What’s the big deal with preschool, anyway? Adorable 3, 4, and 5-year-olds frolic, play, and learn, but why is there such a big emphasis on it these days? I see it through interactions with other parents, as we ask each other where we send our preschoolers. I also see it floating through social media with different posts about the importance of what is learned in preschool.
I’ll tell you why: Preschool just may be the best form of education offered today. And I even wish some adults, including myself, could get in on the action.
Two weeks ago, my 5-year-old daughter taught me all about the planets, moon, and sun. She knew exactly what she was talking about, and the pride in her eyes while she was “teaching” Mommy all about it was evident. She also leads me in yoga and demonstrates what was learned at school. She has shown me how to meditate and how to hold my fingers. She begins with stating, peace begins with me, as I struggle not to giggle. Her love for art is also fostered, nurtured, and encouraged at preschool. The pictures she creates are inventive, imaginative, and are actually quite well done.
The love and nurturance she has received at preschool has not only supported the love and nurturance she receives outside of school, but it has increased her self-esteem, pride in herself, and her care of others. The lessons of sharing, treating others nicely, challenging oneself, feeling joy in learning–these are all lessons she will not only carry with her to kindergarten in the fall, but throughout her life. That simply amazes me! This little 5-year-old girl has already learned some of the most important lessons of living a healthy and happy life.
So, should adults go back to preschool to learn/re-learn these life lessons? Now that we live in this high-tech world where our ids are immediately satisfied as we hear back from a text message we just sent, do we ever just stop to take a breath? It could be nice to slow down and color a picture, or sit and meditate, reciting the words, peace begins with me. Those lessons of sharing, treating others well, challenging oneself, and feeling the joy in learning should not be lost in adulthood. These lessons that our preschoolers are taught are practiced on a daily basis. Adults may need reminders to treat oneself nicely, as well as others, to share in a literal sense as well as in a figurative manner, to challenge oneself and always feel joy when learning something new, which is hopefully, often.
While I am in a denial state when thinking of my daughter starting kindergarten in the fall, I am thankful for her preschool for loving her, praising her, teaching her, and caring for her–not just her body, but her entire being. I am astounded at who she has become and who she will continue to be. Preschool is a very big deal.