Tag Archive | "starting preschool"

Toddler Learning - Why Toddler Boys Struggle More In School

On an average, many toddler boys have difficulty in school than toddler girls. Because of this, poor performance in school plus minimal exposure to physical activities occur which can hinder toddler learning.

The Reasons Behind The Struggle

Developmental Differences

While many toddler boys are excellent students throughout their school years, the language center of a boys brain develops later than girls. Because of this, toddler boys cannot talk as quicker and as clearly as toddler girls which makes them acquire reading and writing skills at a later time.

Toddler boys also interact differently especially in groups. For instance, a little boy alone may be content finishing a jigsaw puzzle, looking at a book or watching television but once he spots other boys around, competition and action usually erupt leaving the activity he was previously attached to behind.

Boys Are More Active and Aggressive Than Girls

Toddler boys are generally more abstract thinkers than girls. Meaning, they strive best when they are active. Compared to girls whose common notion of being active is sitting down and listening, toddler boys are spatial learners. Little boys feel the need to unleash their energy, hence the reason why they can never sit still during a class discussion and do things repetitively. They always crave for action and movement. Recent studies conducted in a preschool in the United States have proven this theory. Among the 70 students enrolled, a good 45% of the toddler boys in that preschool pay more attention to subjects that involve hands-on interaction and they are more likely to participate during playtime and other physically demanding activities.

Different Style of Learning

Research show that boys and girls rely on different parts of the brain when it comes to learning. Toddler girls rely on speech, either oral or written as their main source of information. While boys on the other hand have a sensory approach to learning, which means they comprehend and process information better when they can manipulate the material or when things are demonstrated. For instance, when a teacher gives a demonstration to the class, boys are more likely to understand the information better than if the teacher began the class by giving verbal instructions.

Ways to Support Toddler Boys

Timing Is Everything

Never push your little boy especially if he is not yet ready. If he gets nervous when you mention the word school, do not pressure him. Take it slowly. Prepare him by talking to him about it and ask what scares him. Visit a preschool around your area so he can see what goes on,  the people around and the things he can do. Let him watch shows about kids starting school. Once he sees how great school can be, he will be ecstatic to start his first day,

Look For Literacy Programs

Inquire about various hands-on learning and problem-solving opportunities that are part of the school day. Look for a school with literacy-based computer programs to ensure your little boy can actively participate, enjoy, learn and thrive at the same time.

Show Moral Support

Be your son’s cheerleader. Give him lots of hugs, kisses and encouraging words. Talk to your little boy. Ask him how his day went, his favorite things about preschool, his friends and if there are any problems he would like to tell you. Commend him for doing such a great job in school. By diverting the attention to the good things, you erase the pressure he feels and encourage good behaviour instead.

Boys are not better than girls and girls are not better than boys. But boys and girls are undoubtedly different. Parents and teachers need to be aware of these dissimilarities to give toddlers the best advantage in learning.

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The Preschool Visit - Six Signs of A Good Preschool

Once you are sure your toddler is now ready for preschool, the next step is to do your research in finding the best curriculum that blends well with your toddler’s needs and personality. You need to start as early as possible. Round up your area and list down your choices. After you have settled up on your preschool options, it is time to see your top picks in action.

Finding the best preschool for your toddler is not always easy. As surveys show, a good 50% of parents in the United States have difficulty selecting the best schools for their children. Hence, a preschool visit is always a helpful technique to help parents decide. Peeking inside the world of preschools provides you a solid basis on how proficient a certain school is.

Six Signs For A Good Preschool

Here are six signs you need to look for when visiting preschools.

Established Ground Rules

You know you have found a good preschool when the school has clear and well-defined written regulations from its operating hours to emergency procedures. The preschool must be flexible enough to adjust the drop off and pick up points of the students. Having a strict sick-child policy is also a good sign. The preschool must hold regular check-ups and immunizations. A school that promotes healthy eating habits and is keen on providing only nutritional meals and snacks show that it is taking its responsibilities seriously. Also, a good preschool will encourage you to visit anytime, requesting you to become a part of the community by asking for your assistance during field trips, school events and so on.

Trained and Sensitive Staff

Teachers and their assistants must be friendly, engaging and responsible. A good teacher will always ask you about your toddler’s condition, his likes and dislikes as well as your method of discipline. A good school must assign one teacher for every seven students. The staff must be busy and fully occupied with the students’ activities - helping toddlers complete their tasks instead of chatting with one another.

Clean and Child Friendly Environment

During your preschool visit, always keep an eye out for the school’s cleanliness. A good preschool must be hygienic and safe, one that meets the states’ licensing requirements. A good school must have an inviting and colorful setting that is divided into different areas (a study, play, eating, library and nap time area). A preschool building that is 100% child friendly secures your toddler, making him comfortable and safe helping him function well.

Controlled Disorder

Preschool is a time for toddlers to learn and play at the same time. A school must encourage the students to freely run around, explore, search and discover. Learning exercises must be incorporated with free play as well without pressuring toddlers to perform well. Hearing a cheery and excited buzz from toddlers is a sure-fire way to know that the preschool is good.

