Are academic pre-schools worth it?
There was a time, a decade or two ago, when no child attended a preschool. Initially, when the trend of preschooling started, children spent their time there cutting, pasting, and playing house. But these days, preschools are getting increasingly academic and they promise to prepare kids for kindergarten!
Child development experts point out those kids in such preschools often pick up maths and literacy skills at the expense of social skills and have difficulty picking up social skills later in their school-going life. However, kids from play-based setups catch up with studies.
Some parents, teachers and experts assert that such academic playschools are ideal for children who are cognitively advanced for their age and have the ability to focus on a topic for 20 to 30 minutes. Such focus from a 2-year-old does seem, in general!
In some western countries, parents now choose to school their kids at an academic program for three days a week and at a playschool, for two days a week. This approach also seems very fanciful and simplistic. The better way to get the best of both worlds is to blend playtime and studies (for such young children) and not to compartmentalize a child’s life into ‘study days’ and ‘fun days’.
By and large, experts agree that children between the ages of 2 to 4 thrive better amidst sand tables, puzzles, board games, legos, and merry-go-rounds rather than amidst chairs, tables, black board, and books!
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