Preschool 101: A guide on what preschool is about

As a parent, do you think preschool is unnecessary, and why put your little one in school when the actual learning can come later on? That’s where you’re wrong. Preschool lays the groundwork for the skills children will learn in future, and is in fact considered the most important year(s) in a child’s education.

Through things like play, song and dance, preschoolers gain skills that enable them to read, write, build math and science skills and be ready for primary school. It’s important to note that preschoolers learn the best through fun and games, and research has shown that the early development of math and literacy skills in preschool is associated with future academic success in these subjects.

If you have plans for your little one to develop important cognitive skills, do well in school and experience the joy of learning, consider placing him in preschool. Below, we review the general curriculum for preschool, including how each subject is taught and some fun teaching materials we recommend!

Reading and writing in preschool

Apart from scheduled reading time, preschoolers get to develop their literacy skills almost throughout the day through rhymes, poems and songs. These read-alouds typically concern topics across all subjects, and you’ll find that most preschool classrooms are filled with labelled pictures and signs to help kids make connections between objects and words. To gain the strength and skills to hold writing materials like pencils, preschoolers are often first taught to draw, glue and paint on their free will.

Over time, you’ll discover that the reading is directly connected to developing writing skills and vice versa.

Some common activities include:

Making character puppets
Character puppets made out of socks or paper bags are often used as tools to encourage children to read. These puppets used to act out stories.

Using a computer
Children are taught how to type out letters and names with a computer.

Spelling out their name
Often, this is done with anything from sand, paint to even cookie dough. This is what we call sensory methods for teaching words, and the key is to first familiarise your child with drawing out alphabets before progressing to writing properly with a pen or pencil.

Arts and crafts
Anything that involves drawing, painting or glueing is fair game. The more your child does these activities, the stronger his hands get!

Rhyming can be done in almost any way, but a fun way is to play a game and take turns saying words, making them rhyme as much as possible.

By the end of the school year, your preschooler will learn how to:

  • Recite poems, songs and rhymes
  • Read books
  • Recognise letters, how they look like and how they sound
  • Draw, paint, cut and glue
  • Write letters and names

Here are also some learning materials that will make reading and writing a lot more enjoyable for your preschooler:

Sing-along books
Enter any bookstore and you’ll find a sing-along book; our personal favourite is the Baby Shark one which teaches preschoolers not only the rhythm of language but dance moves that will sharpen their motor skills.

Preschool workbook bundles
From sticker activities to wipe-clean workbooks, these workbook bundles provide everything that will keep a preschooler entertained.

Math in preschool

Apart from working with numbers, learning math in preschool is a fun amalgamation of creating and learning shapes, playing with puzzles, building blocks and using calendars. These activities entail counting and manipulating objects which help preschoolers build math skills.

Some common math activities include:

Counting in fun and active ways
Steps, stairs, food — as long as it’s countable, it’s a learning tool.

Friendly competitions
This could be sorting blocks of different colours and shapes as fast as they can, or playing games like “I Spy”.

Number books
Preschoolers make their own number books that contain drawings, magazine clippings, actual objects like buttons or photographs.

By the end of the school year, your preschooler will learn how to:

  • Count
  • Learn what numbers are
  • Form shapes and patterns
  • Measure, sort and compare objects

Science in preschool

Usually, teachers will teach specific science lessons a few times a week that cover anything from water, the weather, animals to plants and nature. These lessons are conducted via the use of books, outside explorations or demonstrations with real life objects. As preschoolers are natural scientists during this age, they pick up things pretty fast.

Common science activities taught in preschool include:

Going outside
There’s no better way to learn about science than to be surrounded by science. Children get to go on excursions to draw or write about plants, insects and nature.

Preschoolers get to grow plants to learn the basics of how plants grow and what they need to thrive.

They won’t get to actually whip up a dish, but preschoolers will learn what happens when things get hot or cold, how to mix ingredients and how to measure “more” or “less”.

By the end of the school year, your preschooler will learn how to:

  • Play and interact with their surroundings
  • Sort and organise
  • Ask questions and observe

There you have it! These are just some of the things your child will benefit from attending a preschool. Of course, you can teach your kid yourself, but a preschool brings on the additional perks of trained teachers and classmates.

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