Excellent Preschool Program

A good preschool must have a curriculum that is composed of fun stimulating exercises. The school’s day to day activities must involve plenty of artworks, role paying, storytelling, physical activities and other educational programs. Also, a good preschool allows changes in its program to encourage toddlers to try out something new to increase the students’ development and skills.

Excited Response From Your Toddler

Finally, you know you have found the best preschool for your toddler when he is happy, excited and asking for more. Your toddler’s reaction and his eagerness towards the school is the most important sign you need to watch for. When he is thrilled to start, you are secure he will get all the proper development and education he needs.

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How to Find The Best Preschool Program For Your Toddler

Once you have decided that your toddler is now ready for preschool, the next step is to find a program that best fits your toddler’s developmental needs and learning style. This can be a stressful period in your life since you have to consider a lot of factors to help you choose only the best. But, finding a preschool program that is a perfect match for you and your toddler can be less stressful when you start your search early.

When in search of the best preschool program, you have to take note of two things – the school’s curriculum and your toddler’s reaction to the school. Keep in mind that your little one needs good education without leaving the fun behind. Start your search early, be prepared and follow these simple steps:

1.) Identify your priorities.

Before starting your research, take some time to go over your toddler’s needs and demands. Does he have special needs? Is he extremely shy and still scared of being exposed to new surroundings? What particular improvements do you think your child needs the most? Remember to focus on his needs rather than your personal wants.

2.) Do your homework.


Conduct your research by utilizing different tools. Compile a list of preschool programs within your area. Ask your relatives, friends or neighbors for recommendations. Seek advice from child care consultants to help you meet the accurate learning approach for your toddler. Scan the yellow pages and newspaper ads for more information. Go online and visit the different databases of preschools in your local area.

Go Over Your Budget

The next step is to know how much you can afford. Know your budget. By doing so, you are able to narrow down your list helping you search for preschool programs that fit well within your budget.

Know How Each Program Works

  • Bank Street Program. A less structured curriculum that presents different activities for the mental, social, cognitive, physical and emotional development of toddlers. Teachers decide what to work on and when. Perfect for your toddler if he thrives on a free-form schedule.
  • High/Scope Program. Preschool program that focuses on toddlers’ active interaction with people, activities and events. Students in this program are encouraged to make their own choices while the teachers are trained to support the students’ decision making. It covers all aspects of toddler development so toddlers with developmental delays and disabilities get to advance in their own pace.
  • Home Based Program. Recommended for toddlers needing special care and attention, a home based preschool program is prepared by child experts or by parents. However, getting the right curricula for this program can be difficult.
  • International Preschool Curriculum. A world leader in bringing child experts together to produce a rigorous and structured early childhood education making it one of the most outstanding preschool programs across the United States.
  • Montessori Program. Focuses on five major areas – cultural subjects, language, mathematics, sensory awareness and practical living. Best for toddlers who prefers a hands-on learning environment. Personal attention is given specifically to toddlers with special difficulties (e.g. ADD, hyperactivity, psychological needs, etc.).
  • Waldorf Program. A group-oriented preschool program with a home-like environment. Encourages creative free play providing toddlers with countless opportunities to hone their skills. Perfect if your toddler thrives on order and consistency.

3.) Visit and interview.

Once you have narrowed down your search, make an appointment to interview the staff. Keep in mind that a good preschool program needs to have well-defined policies and procedures. Tour the school and check if every area is child friendly. Observe how they instil their discipline techniques. Watch and observe how the children interact with their peers, how they respond to their teacher. Are the students happy, active and cheerful? Does the teacher provide structure? Is she warm and welcoming? When you see the children are happy, then there is a good chance your toddler will have fun in this environment.

4.) Hold a trial period.

To try it out, let your toddler accompany you during your next visit. Look for natural responses and interaction. See how your little one socializes with the staff and how they respond to him. Afterwards, ask him if he likes the school, his reaction to the setting and the people and if he wants to go back again.

When your toddler had a great day and is asking for more, then you know you have found the perfect preschool program for him.

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Advantages of Preschool

Sending your toddler to preschool is a very important issue. After all, you only want the best for your little one. Over the years, the development of toddlers who went to preschool have showed such positive results – talents were discovered and skills were fostered. According to studies, going to preschool gives long-term benefits that last well into adulthood. Preschool education prepares toddlers mentally, emotionally and socially providing toddlers long lasting benefits.

Pros of Preschool to Toddlers

If you have been constantly debating whether to send your toddler to preschool or keep him at home for the mean time, you might want to consider the following advantages of preschool to toddlers:

A preschool can…

Provide Your Toddler A Solid Foundation For Academic Learning

Toddlers who went to preschool have a more structured basis with their education making them ready for the coming school years. Since academic programs are offered in the school’s curriculum, your toddler’s mind gains adequate exposure helping him develop his memory skills, solve simple math problems, enhance verbal skills and improve his reading. The basic lessons and fun activities integrated in the preschool’s program gives your toddler an excellent head start.

