Country Life Blog

The Benefits of PreSchool

A Chinese proverb states, “If you are planning for a year, sow rice; if you are planning for a decade, plant trees; if you are planning for a lifetime, educate people.” At The Country School, we proudly state that “learning lasts a lifetime” here, so appropriately our curriculum begins in PreSchool, when children are three to four years old.

Countless Benefits of PreSchool

A safe first exposure to school where children can learn through play is one of the countless benefits of PreSchool enrollment. However, not all PreSchool learning is academic. As children develop their social and emotional skills, they simultaneously practice being kind, cooperating, and making friends. In addition to practicing fine and gross motor skills, they learn rules and routines, how to regulate their feelings, and how to manage themselves. According to psychologist Erik Erikson, children between the ages of three and five begin to assert their power and control over the world through play and other social interaction. Once our students learn that letters make words, when they “play school,” they pretend to write words. They feel safe to experiment with their world.

PreSchool Prepares Children for a Solid Academic Future

Benefits to PreSchool include foundational social and emotional skills and cognitive language development. Assuming that PreSchoolers have progressed successfully through Erikson’s first two stages of psychosocial behavior, they can trust and act independently by exerting power over themselves and their world. 

We practice Responsive Classroom at The Country School, an approach to education associated with higher student achievement and improved school climate. One part of this program has been integral to our school culture: our five-year rotation of CARES (Cooperation, Assertion, Respect and Responsibility, Empathy, and Self-control). Much of this approach is based on modeling appropriate and expected behaviors. When children successfully complete the initiative vs. guilt stage, they experience confidence and resilience. They learn that mistakes are not causes for guilt but instead stepping stones on the path forward. As we like to say at The Country School, FAIL = First Attempt In Learning.

Statistics Demonstrate the Benefits of PreSchool 

Studies underscore the importance of PreSchool. Learning Policy Institute reviewed research that proved that students who attend PreSchool programs are more prepared for school and are less likely to be identified as having special needs or to be held back in elementary school than children who did not attend PreSchool.

Additionally, a study published in the journal Developmental Psychology clarifies some of the differences between children going to PreSchool vs. children who stay home:

List of 2 items.

  • Academic Readiness

    Children who attend PreSchool outperform others in terms of language, literacy and math. At the beginning of Kindergarten, those who attended PreSchool are far more advanced than non-attendees on assessments of vocabulary, background knowledge, letter identification, and short-term memory. 
  • Future Benefits

    The advantages of attending PreSchool may actually increase over time. Early studies on the impact of PreSchool programs often show lukewarm results in the first few years, but decades later, dramatic sleeper effects emerge. Even when controlling for their parents’ income and education levels, those attending PreSchool have been found less likely to become teenage parents or receive public assistance and are far more likely to graduate from college and secure employment as young adults.

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Ways to Tell if Your Child is Ready for PreSchool

You are not alone if you've been wondering, "Is my children ready for PreSchool?" Knowing if your child is ready for PreSchool can be tricky since they are so very young and there is such a developmental range among three year olds. This following checklist might help.

A child ready for PreSchool generally is able to:
  1. focus on a task, 
  2. follow simple one-step instructions,
  3. attend to a speaker,
  4. focus when someone is reading,
  5. interact with a book by answering questions and engaging,
  6. play independently (not parallel play),
  7. be comfortable separating from a parent,
  8. exercise gross fine motor skills such as running or walking,
  9. show interest in experimenting with their body for example by sliding or climbing,
  10. have basic self-care skills.
Start Your Journey
341 Opening Hill Road, Madison, CT 06443
P. 203-421-3113  |  F. 203-421-4390  |  Health Office F. 860-469-2550
Founded in 1955, The Country School is a coeducational, independent school serving students in PreSchool-Grade 8. The Country School is committed to active, hands-on learning and a vigorous curriculum that engages the whole child.