The Children's Courtyard, a preschool and afterschool childcare program, provides parents with information suggesting that those preschool education skills, while sometimes impressive, are not the most important skills needed for kindergarten. Instead, the center suggests that children will learn numbers and letters easily in kindergarten or first grade.
So, what is important to learn in preschool education?
The Courtyard emphasizes that during the preschool education years, children should learn important items that will help them develop a strong knowledge basis needed for academic success. They cite these Essential Cognitive Foundations, adapted from the Essential Cognitive SKills for School Readiness:
* A strong knowledge bse sufficient to support comprehension, drawing inferences, and making predictions.
* Problem-solving skills.
* An ability to "inter-translate" between language and mental images so that knowledge and thoughts can be expressed through language (productive language) and knowledge can be formed from incoming information (receptive language).
* A set of attitudinal and self-management skills that include: attention management, comprehension monitoring and persistence.
With these cognitive foundations in preschool education, children will be more prepared to conquer the demands placed on them by school. Children will also think of themselves as capable and and independent learners. Teachers find it easier to teach a child who possesses a strong preschool education background in language skills, listening comprehension, attention mangement skills, and a positive attitude toward learning.