When children are 6 years old, it is time to go to school, to learn to read and write to learn to calculate. Added to these and many other learning is the need to acquire new habits and to know how to live and behave in the class group and in the formal context that is the classroom. Children who attended kindergartens will be able to enter this ‘new world’ with advantages. After all, they are already used to living with other children and adults not belonging to the family. They learned to know how to be in a group. They learned to abide by rules. They were developing their autonomy. The transition from home to the 1st cycle school was mediated by staying in another school that was much less formalized or even completely informal, which made this socialization possible and eased the transition.
It’s time for a great dedication
Learning to read and write can be facilitated by activities developed in the kindergarten, although many of them can also be done at home. One of them, extremely important, is the contact with the book. There are books for all ages that can be handled by children almost from birth. The pedagogical advantages are many. Among them are the development of a predisposition for reading and a taste for it and knowledge of how to use the book and the direction of reading. Many language games can be developed: rhymes, substitution of sounds for words, words beginning or ending in the same sound, etc.
Activities such as Hands-on learning, drawing, painting and cutouts develop fine motor skills. The hands and fingers become skilled in the movements necessary for the acquisition of beautiful and effortless calligraphy. The socialization provided by the kindergarten also contributes to the development of language and vocabulary, which are important in learning to read and write and in the acquisition of much other knowledge.
Options and ways are endless
This list of advantages of attending kindergarten is not meant to be exhaustive. However, it should be noted that kindergartens can follow different pedagogical guidelines. In some of these activities, they are carried out in an informal and playful context. Others opt for more formal education, with some where children are already learning to read and write. It is up to parents, at the time of choice, to find out about these and other characteristics of kindergarten, to make the option that seems most appropriate to them.
Currently, recent studies point out these and other benefits, considered essential in the socialization of young people and in the development of their skills and competences, such as –
- The social skills of cooperation allow a real sharing of ideas and the development of common tasks, collaborating with each other for the same purpose,
- Self-esteem, through the creation of situations that make it possible to reinforce concentration on a task and contact and sensory exploration,
- The capacity for resilience, through activities that allow creative dynamics in the face of setbacks,
Therefore, it is vital that parents be able to make an informed educational choice.