For children, preschool functions as an introduction to the world – the preschool environment is foundational in early childhood development. Children, age 4 – 5 years, are at a phase of magical thinking where they are most receptive to learning a new language, identifying shapes, textures, and sounds of the world around them. Preschool is when children can form connections to others outside of their home. This stage of early childhood is also where bad preschool habits can be identified and corrected in a supportive learning environment.
Bad habits and behavior are an emotional cognitive response to internal and external triggers. At preschool age, children are not aware of what their emotional state is; they simply respond to those triggers. For example, a child who did not sleep well the night before may have difficulty focusing or be disruptive in class. Such cues will alert a teacher or caregiver that the child needs a nap or time out to rest.
Connections In A Preschool Classroom
A new student to a preschool setting will identify a classmate they are attracted to. They could be drawn to the sound of their voice or fascinated by something their classmate is doing during playtime. In human development, emotional intelligence is also linked to social functioning. We learn to read facial expressions, which are cues to another person’s emotional state. Adults can discern a person’s emotional state quickly by facial expression, a process child learn primarily during preschool age.
Imagine two children playing with clay, making shapes such as circles and squares. Through this activity, they’re learning to identify shapes in the world around them. During their interaction, one child decides they want to make a star, not a circle. The other child has an idea of what a star is, but doesn’t really understand how it is structured. They get upset and cry, throwing the wad of clay across the table. Why? For a preschooler it’s normal to express frustration in this manner. At that age, our brains are wired to emotional responses to what we experience. These responses are centered in the limbic system of the temporal lobe.
In this situation, the child became frustrated, which triggered an emotional response. Their classmate didn’t know how to respond to what they were feeling. Empathy is learned through the experience of learning how to respond to the emotional messaging of others.
In a classroom situation like this, a teacher would intervene and turn it into a learning experience for both children: ‘Let’s try this again together. A star is a circle surrounded by five triangles.‘ This type of empathic approach from the teacher is fundamental to a preschool where children can collaborate, develop empathy for their peers, and address bad preschool habits.
Providence Children’s Academy implements a holistic approach to supporting the whole child with focus on learning, emotional and social skills. Class sizes are small so that each individual student gets the attention and support they need in their early development.
If you are looking for a family-oriented daycare and preschool that is dedicated to laying solid foundations through education, safety, health, and development in a fun and friendly environment then contact us today for a tour of our facility.