2017 Apr 2
Preschool years essentially serve as a foundation for varying learning experiences that are to come. Very often, though, these early child education years are viewed with an ‘all too simple’ attitude which can threaten many fundamental developmental areas for children. Teachers and parents alike are responsible for such attitudes. While I don’t propagate parenting that intrudes and tries to control every area of your child’s school life for obvious reasons, I certainly stand by the need to be aware of these areas of development in your child’s preschool environment.
In light of this crucial awareness, here are some questions that you need to consider asking class facilitators when meeting with them.
How are his friendships in school?
Taking an interest to know ; your child’s friends, whom he avoids or does not get along with, what do they do together, how does he solve problems, the nature of their play together, is important. These observations help you understand his social development. Remember that by asking, you are only seeking to understand your child’s development and not control it.
Watching his peer interactions can also give you insight into his communication skills.
How long can he concentrate?
Attention spans improve with age. However, it is interesting to know the length of time your child can sit at a task without being distracted and by doing so you will also be able to identify his interest areas within the classroom.
If your child seems to be struggling with the minimum attention span required at his age, you may want to look into the reasons behind this. Most often, irregular sleep patterns, extended tv time, and unhealthy eating habits can interfere with helping your child focus during a task in school. In rarer cases, it may be a sign of a learning difficulty, in which case, appropriate intervention should be taken.
Does he respond to instructions?
Responding well to instructions concerning classroom activities is a crucial development for children in preschool. It helps them cope with the classroom expectations in an effective manner. Children this age benefit from clear, short and specific instructions given for the immediate task at hand. Asking your teacher questions about your own child’s response to such instructions will help you understand his language skills, short term memory and level of independence.
Any interesting work habits?
Each child will form his own work strategies and it is truly a wonder to allow a child to find those that fit his own learning style. Certain children work best while on the floor, while others are more comfortable at a table. Making close observations on his work habits; choosing of work station, rolling out a mat, placing material, usage of material and clearing work space can tell you much about your child’s independent learning.
The ABC s and the numbers will probably be the first area of concern you would have about your preschool child. Every school follows a varied approach to teaching these concepts and as parents, being aware of these techniques, is important. If work in these areas need to reinforced at home, it is important that they be done in line with the system that is followed in school, so as to not confuse you child’s learning process.
So the next time you attend school for a parent-conference, take a notebook and a pen with you! Don’t be afraid to make notes. Use the experience to know you child in a deeper way than before! You will be surprised at how much you can learn about your young one, just by being an active participant in his preschool experience.