The importance of preschool education has been the subject of hot debate over the past several years. One 2015 study in Tennessee found only short-term knowledge gains, while competing research in Boston showed a whopping 27% improvement in the test scores of third-graders who’d attended pre-K programs versus their non-preschool counterparts.
The difference between Boston and Tennessee, one New York Times writer theorized, was in the quality of the education provided by the two states. As one of the state’s leading charter schools, AmeriSchools Academy goes beyond standardized teaching to provide an immersive environment that goes beyond the traditional three R’s. For example, our Phoenix AmeriSchools Campus uses the “Second Step” program to encourage emotional learning and boost interaction skills.
Here are four ways that Pre-K students can outpace their peers:
Sharing & Caring
Lending a favorite toy might come easier to a child with several siblings, but what about only children? Many proponents of pre-K programs cite social skills as the #1 reason for early education. Students learn to share and ask for help when they need it. They receive instruction on the basic social etiquette of interacting with other children, why they should feel empathy and how to show respect for adults such as a teacher or principal. The pre-K years are a crucial time for the development of social skills, and daily exposure to peers helps to encourage these skills.
No one expects a 4-year-old to be on perfect behavior all the time, but by this age your child should start learning and practicing impulse control. Pre-K allows children to express themselves through play, interspersed with periods of learning through auditory and visual instruction. Pre-K students see the negative results (time outs, etc.) that come with emotional outbursts. They are equally rewarded for good behavior, making them more likely to exhibit self-control in kindergarten.
Come storytime, students are expected to sit still and pay attention for periods of about 20 minutes. As any parent of an older child knows, that’s about the limit for a 4- or 5-year old. Pre-K slowly acclimates students to longer periods of sitting still and being quiet. So, don’t run out and buy a fidget spinner just yet—you’ve still got years for that. Pre-K may be just the thing your child needs to focus his or her attention on others.
One of the major arguments for pre-K education is ensuring that all children are “up to speed” by the time they enter kindergarten. On Day 1, most kindergarten teachers expect their pupils to know their ABC’s and 123s, as well as basic vocabulary and the spelling/pronunciation of their names. For proper learning, kindergarteners need to be able to sit still for short periods of time and pay attention. Our preschool programs ensure that your child can show up to his or her first day with confidence.
The pre-K programs at AmeriSchools Academy’s Tucson and Yuma (North/South) locations lay the foundation for successful elementary education. At this young age, students learn colors, letter and shapes. It’s a crucial time for language and vocabulary development, as well as learning the social skills and emotional control that will carry them through their school years. Though research may still be divided on the issue of pre-K, the quality education that your child will receive through our tuition-free charter school makes all the difference.
Contact us today for more information on enrolling your child in one of AmeriSchools’ premier pre-K programs.