The Value Preschool Lesson Plans Can Bring to the Table
One of the first things you come to realize when browsing through preschool lesson plans is that the little ones are capable of a great deal more at learning new concepts that we give them credit for. Children love to play. They love games. We all recognize that. What we sometimes fail to recognize is that they will also show an interest in science, reading, mathematics, and even languages when given the chance to do so.
This really shouldn’t be unexpected. Ever since these children were infants they’ve been learning. They’ve always been curious, and they’ve always taken great pleasure in figuring things out for themselves. They may not always understand quite what it is that they’ve figured out, but that’s not the point. Preschool lesson plans have been developed to take advantage of these young people’s innate desire to learn. That’s the point.
Children often ask a lot of questions. It can be frustrating for parents at times since the questions are often put in very simple terms but are often difficult to answer, or to put an answer into words the youngster can grasp. Lesson plans are not just designed to provide answers however, but to encourage the asking of questions.
Formal Education Can Begin Earlier Than You Think
It used to be that we considered and education to begin in the first grade. Before that it was supposed to be all fun and games for a young child. Kindergarten, and later preschool, was mainly a place to put kids during the day, in hopes that as a minimum they would learn to socialize with others of their same age. Learning to socialize is important too of course. The young mind however is capable of learning a great deal more.
If you tell a child who is in preschool that they are there to learn how to learn, it probably won’t mean much to them. The idea that they are getting an education is still pretty foreign to them. It’s a concept that doesn’t need to be pushed. It will be a few years before they begin to realize what having an education means. In the meantime, they’ll be learning and will enjoy doing so through playing games and various other activities such as coloring.
Having a structured approach to learning during the preschool years is important. That’s why preschool lesson plans are prepared. The child won’t realize it, but he or she is being given an opportunity to excel in the future by being given something to build upon. Those who have been exposed to a formal set of lesson plans in preschool seem to do better on the average during the early years of grade school, than others who have not been exposed to this type of learning at an earlier age. In other words, they are on somewhat of a fast track. We usually don’t speak of being on a fast track until a child is in high school or college, but it can begin to happen at a much earlier age.
Oral Language and Literacy
This is one area where a preschooler can learn a great deal and will usually enjoy doing so. What happens here is that teachers work with the youngsters to build their vocabularies. By the time the children are ready for kindergarten they often have working vocabularies of several thousand words, not just a few hundred. They’ve begun to use complex sentences, and they’ve also begun to learn how to listen as well as how to read. They’re on a fast track to learn a great deal more.
There’s nothing wrong with including mathematics in any set of preschool lesson plans. Studies have shown that those of preschool age are predisposed to learning simple mathematics, just as they are predisposed in learning how to put sentences together, and how to constantly be learning new words. Advanced mathematics at the preschool level involves learning how to count both forwards and backwards, how to recognize numerals and identify shapes, and eventually how to recognize patterns and tell them apart. By the time they get to first grade, adding and subtracting should be a lead-pipe cinch.
Preschoolers are keenly interested about how the world about them works, just as scientists are. They even develop theories about how some things work. Many of those theories are incomplete or incorrect, but so are many theories that scientists come up with. A theory works until it’s proven it doesn’t. It’s not difficult to introduce children of this age to the life sciences. They can be shown that plants and animals need food and water. They can come to understand that everyone is in some way unique. They can learn some of the basics about what it takes to be healthy. They are also open to learning some of the earth sciences, such as why the seasons repeat, and learning more about the different types of weather.
Given the right teacher or teachers, coupled with a good set of preschool lesson plans, your preschooler is apt to pleasantly surprise you with the depth of his or her knowledge when it comes time to graduate to kindergarten. Language, mathematics, and science are three very powerful areas of learning, but not so powerful that a young mind can’t learn a great deal about each of them.