pancakes, Crackers, and Pizza received recognition from the Children's Reading Roundtable. Gisler and Eberts taught in classrooms from kindergarten through graduate school. Both have been supervisors at the Butler University Reading Center.

Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

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