What Should My Child Be Learning At Day Care?

Children's Aid Society's Philip Coltoff Center

Children’s Aid Society’s Philip Coltoff Center

So your toddler is at pre school and you are wondering what exactly are they teaching. Also, is my child keeping up with the with the other children? Here are a few all important tips on what your child should be learning:

  • The most important thing a child should be learning is socialization. This is your child’s first formal experience away from you. They need to learn how to listen to other adults, and interact with other children. It is hard to learn how to ask a child to play with you, or learn how to cope when someone hurts your feelings. Children should look forward to coming to school and feel safe and secure in their social environment.
  • Toddlers should also be learning how to function in their classrooms. For the most part, child day care centers have structured days. It is hard for a child to understand the concept of following someone else’s rules. Children must learn how to sit in a circle, complete learning activities, and learn to follow a scheduled day. This can be difficult and takes time.
  • In terms of actual learning concepts, pre schoolers should begin working on pre-writing skills, These activities include fine motor skills such as learning to color within the lines, using play-doh, practicing pouring water, and eating with a spoon, Once your child has mastered these skills they will move on to learning how to hold a pencil and drawing straight lines. After tracing straight lines your child should begin to work on tracing their names and letters. When this is completed children will move on to writing letters without tracing. For those who have the same outlook on what our children should be learning and want to make a difference, consider looking into certificate online teaching programs.
  • Letter comprehension should also be taking place. Children should start off just being introduced to letters by singing the alphabet and introducing one letter sound at a time (example: the letter a makes the sound …aaa…). They should also be learning words that start with that same letter sound (apple, ant, ankle). After learning the letetrs and sounds children will then begin to orally sound words out.
  • In terms of math concepts, children should be exposed to numbers and also understand their quantity ( the number 2 means something). After children understand what the numbers are, and that they have value, they will then begin to trace the number that they are working on. Children will work on writing at least the first 20 numbers and some will even learn to write to 100. Children who have learned this will also begin learning addition. Children will also learn money concepts and possibly how to count by 5′s and 10′s.
  • In terms of social studies and science, children usually learn the basics of hygiene, weather and season, holidays, dinosaurs, planets, and solar system. These are just a few examples. Usually these thematic ideas are based on the school’s preference and not on a set standard of what children have to know. Other curriculum may include art or physical education depending on the school.

What I have written seems simple. What parents really need to understand is that all children learn differently and its up to the child what pace they learn at. Some children will end the year knowing how to read and some may just understand letters. Remember THIS IS FINE AND NORMAL. Children learn differently and and that does not make one slower or smarter. Remember this is preschool and not college! Children usually reach the same level by third grade. If your child is happy and loves going to school, at the end of the day… they are learning a lot!

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