I'm in an ENG 102 class with MLA citing which I haven't used before. My paper is double spaced and correct in word. What I would like help with is fluency especially between paragraphs and if I need more content, as well as advice regarding my citing. I worry about not citing sources correctly and not summarizing correctly.
Every parent wants what is best for their children from the second they're born. While children are babies, it's introducing only the best of things to help them grow and develop to hit every milestone possible. Whether children are home with a parent or have working parents getting a child ready for kindergarten brings on its own challenges. Many parents look to preschool to help prepare a child while others don't see the importance and think home play is the best way. However, does this decision put a child at a disadvantage? While parents continue to be divided on whether preschool is beneficial, the amount of research done greatly shows that preschool is the best way to give a child a head start when starting kindergarten.
Every parent wants to prepare their child for kindergarten and looking for a qualified preschool can be overwhelming when uninformed of what to look for. Helen Davidson explains in her article the differences from low income preschool to private pre-kindergarten as well as the types of programs they offer to parents (1809). This is the first steps of where to send a child and knowing the difference is important. Knowing what the cost will be for a family is a big thing. Also deciding on full day or half day for a child. Plus Davidson informs parents to look for preschool licensing, to ask for teachers backgrounds, what the schools retention rate for teachers is, as well as if they require teachers to keep up with trainings (1810). Knowing this information helps to make a parent secure in where a child is attending and who a parent is leaving their children with. If a parent is wanting a qualified preschool, then knowing that the teachers are young women with no background in education they will not get the proper instruction for their children.
Examining the classrooms environment to make sure it meets a child's needs is also just as important. "There should be a good selection of appropriate indoor and outdoor play equipment, including blocks, puzzles, sand, dress-up clothes, and tumbling mats for indoor play and climbing equipment, tricycles, and slides for outdoor play" (Davidson 1811) Children need to be able to explore their creativity but still learn in a structured way. "Parents should also look for signs of ongoing creative and fine-motor activity, including a good supply of crayons, scissors, and paint brushes." (Davidson 1811) Parents aren't just looking for a place for their children to run and play, the point is to prepare them for kindergarten. The classroom should have set curriculum with a daily routine. It should consist of working on milestones for the current age group as well as introducing more advanced activities. Making sure that the preschool chosen uses various activities will help children hit milestones that will help them in the future.
Cognitive and social development are some of the biggest reasons for a child to be enrolled in preschool, because schools can offer a child this better than being at home. ""Neuroscientific studies have shown that playful activity leads to synaptic growth, particularly in the frontal cortex, the part of the brain responsible for all the uniquely human higher mental functions," says Beverly Dsa, child psychologist." (Mascarenhas) The younger a child is the more susceptible they are to learning. Prior to age five, children develop the most and can be behind up to two years when not able to experience a preschool program. ("Research") There are so many milestones that children need to reach and many are the stepping stones in life. Some are things a child can learn at home, while others are ones that children need to learn in a social setting with kids of various backgrounds. Preschool age learning has such an impact on a child and sets a child up for the rest of their lives.
It is also important to understand the long term impact not attending preschool has on a child due to the lack of readiness they miss out on. The "Longitudinal Study: Perry Preschool Project" showed the impact preschool had compared to those that didn't over a course of 40 years, such as a rise in college graduates and more employed adults. ("Research") Seeing studies finding such valuable information should make parents realize how important preschool can be for a child. Edward Bieluch, sheriff of Knoxville, Tenn. tells us ""If we continue to shortchange our kids, we will pay dearly not only in tax dollars, but in crime, violence, fear and shattered lives," (Teachers.). There is something about this type of learning at such an early age that has a drastic effect on one's life. Seeing this long term effect of school readiness is very informative and should be part of the decision process when decided on preschool. Talking to kindergarten teachers for information firsthand of how preschool impacts students can even be very beneficial.
Entering a classroom and talking with the teacher is a great way to really understand how to prepare a child and why preschool is important. "Children who attended a pre-kindergarten or other preschool program are better prepared for their first year of school than children without such access, kindergarten teachers say". (Teachers) Preschool is there to start the learning process to give children guide to what kindergarten will be like. In fact "children who attended quality pre-k programs were more likely to get along with other children, count numbers, know letters of the alphabet and follow directions." (Teachers) Having students who already know this information gives teachers more time to continue learning for every student, instead of having to catch others up academically. Many times kindergarten teachers are having to teach the basics so that students aren't getting behind. This will then start to divide the class to those that are a head and those trying to catch up, which isn't fair to anyone. Besides the academic difference children will face there's also the social differences to consider.
