A liberating fact of life is that it keeps learning and you can’t stop it from learning. But, at its budding stage, it is much faster and more effective.
This is true in our children’s case.
When a parent says that my child is still young, I am not enrolling in the preschool this year yet, I get butterflies in my tummy, not because I don’t know how to convince and convert the admission but it is to see how a child is learning at a very tender age being a pre-schooler versus a child who hasn’t come to a preschooluntil five years of his/her age.
Discussing brain development and skills learning is quite interesting because of its complexity with too many dynamics involved.
I will be biased if I say the former is better than the latter because it is too complex to determine.
However, given the fact that a preschool is an extended family for a child and there are many people around to help him/her in developing skills and achieving necessary growth milestones at the right age, I would like to present the first-hand empirical research that I have been doing for the last 14 years.
1: Communication and more language skills are far more polished in preschoolers that the children sitting at home, of course leaving the children whose parents are teaching them many languages and working on their communication skills.
2: Affective Skills (Self-management and social skills) are well-developed in preschoolers, if not better but at least as good in a child as a conscious parent or a joint and large family would do for its young member of the family.
3: It is amusing to write the more the merrier. Exposure to different skills is far better in preschool than at home. The preschoolers look smarter.
4: Higher-order critical thinking skills and higher-order execution skills are acquired. They don’t develop by themselves. I find a preschool expert will do such things much more thoughtfully for a child than a mom though I reserve my further comments because of being brought up by a very conscious mother who always behaved like a Montessorian. I still feel that she couldn’t compete with a preschool teacher.
5: Playing with peers and making friends at a very early age in preschool is a liberating experience. I think the children being homeschooled can’t parallel that experience with preschoolers.
6: Learning from imperfect peers make a child feel better and more confident about his learning than learning from an authority like parents or grandparents. On a lighter note, for corrections, they have enough time.
That said, in the longer run, I strongly feel a child keeps growing and changing. No child remains the same whether he/she is a preschooler or being homeschooled.
The third aspect recently added by the pandemic of COVID-19 was of a different level, i.e., online learning. We, the current generation of teachers and parents,are yet to witness what our next generation would look like.
Happy learning whenever and wherever you can.