Tag Archives: preschool

Brain Research

The brains most crucial development time is when you are a baby. The brain evolves rapidly and the environment in which it develops has a direct effect on the child emotional, social and intellectual development. We know that the years before preschool are vital to brain development.

Researchers once believed that a child’s brain was complete when they were born. It was a common belief that genetics were the sole determining factor on intelligence and brain capacity. Modern research has proven this wrong and shown that the environment in which a child is raised had a direct influence on the development of the brain.

There are many outside influences that are known to have a negative impact on the brains development. Toxins, infection, malnutrition, exposure during pregnancy to drugs and premature birth have all been shown to have a negative impact on the development of the brain. Additionally abuse and neglect are also major factors in the capacity of a brains development. Much more is known about what holds the brain back developmentally than we know about what to do to boost brain development.

The first three years of life are the most crucial. In a setting where they are exposed to negative developmental factors a child born with a normal IQ may never achieve their full potential. One that is exposed to negative factors but experiences and intervention may be able to catch up their peers though with property intervention. This ability of the brain to be able to recover is very promising for children in less than ideal environments and shows us the importance of a healthy, nurturing environment for children. This is great news for those with learning disabilities because we know that the brain is flexible and can overcome delays. This is also great news for those with brain injuries because we know that we can help the brain overcome a lot of the trauma.
By the time a child is in kindergarten a lot can be done to intervene in the development of the brain. This, when done properly and with care, can help a child in school. We all know that if the child gets a great start in elementary school, they have a foundation for life. This starts in the womb and carries on for a lifetime.

Policy makers are faced with a difficult task, they must translate how to make brain research policies beneficial to children. Scientist have much more knowledge on how the brain develops than how to change or enhance it. This would lead one to think that public policy should focus on helping to eliminate the factors that inhibit brain growth such as biological and social conditions.

They cannot over stress the importance of those first crucial years though, lest it lead to neglect of the necessary environment in other times of development. Such as the importance of prenatal care when the brain is particularly vulnerable while first developing or during adolescence which is another time of significant growth.

Preschool Developmental Milestones

The preschool years are important for many reasons. There are crucial developmental milestones reached during this period.

Children from 3-5 (preschool age) need to develop the following skills:

Social skills:

  • At age 3 a child is starting to play cooperatively with other children. They can take part in structured games, remember rhymes and songs. They are learning to share and make real friends.
  • At 4 years old make believe begins to take the form of real life (play house, play store, restaurant play, school). 4 year olds will often choose a best friend and is strongly influenced by their friends. They are also learning about rules and understanding them.
  • For the five year old independence is the order of the day! They love having responsibility so chores and other activities are great. Positive reinforcement is a key factor for the self esteem of the five year old.

Motor Skills:

  • 3 year olds walk in an adult manner, quickly moves around obstacles, climbs ladders, uses slides alone, pedals. For fine motor skills the three year old does puzzles, finger paints, molds with clay, stacks blocks and makes shapes with a crayon or pencil.
  • 4 year olds have more controlled running and walking. They can easily hop on one foot and catch, throw and bounce a ball. They can also take care of simple self grooming.
  • 5 year olds fine tune their motor skills in almost everything they do. They are always climbing, jumping, skipping, playing in general and even balancing on curbs. They are growing fast and need many vitamins and minerals so they don’t become vitamin deficient.

Language and Thought Processes:

  • Three year olds speak sentences. They are usually about three to five words long. Can do puzzles that require matching pictures and shapes. Learns through hands on experience. Grasps time: now, later, before and soon. Put together the cause and effect of things.
  • Four year olds have increased sentence structure where they combine thoughts and ideas. They think literally and start thinking logically. A 4 year old understands that symbols and pictures relate to real things (or represent them). They begin to know the difference between real and “make believe”.
  • Five year olds are more analytical than ever. They love more complex and abstract problem solving. The five year old loves conversation and taking their turn to speak in group settings. The vocabulary is increasing at a rapid speed.

Keep in mind that the rate at which children develop in any category varies. These are basic and broad milestones and preschool age characteristics. If you have any doubts about your child’s development you should consult with your pediatrician.

Toddlers, Preschoolers and Problem Solving

We have all observed a toddler or preschoolers ingenuity with solving problems. They may use a straw as a spoon, they may use any number of objects as a hammer. They realize that to get to something they want to reach they have to stack boxes and climb or open drawers on a dresser to use it as a ladder. While some of these may cause panic in parents and caregivers they are all great signs that the toddler is learning to solve problems on their own. Naturally caution needs to be observed so that the child’s safety is the priority.

It is crucial for parents and caregivers to realize that at times the best thing they can do when they see their child facing an obstacle is to stand back and let them find the solution. How else can they possibly gain the critical thinking skills necessary to do the task themselves. This critical thinking process is key as the child grows, matures and finally becomes an adult.

Certain toys are great for teaching children cause and effect. For instance a jack in the box. The child knows that if they crank the handle eventually Jack will pop out. Or a peg board with a hammer where the child learns that hammering down the different shaped pegs causes them to have to turn the board over to continue hammering. These are great toys and there are so many like them that teach cause and effect and don’t cost a lot of money.