Ensure Proper Development

There are a lot of fun activities your toddler can engage in once enrolled in a preschool. Indoor and outdoor games, stage plays, singing, dancing, arts and crafts, storytelling and free play are great activities that can guarantee your toddler’s development is optimized. This not only educates him but helps him unleash and discover hobbies and hidden talents. It not only improves him intellectually but as well as fine tunes his cognitive, motor and fine motor skills making him a well-rounded individual.

Improve Social Interaction and Collaboration

The best thing about preschools is that it allows your toddler to be exposed to different kinds of personalities. Each child is different so your little one learns how to interact with his peers accordingly. This improves his socialization skills. He discovers the value of communication, taking turns, sharing, listening and following simple rules and directions. Spending time with children his age also helps him become emotionally mature. It minimizes the occurrences of tantrums and aggressive behaviour.

Increase Independence and Confidence

Going to a preschool can help your toddler easily adapt and adjust to changes. The time your toddler spends away from you helps him feel comfortable to engage in activities on his own. He learns how to solve problems and make decisions by himself resulting for him to be more welcoming when placed in new environments. Your little one also learns how to handle himself even when you are away. Once he realizes he can manage on his own, his level of confidence is boosted making him a more positive person.

Help Him Broaden His View of The World

The more your toddler explores, surveys and sees, the more he will learn. At preschool, the prospect of unearthing new things is limitless. He gets to discover and pick up more things that are outside his little world.

Give Your Toddler A Safe Abode

Face it, the thought of leaving your toddler at home in the care of a babysitter so you can go to work scares you. A preschool can give you peace of mind, an assurance that your toddler is in a safe and secure place and that he is watched over by a reliable and professionally trained staff.

Sending your toddler to preschool is a great step towards your toddler’s journey of never ending learning. The benefits are boundless molding him into a happy, smart and knowledgeable human being.

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How to Know If Your Child Is Ready For Preschool

Once your toddler hits the age of 3, he can now start going to preschool. But, it does not necessarily mean he is ready for this new phase in his life. Deciding whether your toddler should attend preschool is an important matter. His readiness to attend preschool relies on how well he is progressing.

For toddlers, preschool serves as the stepping stone to discover and learn new things. It is where they can grow skills and nurture their talents. However, your toddler needs to be emotionally, mentally, physically and socially competent to help him actively participate in the structured educational program of the school. Here are some questions to help you gauge if your toddler is ready for preschool.

Question # 1: Is he used to spending time away from you?

Attachment is the number one issue when it comes to sending toddlers to preschool. If your child has been cared by a nanny, a babysitter or has spent some time away from you in the past, then most likely he is ready for school. But if your toddler is with you most of the time, it is best to start introducing the idea of being separated from you by holding a sleepover in his grandparents’ house over the weekend. Or you may start enrolling him in a daycare center where he can socialize with other toddlers. The key here is to make small adjustments to give him time to feel comfortable and secure when you are away.

Question # 2: Can he understand and follow simple instructions?

During his preschool years, your toddler is expected to follow simple rules and directions (e.g. picking up the trash inside the classroom, arranging books, etc.). If you think he is still having a hard time, train him at home. Give him the responsibility of putting the plates in the sink, putting dirty laundry inside the hamper or let him pick up his scattered toys.

Question # 3: Is he comfortable around other people?

If your toddler is used to having playmates or loves participating in group activities, then he will not have any difficulty interacting with other people. Enroll him in a play group or invite your neighbors’ kids over to your house. The more your toddler is used to having people around him the easier he can adapt and socialize with his peers.

Question # 4: Can he do things on his own?

Preschool requires your toddler to be independent. Learning basic skills like hand washing after drawing and eating on his own are a must. Also, he must be able to focus and concentrate on his work especially during activities that require your toddler’s full attention. He needs to solve things on his own. Leave him for an hour and let him entertain himself. In this way, he learns how to play solo and the need to ask for help with everything is minimized.

 Question # 5: Can he recognize the alphabet and numbers?

Knowing the basics will make it easier for your toddler to master and improve his language, reading and writing. You can do simple learning activities at home by using flashcards, jigsaw puzzles and coloring books to help him familiarize fundamental lessons.

Question # 6: Is he potty trained?

It is important your toddler is potty trained before he enters preschool since most schools require potty training. If he has strongly mastered it, then he is good to go. However, if he is not yet ready, do not force him. Putting him under too much pressure will only make the situation worse.

Question # 7: Does he have a fixed schedule?

Toddlers thrive on routine. Most preschools follow the same practices of toddlers. If he is used to having a regular schedule (e.g. playtime, lunch, nap time, snack time and outdoor play) then he is ready to start preschool.

Question # 8: Is he physically fit?

Enrolling him in a preschool means a lot of rigorous activities will take place. Check your toddler’s health condition. He needs stamina to help him get through the day. If he has health issues, then it is best to keep him at home for now to reduce his chances of acquiring infections.

Starting preschool depends on how ready your toddler is. If he is fully prepared and comfortable with the idea, then it is best to let him start. But, if he is not yet ready, never rush him. Instead, train your toddler to help him get ready for the next school year.

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