Every parent wants the best for their child. They long to see their little one grow up and achieve their full potential, becoming the young man or woman who doesn’t just make their mom and dad proud, but makes the world a better place.
Wise parents know that kind of development doesn’t happen by accident—it takes dedicated nurturing from family and an education that develops critical skills. And it doesn’t happen overnight. In fact, it begins long before college or secondary school with the preschool years being some of the most important.
Parents like you are realizing that preschool isn’t just babysitting or daycare, it’s a special opportunity to pour into your child when there is the most potential for growth and learning. International schools carefully create curricula to partner with you in nurturing your child. If you’re choosing a school, it’s important that they’re teaching your child the most important skills. But just what are those skills? What should kids learn in preschool?
In this article, we explore the 7 most important skills your child’s school should develop in preschool and explain how you can find a school that caters to those needs.
What is Preschool?
Preschool, also known as pre-kindergarten or nursery school, is an early childhood education program designed for young children typically ranging in age from around 2 to 5 years old. It serves as an introductory phase to formal education and acts as a bridge between the nurturing environment of home and the structured setting of primary school. Preschool is focused on providing young learners with a foundation of essential skills and experiences that are crucial for their overall development.
What is the Purpose of Preschool?
At Brainworks, we believe preschool is one of the first and most important steps in developing your child into a complete and well-rounded person. It is a time to encourage your child to grow in all sorts of ways—academically, socially, emotionally, and physically. That’s why preschool activities include a strong blend of study, play, and guided group interaction.
This holistic or “TOTAL” philosophy provides a strong foundation for your child. It is meant to stimulate curiosity, creativity, and a love for learning while also fostering important social skills such as sharing, communication, and cooperation. Not only does this create a smooth transition into primary school, it sets the stage for future learning in subjects like math, language, science, and more.
7 Skills Kids Should Learn in Preschool
1. Fine Motor Skills and Physical Coordination
Some of the most important skills for children to develop early on aren’t necessarily academic in nature—they’re fine motor skills and physical coordination.
Fine motor skills are a set of abilities that involve coordinating and controlling small muscles in the hands and fingers. These skills are essential for a wide range of everyday activities, including writing, drawing, and using household utensils. While these skills seem simple to adults now, they take time to develop. If they are not taught early on, this can set a child back when it comes to learning more difficult tasks. Precision, dexterity, and hand-eye coordination is the first step to writing brilliant college essays or solving complex math equations.
Brainworks takes physical coordination seriously but achieves it in our students through a mix of fun activities. Students engage in drawing and painting and are instructed in Wushu, dance, and music. Our physical education programs help youngsters practice a variety of movements so that by the time they move on to the next level, they’re ready to grasp the tools of higher learning.
2. Language Basics
In the preschool years, your child is a sponge, soaking up the way you and others around you speak to learn the rules of their native tongue. Children will pick up vocabulary and grammar naturally before being taught these things in a formal setting.
But did you know preschool is also the ideal time for your child to begin learning other languages? Science shows that young children pick up foreign languages faster than older children and adults.
A good preschool curriculum will take advantage of the brain’s potential by instructing students in other languages. For example, at Brainworks we help students learn English and Chinese basics with native speakers. These first lessons lay the groundwork for later language development—a vital skill whether your child decides to attend a prestigious international university or goes into business, engineering, or any one of dozens of fields.
3. Vocabulary & Pre-Reading Skills
Vocabulary is critical for a child’s future academic success. Vocabulary and pre-reading skills help a child learn to effectively communicate, begin to understand written words and connect ideas in their mind.
By learning new words in preschool, your child develops critical thinking skills and learns to interpret the world around them. Vocabulary is a key predictor of reading success and is the gateway through which your child can expand their knowledge. These pre-reading skills are also helpful socially, as your child learns to clearly express their thoughts and feelings. We find this helps with positive self-image and develops enduring confidence.
At Brainworks we introduce new words in a variety of contexts, helping your child increase their vocabulary through books, discussions, and group activities. We emphasize pre-reading skills so that while in our preschool your child will increase their reading level by at least two years.
4. Counting and Sorting
Counting and sorting are the building blocks of mathematics. These skills teach children the concept of numbers and how to use them to organize information. One can hardly progress to more complicated mathematics without first mastering these basics.
By building on your child’s existing foundation, a good preschool will teach counting and sorting as the first step to logical thinking and analytical reasoning. They will help your child prepare for math and science as well as a variety of everyday life scenarios.
At Brainworks, these pre-math skills are taught through various types of play and formal instruction. We reinforce numbers across multiple contexts so that children catch on quickly and learn to use them in real applications.
What parent doesn’t want their child to listen well? Listening is important for obedience in the home and success at school. Not only does it help social interaction, but is needed to focus attention and learn new concepts.
The preschool classrooms at Brainworks invite children to practice listening skills through instructions, activities, and classroom discussions. Our students are challenged to pay attention and learn rules so they can complete fun tasks and grasp new ideas. We find children are especially eager to practice listening when it comes to the games taught by our teachers.
Learning empathy in preschool is a vital aspect of a child’s social and emotional development. Empathy, the ability to understand and share the feelings of others, lays the foundation for positive relationships, effective communication, and a compassionate worldview. Teaching empathy at an early age equips children with skills that not only enrich their personal lives but also contribute to their overall growth and potential in various areas.
The teachers at Brainworks International Schools help cultivate empathy in our students. We aim to help them build strong friendships, resolve conflicts peacefully, and foster a sense of trust and connection with peers. This creates caring, emotionally intelligent children who grow up to be responsible and compassionate global citizens.
Memory is the foundation of learning and understanding. In preschool children need to learn to hold concepts in their mind, recall information, and return to useful skills. By building memory skills at a young age, your child will be able to absorb information and retain facts across subjects. This helps a child succeed at the primary and secondary levels and continues to be important as a young person tests for college and enters their career.
Memory skills undergird many of the skills we’ve mentioned above, including vocabulary, counting, language, and even empathy. The child who has a strong memory has the tools to learn anything and master any task.
That’s why a highly regarded preschool curriculum, like the one Brainworks provides, develops memory skills through engaging activities like storytelling, puzzles, games, and classroom projects. Here children learn the value of committing information to memory and practice using it to better themselves and others.
Make the Most of the Early Years
In the magical world of preschool education, every lesson learned, every skill acquired, and every moment of growth is a stepping stone toward a future brimming with potential. As parents, guardians, and educators, we have the extraordinary privilege of nurturing these young minds and shaping them into empathetic, curious, and capable individuals. From the enchanting realm of vocabulary and counting to the profound journey of developing empathy and memory, the preschool years lay the foundation for a lifetime of learning, understanding, and connection. The question isn’t just what should kids learn in preschool, but how do we help them reach their full potential and become the very best they can be?
Parents asking that question have found the answer by partnering with Brainworks International Schools. Our unique group of pre-, primary, and secondary schools is cultivating the brightest minds in Yangon and the surrounding areas. We invest in bringing out the best in your child, raising up students to compete with other nations’ most accomplished youth. Our commitment to students and their families starts early with our preschool program. To learn more about how we teach the skills mentioned here and make the most of the early years, schedule a visit today.