Puzzles are great for kids for many reasons. This gives a child spatial reasoning as well as critical thinking and problem solving techniques. Just think of the steps a child goes through as they do a wooden puzzle that may have different animals that they have to match and put in the right spot. The child first identifies which picture looks like the puzzle piece they are holding, they then go to put the piece in the appropriate spot (motor skills), when it doesn’t work the child realizes that turning and twisting it will eventually make it fit. This is a great key for learning how to solve problems. It teaches the brain that you just keep working at something but keep trying different ways to solve the problem.

By providing interesting and stimulating (this does not mean high volume or high dollars) toys for your toddler and preschooler you will foster the ability to solve problems. Also, you will find yourself with a much more content toddler and a happier child overall. After all, these skills build self confidence and a child’s work is his play. Early childhood development is important. Remember that you can help your child gain further skills if needed by enrolling them in preschools (if old enough) and play or preschool groups with structured activities are great.

Homeschool Preschool

There are many things parents can do to prepare their children for school. Whether you decide to send your children to a public school, private school, charter school, magnet school, or to homeschool them if you take the time to teach them some basics they are more likely to succeed throughout their school years. By teaching your preschooler basic reading, writing, and math skills your child will be better equipped to start school without being overwhelmed.

There are many fun-filled ways of teaching preschool age children. In fact, it is the easiest time in their life to learn. You can even teach them things without them feeling like they are being taught. By reading to them every day, playing guessing games, card games, counting games, etc…You can make almost anything you do during the day into an educational experience.

There are a few homeschool preschool curriculum’s available to help, if you are struggling with ideas. Keep in mind most states do not have any educational requirements that include preschool, therefore homeschool preschool does not have to be documented and will count as credit towards their educational graduation requirements. That is not to say they will not be rewarded, the education in and of itself will be a huge reward. You may also wish to reward them for their accomplishments as it will help them gain a sense of self esteem and accomplishment.

Most Common Misspellings

What words have the most common misspellings? Spelling comes easy for some, and not so easy for others. But, even those who believe they can spell really well still have difficulty with some words. Many of the words that have duplicate letters are often misspelled like vacuum-many people often think it has two cc’s instead of two u’s. Or how about occurrence? When things occur there is only one r, so many people forget to add the additional r in occurrence or sometimes think it is spelled occurrance. If you want to know more tips and tricks on how to remember some of the most common misspelled words check out our newly posted grammar lesson.
Educationbug.org strives to help keep you educated and give you information that can help students, teachers, and administration in learning and providing a fun and exciting learning environment. You are never too young or too old to learn a new trick or two. We continually post articles for everyone from preschool to higher education.

School Testing

There are very few people that I am aware of that get totally excited about school testing. But school testing is a necessary thing if we are going to be able to know what kind of progress is being made.
One of the definitions given for education is, “the knowledge and development resulting from an educational process.” But how do we now what knowledge or development has taken place? That’s right, school testing! Testing may come even before you start kindergarten. Some schools require children to take an entrance exam (if you will) so they are aware of what kind of preschool education this child has had.
And from then on it is a constant line up of test after test. There is school testing in the classrooms, on local, district, national, and college levels. On a national level there are some standardized testing that lets us know how the nation is doing overall in education. Then there are tests that can help you get into college or help colleges determine eligibility, such as the SAT or ACT tests. There may be even some after college for some professions.
If school testing makes you nervous or anxious just remember it is just a way of measuring progress and as you continue to grow you will continue to progress. Relax and just do the best you can.

Teaching Children to Read

I recently read an article about a San Francisco clothing company called Miss Do Gooder who designs clothing to help charitable causes. Their latest effort is teaming up with First Book, a company dedicated to providing new books to children across America and Canada. The t-shirts have a Miss Do-Gooder cartoon character promoting literacy. They will give First Book $2.50, which equates to one new book for a child, for every t-shirt they sell. This article prompted me to check into the well known Hooked on Phonics program and have an article featuring this product on our educationbug.org website.

If we do not prepare our children for school by teaching them how to read we are doing them a terrible disservice as once they do start school they will be at a disadvantage to those whose parents chose to help their child learn how to read. With the student teacher ratios increasing all the time we cannot expect teachers to be the only source of educating our children about reading. Teaching our children to read does not always have to be a chore or a mundane routine of a set time period to sit down and read a book, although this is a great idea to implement as well to get children into the habit of reading. There are great ways to have fun teaching our children to read. There are a ton of learning games you can play with your children and they will not even realize they are being educated in the process.

Starting a Preschool

Starting a Preschool – At EducationBug.org we have many featured articles and here in our blog we like to feature an article or category on occasion. Today, we are featuring our article on how to start a preschool.

This article contains tips on how to organize a group of parents to start a preschool group. There are many types and methods of preschools and lots of things to consider. This gives a brief overview on how to get started.

We also have many other articles on preparing for school as well as many others on various preschool topics. Our series on getting your child ready for school is written by a staffer with a M. Ed. in reading education and licensed teacher in the Vermont education system . They are top notch articles packed with great information for parents of children who are just getting ready to start school.

We also give parents ideas on learning games and how they can make education fun through use of card games and other methods. Learning doesn’t have to be boring anymore! Get your child ready for school by making the process more exciting.

Do you have a child ages 1-5? Get information at EducationBug.org today on preschool, kindergarten, and more! We have hundreds of articles and hundreds of thousands of profiles on education institutions across the United States.