Building blocks can mean something different depending on who you ask. To an adult, building blocks can be the first pieces of an idea. To a child, building blocks can be actual blocks. But whether metaphorical or literal, building blocks serve as a foundation on which something can be built.
For children, pre-kindergarten is a place to lay that foundation and develop skills to be successful.
"Your child's first years in school play a critical role in ensuring that your child is successful throughout elementary, middle, and high school, and in college, careers, and life," said Superintendent Deborah Gist.
The building blocks pre-kindergarten helps develop include social emotional learning, language, literacy, math, physical development, and strong attendance habits.
In pre-kindergarten, children learn how to express their feelings, manage their emotions, make new friends, build positive self-esteem, and grow more confident and independent. They learn how language works through reading, writing, and speaking. They learn to count. They learn to manage their mind and bodies.
"Children who come to pre-k get a chance to make new friends. We listen to a lot of stories, we play in centers and outside on the playground. We color with chalk and sing songs. We get to play with musical instruments, learn math lessons and reading lessons. They write their name and find their friends' names. We eat breakfast and lunch with our friends," said Kendall-Whittier pre-k teacher Lisa Williams.
Through those activities, children are learning to interact with other students and fostering their social emotional skills. Playing musical instruments helps develop and improve motor skills. Singing songs helps children to develop language and literacy skills in a fun and interactive way!
"Your child's time in pre-kindergarten will be full of exciting experiences and monumental growth. Your child will engage in intellectually stimulating experiences and joyful, purposeful play that will promote their academic, social-emotional and physical development," Superintendent Deborah Gist said.
Pre-kindergarten is also a time when students will develop another important building block that sets them up for success – good attendance habits. Getting your child into the habit of going to school on time, every day is important. Children with good attendance do better in high school, college, and at work.
Missing just one to two days a week makes it harder for your child to develop reading skills, be prepared for kindergarten and first grade, and it develops a poor attendance pattern that can be difficult to break.
It takes consistency and practice to grow these initial building blocks, so these are some things you can do to help at home:
- Talk about your feelings and your child's feelings;
- Establish routines for putting away toys and cleaning up;
- Ask your child questions, make comments, and encourage them to share their ideas;
- Read fiction and non-fiction books that your child is interested in;
- Encourage them to write;
- Search for numbers and shapes to point out;
- Establish a regular morning and bedtime routine to help your child attend school regularly;
- And so much more!
Everyone wants to see their child walk across the stage at graduation and pick up their diploma, and developing these positive habits and skills at an early age is a great way to set them up for success.
If you want to learn more about creating good attendance habits, we have information on our Attendance Page. You can also find more information about Social Emotional Learning here.
To enroll your child in pre-kindergarten and to find more helpful information and tips, visit our Enrollment Page.
We can't wait to see your child in one of our pre-kindergarten classes!