Importance of Preschool – More than ABCs and counting

Unfortunately parents think they are giving their children a “head start” when they see them sitting in the cute little chairs at preschool. What the majority of people don’t seem to realise, is that children need core strength in order to sit and concentrate at a table for any length of time. They’re not ready at 4 years old. Occupational Therapists have said that there shouldn’t be any tables and chairs in preschools. Children should be on the floor crawling, kneeling and twisting to reach toys so that they build core, neck, arm and hand muscles.

By being expected to sit too early, their development and learning is b
eing hindered not just on a physical level but in many other ways. The child’s well-being, their ability to regulate, their language development, their cognitive development, their emotional and social development are all being held back. This is why, given the option of a later school starting age, I would recommend that parents wait if at all possible.

The role of a Preschool isn’t to “teach” children how to sit still and concentrate. 

Preschool is not about ABCs, colours or counting to 20.

Our image of education needs to change. Rote learning and memory testing needs to be ditched. Our children need support to increase their well-being, build resilience, form attachments, know that they belong, gain confidence to be curious, get involved in what’s going on around them, interact well with each other, express themselves and become ready and willing to contribute to the world.

We don’t do this for the sake of their future career, their exam results, or so that they are a book ahead of the rest of the class in primary school. We do this because if children don’t have resilience they have nothing. In real education, our priority is their long-term mental health, their happiness and their ability to pick themselves up when they’re feeling down.