Our children begin to learn about the world around them from the moment they are born, and those earliest years are so crucial to their growth. As parents, families, friends, educators, and a community at large, we strive to set them on a path for success along whatever road they may take. For most families, that involves formal or informal preschool activities, which offer social, emotional, and traditional learning, with proven, lifelong benefits. While many preschools can offer a great experience, preschool at a private school, such as Las Vegas Day School, includes some added benefits.
Importance of Preschool
It would be hard to underestimate the value of a quality preschool experience, particularly as a foundation and stepping stone to academic success. A thoughtful, well-rounded preschool program supports multiple areas of child development using fun, interactive, age-appropriate activities. Helping children develop these skills from their earliest years promotes their comfort in working with other children, following school routines, adopting appropriate behaviors, following directions, cooperating, traditional learning skills, and so much more.
What Makes a Quality Preschool?
While the specific details of individual preschool programs vary, the most vital components of a strong, effective system are generally the same across the board. These include:
Fostering Interactions and Community-building Skills
Children learn to work together, share, cooperate, and navigate relationships with both classmates and teachers in a safe, supervised environment. They also begin to form friendships as they find common interests with their classmates.
Challenging But Realistic Goals
A quality preschool should set children up for success by setting achievable goals that still require effort to attain and satisfaction upon completion.
Engaging in Social, Emotional, Academic, and Physical Learning
Programs should be well-rounded so that all aspects of children’s growth are supported, and different learning styles are encouraged. Preschool-aged children learn best when they can play and explore as ways of using new skills and information. Social and emotional learning happens as children work with teachers and each other to play, follow directions, behave appropriately, and other interactions. Physical learning should include large motor skills (such as organized games and playground activities) as well as developing small motor skills (including writing, coloring, using scissors, painting, mixing clay, and other activities).
Providing a Mixture of Teacher-led and Child-led Activities
Learning to follow directions and engage in teacher-led activities is a critical skill for future academic success. Incorporating child-led group and independent activities is equally important for building confidence, curiosity, and sharing in the interests of others.
Supporting Children’s Interests and Curiosity
Preschools that encourage children to follow their interests and be curious explorers of their classrooms and other parts of their environment help to build self-motivated learners.
Building Self-confidence and Independence
Empowering children to make their own decisions and work independently when possible, gives them the tools they need from an early age for self-motivation and lifelong learning.
Appropriate Assessments to Better Meet Children’s Needs
Using a combination of age-appropriate assessments, including observations, examination of their work, and more formal screening techniques can help ensure that children’s needs are being met, and that growth is occurring.
Encouraging Family Participation and Input
Quality preschools actively involve families in conversations about their children’s activities, learning, interests, goals and other details.
Benefits of a Private Preschool
Choosing a preschool for your children can be overwhelming. Quality, philosophy, and overall environments often vary quite widely among myriad options. Private preschools, however, tend to have a few specific advantages over other programs, including:
Independent and Specialized Curriculums
Private preschools have the flexibility to select and customize preschool curriculums to meet school philosophies, children’s needs and add new, innovative content.
Lower Teacher-to-Student Ratios
Most private preschools can manage to have fewer students for each teacher, so every student receives more individual attention.
Smaller Class Sizes
Having a smaller overall class size can be less intimidating for young learners, and can foster a better sense of community among preschoolers. Smaller class sizes can also facilitate a wider variety of activities that may be less feasible for larger groups.
More Agile and Adaptable Programs
Because private schools are not bound by as many restrictions as public schools, they can adapt their preschool curriculums at any point to meet individual class needs and interests.
Enhanced Cooperation Between Staff and Families
The unique community that a private school and its families comprise encourages cooperative efforts among teachers, administration, and families to ensure the best benefits for all children.
The same feeling of community also facilitates communication between families, teachers, and administration.
More Experienced and Credentialed Teachers
In many cases, private preschools are able to hire and retain teachers with more professional experience and training than other preschools, offering children the best possible early childhood education. Las Vegas Day School only hires certified, licensed teachers with Early Childhood experience.
Expanded Extracurricular and Special Activities
The broader flexibility private schools enjoy can also extend to providing a wide variety of extracurricular and enrichment activities for preschoolers, including music, art, foreign languages, field trips, and more.
The Las Vegas Day School Preschool Difference
Our LVDS Kinderschool program for ages 3 to 4 offers a rich, nurturing, and rewarding foundation for learning, as well as for being part of a larger school community.
Familiar Campus and People
Many children who first attend LVDS for preschool continue here for future grades. Their familiarity with our school campus and friendly faces they recognize from other grades, staff, and administration, makes the transition to elementary school a natural one.
Children enjoy the comfort and reliability of routines, and having the predictability of moving from preschool through elementary, and even to middle school at LVDS. The continuity provided can reduce stress and allow children to focus on learning and other school activities. Additionally, consistency and routine lead to improved student academic, emotional, and social success.
Small Class Size with a Low Teacher to Student Ratio
The National Association for the Education of Young Children recommends that preschool class sizes be no larger than 20 children with no more than ten children per teacher. At LVDS, we go beyond these recommendations by setting a Kinderschool class size maximum of 16 children with a teacher for every eight students.
Our LVDS Kinderschool offers a robust, comprehensive preschool program that provides children with a rich curriculum supporting academic, cognitive, social, emotional, and physical development. In addition, we are able to offer a variety of special learning areas for our students, such as Spanish, music, art, and physical education activities.
The majority of LVDS teachers have advanced degrees, and our staff turnover rate is very low. This means teachers are very familiar with our families, our educational philosophies, and have the skills and training to offer a superior preschool experience.
If an LVDS Kinderschool environment sounds like a good fit for your family, we welcome you to contact us to schedule a tour and learn more about how we create lifelong learners.Categorized in: News