Preschool or Formal School or Do Homeschooling: Once your bundle of joy toddler reaches a 2-3 years age milestone, then every parent starts thinking about child education. Also, discussions in most parent forums in recent times revolve around the choice of school and the pros and cons of a particular pedagogy.
New moms, parents feel a dilemma i.e. should i choose academic school or play based school? The latest dichotomy in parent’s minds is whether to start their child’s schooling in a preschool or homeschooling or a formal, mainstream school. Here are some questions pop-up in every parent…
Which One to Choose – Preschool or A Formal School
Does preschool make a difference?
Should a 3 year old go to formal school?
Is preschool really necessary?
Is homeschooling more effective than public schooling?
Should I homeschool for my preschooler?
What is the best age to homeschool?
Are formal schools good for preschoolers?
While the intent may be there to go with a preschool, the practicality of nursery school admission in grade 1 in a mainstream school is always worrisome to a parent. To those parents who want to make an informed choice, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Why to Choose Preschools?
Preschools have smaller numbers in the classroom, allowing for a better teacher-student ratio. A smaller class ratio helps children settle faster, as they receive one-on-one attention and interaction. This also helps children with different learning styles; as they are not pressurized to keep up with the rest of the class.
Preschools are smaller spaces facilitating only the early years/ pre kindergarten programs. They are also set up in a warm cosy space, thus mimicking the secure space of the home for the child. Most preschools try and set up an environment that is colorful, child-friendly and welcoming.
A preschool follows a specific early learning pedagogy like Montessori or multiple intelligences or waldorf which have been specifically designed with the developmental domains required for this age group. All these are time tested and understand the needs of a preschool child.
Preschool prepares the child to make the transition to formal school in a smooth and developmentally correct way.
Why Are Formal Schools Are Good?
Mainstream schools accommodate big numbers even in their pre-primary classrooms and this may cause the settling process to be extended and not so smooth for the child /parent. Children most often don’t get the individual attention and are pressurized to keep up with the rest of the class.
A mainstream classroom is part of the entire school infrastructure and can be overwhelming for a child of two and a half. The facilities like play area and transport are sometimes shared by the whole school which leaves the preschooler anxious and overcome with fear.
Preschool vs Formal Schools : Difference?
Mainstream or formal schools may or may not follow early childhood pedagogy. The curriculum allows only for group instructions owing to big numbers and many preparatory activities may be skipped.
|Benefits of Preschool||Formal Schools May Skip|
|Will prepare the child for writing, preschools go through an elaborate pre-writing exercise to make the child comfortable with the writing instrument.||Whereas in the pressures of a mainstream environment, this step may be entirely skipped.|
|Preschool programs nurture warm relationships and their circle includes children, teachers, and parents.||This step may be entirely skipped in mainstream schools due no. of children in class.|
|And teachers build a close personal connection with each child in their care.||Formal schools are less personal and are not able to nurture a warm emotional bond with each child in the class owing to big numbers.|
|While preschools are mostly located in the neighborhood||Formal or mainstream schools are at a central location in the city.|
For example; to will prepare the child for writing, preschools go through an elaborate pre-writing exercise to make the child comfortable with the writing instrument, whereas in the pressures of a mainstream environment, this step may be entirely skipped. It is observed that the preschool environment sees children with improved social skills. This is because of a variety of reasons like child-directed learning, smaller numbers and less pressure to conform. In order to learn, young children need to feel cared for and secure.
Preschool programs nurture warm relationships and their circle includes children, teachers, and parents. And teachers build a close personal connection with each child in their care. Formal schools are less personal and are not able to nurture a warm emotional bond with each child in the class owing to big numbers.
While preschools are mostly located in the neighborhood school , Formal or mainstream schools are at a central location in the city. Young children should not be traveling long distances at their age as it tires and overwhelms them. In order to make the transition from home to school smooth, the distance and travel time has to be taken into consideration.
Now as the nursery school admission season is on the go, so, as a parent, you need to understand what kind of preschool experience you want for your child; one that is at the child’s pace and helps him grow in independence. For, after all, it is your child’s first time out of the security of his home.
So,it is suggested to choose one that works for you as a family. Happy Schooling, Best of Luck Parents.