Why prekindergarten is key for child development | NPNparents.org

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During years four and five, children thrive through creative exploration and the desire to gain new experiences. They are learning to be more self-reliant and are seeking independence. They approach each day with curiosity—looking to expand their understanding of the world around them. Their language and communication skills are expanding rapidly, and they find gratification in sharing their new thoughts and ideas with peers and adults.

Prekindergarten is an opportunity to equip your family with all of the tools, knowledge, experience and confidence your child needs to succeed in kindergarten, look forward to a new chapter of learning and encourage her independence to take root. The following are some of the key benefits of introducing your child to a prekindergarten program:

Early literacy initiatives
Promoting literacy in prekindergarten builds upon the natural curiosities of students during a time when the complexity of their speech, conversations, writing and storytelling are evolving immensely, and their attention span is longer than ever. Four- and five-year-olds love to share their experiences through language and creative expression, whether it be about their day at school or a memory that inspires them, and teachers use this as an opportunity to incorporate literacy opportunities wherever possible. Surrounding students with words and letters in the classroom and practicing writing daily helps students to eventually recognize sight words and develop a sense of enthusiasm about literacy and language expression before kindergarten.  

Social & emotional development
A child’s emotional awareness evolves immensely during their fourth and fifth year. Prekindergarten students begin to incorporate their social and emotional fortitude with their sense of reason as they assess how their emotions affect their decision-making. Prekindergarten students identify particular emotions and seek affirmation from not only the adults in the classroom, but their friends as well. The constructive social environment in prekindergarten provides opportunities for social and emotional learning through group dynamics that cannot result solely from one-on-one interactions.

Resources for early learning & milestone tracking
A successful prekindergarten program creates a diverse and comprehensive variety of classroom and school-wide activities to immerse your child in a positive and vibrant environment full of community, structure, activities and plenty of time to play. Lesson plans that incorporate circle time, language/literacy, exploratory art, science/sensory exploration, gross motor and dramatic play activities will contribute to whole-child development and will ensure your child is confident and ready to succeed in kindergarten. Benchmarking your child’s unique progress and tracking his milestones gives teachers the tools they need to gain a full sense of your child’s progress and development in the following categories:

  • Fine and gross motor skills
  • Language and communication
  • Cognitive development
  • Creative expression
  • Music and movement
  • Social and emotional development
  • Self-help

Celebrating diversity & creative expression
Finding confidence in their individuality allows prekindergarten students to share their talents and ideas with their classmates and collaborate cohesively. Prekindergarten children explore the world beyond their home and classroom through dramatic play experiences. Their imaginations are growing and they are able to communicate and express their thoughts, feelings and ideas through activities like role playing, language, art and music. Four- and five-year-olds are creating art that is more realistic than ever and they may even begin to incorporate letters into their artwork. In this age group, creative expression is developed by working collaboratively to turn imaginative play time into a learning experience.

Sonnets Academy provides a preschool community with a passion for play-based learning in Chicago’s Lincoln Park, River North, West Loop and Hyde Park neighborhoods. Our curriculum begins at early infancy and continues through prekindergarten, celebrating individuality and concentrating on the process through which children learn. Our discovery-based curriculum in prekindergarten expands imagination, encourages inquiry, and provides a diverse and comprehensive foundation for cognitive, social, emotional and creative growth that will shape a child’s adolescence and adulthood.

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Posted on October 17, 2016 at 2:33 PM