From 2007-2012, the number of children enrolled in preschool programs increased by 6%. With the increasing trend of sending children to preschool, many parents who might not have considered sending their children to preschool are now wondering whether they should and, more importantly, what type of program is best for their child. When deciding on a preschool program for your child, there are two main types. Play-based preschools, also known as child-centered preschools, allow individual children to choose what to do throughout the day. Academic preschools, also known as teacher-managed preschools, encourage children to follow a curriculum built by their teachers.
While both academic and play-based preschools have benefits, you will often find many parents enthusiastically support one method over the other. However, whether an academic or play-based program is better is highly dependent on the individual child and their needs. Below are three reasons you might want to consider an academic preschool instead of a play-based preschool.
Your Child Is Easily Overwhelmed
Play-based preschools are often louder and more chaotic than academic preschools. With children doing many different activities at the same time, it can be easy for some children to feel confused or overwhelmed. If your child appreciates a quiet, structured environment they will most likely feel more comfortable at an academic preschool. Some signs that your child might feel overwhelmed at a play-based preschool include a strong desire to follow a consistent routine and becoming upset when things are out of place or done out of order.
Your Child Does Not Exhibit Strong Preferences For How They Spend Their Time
Some children immediately thrive in a play-based setting because they see certain activities that they want to engage in. However, many children need more encouragement to play or interact with other children. For these children, the more structured academic setting may increase their engagement and help them benefit from their preschool experience more.
Your Child Is Shy
Shy children often take their behavioral cues from older children or adults. They may feel anxious about interacting with children their age. Since academic programs are teacher-focused, there tend to be more activities that are led by the teacher, taking focus away from your shy child and giving them time to master skills before they feel put on the spot to perform these skills.
Both academic and play-based programs include elements of play and education. However, the different approaches to learning suit different types of children. It is important to decide on where to enroll your child based on their individual preferences and personality rather than standard reviews of various programs. Talk to many preschools, like Montessori School Of Salt Lake Inc, before making your decision.