Also important is to look at the social impact preschool can give children. Preschools are a great way to introduce children to social situations they can't get a home. (Mascarenhas) Children get comfortable playing with playdate friends. Having this as the only interaction however stunts a child's social growth. It makes them aware of only a certain type of behaviors and doesn't allow them to experience other situations. Eric Lindsey tells us children who are socially accepted are ones with at least one friend and have acceptable behaviors and those with negative behaviors have a harder time making friends. Children will always cling to others that are like them, whether positive or negative behavior. Bailey Gonzales, parent to a kindergartener explained perfectly why when missing preschool a child misses problem solving skills with classmates. "My daughter did have a hard time making friends in the beginning....What was hard for her was dealing with kids with severe behavioral problems. She was picked on by a little boy and was afraid of him and to tell anybody" (Gonzales) Her daughter was in no way prepared for dealing with other children outside of her social circle and this is many times the case. Possibly talking with other parents would have helped share light on pros and cons to preschool.
Sometimes talking to parents to hear how preschool has impacted a child's school experience can be very beneficial. Casey Ross, parent to a kindergartener who attended preschool said "Preschool really got him ready for kindergarten way better than I ever could" (Ross) For a parent to realize that it's okay they can't teach their child something actually speaks volumes. And they saw it pay off when he attended kindergarten. Because he attended preschool they also reported, "My son was always top of his kindergarten class and spent lots of time working on more advanced assignments so he wouldn't get bored throughout the day" (Ross) Sometimes parents think they know all and can do best for their children and it overshadows the facts of the situation. Kids generally learn better when not with their own parents.
Being at home with a parent is still by many the prefered way because they feel kids should learn at home without a structured setting. ""Young children are better off at home," says Michael Smith, president of the Home School Legal Defense Association. "We are in danger of overinstitutionalizing them" (Lester). There are some children that maybe do learn better at home in some areas. Bailey, when talking about her daughter who didn't attend preschool said, "Since our daughter was at home we used preschool books that covered the basics and Leapfrog programs to help with handwriting. Once in kindergarten she was in the top 5% of her class the whole year, only struggling with spelling" (Gonzales). While this is not every child, to get a good gauge on preschool readiness would be to look at graduating kindergarteners to see how they did compared to others.
Overall, probably the best information for parents questioning preschool is to see the results after kindergarten of how children with and without preschool did. A study done of a kindergarten class over the course of a school year found "students who attended preschool exhibited higher overall pass scores, higher Physical scores, and higher Personal scores on the Georgia Kindergarten Assessment Program than did students who did not attend preschool." (Taylor 193) Reading a completely non bias study should show parents that preschool does have a positive impact. "Our findings, though preliminary in nature, support attendance at preschool over nonattendance for students identified as being at-risk." (Taylor 194) This again is just more information showing how much preschool does for children.
Parents questioning preschool should look into the various amounts of information and research done to make the best informed decision for their children. Every child is different in how they learn and grow. Depending on the home environment and interactions with other kids maybe preschool isn't needed for that one child. There are some children that can learn and be prepared at home for kindergarten and flourish once in school. Although, that it is not always the case. Preschool is more than a place to play with other kids or learn the alphabet and parents need to realize that. Parents should talk with other parents, preschool teachers, as well as kindergarten teachers to make the best decision. By doing this they will realize preschool sets in motion valuable tools that a child will take with them forever. Preschool gives a child the opportunity to walk into kindergarten with their best foot forward being completely prepared for the task at hand.
Davidson, Helen. "Preschool." The Gale Encyclopedia of Children's Health: Infancy through Adolescence. Ed. Jacqueline L. Longe. 2nd ed. Vol. 3. Detroit: Gale, 2011. 1809-1811. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 25 July 2015.
Gonzales, Bailey. Personal Interview. 8 August 2015
Lester, Michael. "The national preschool debate intensifies." Edutopia. George Lucus Educational Foundation. 2015. Web. 30 July, 2015
Lindsey, Eric W. "Preschool children's friendship and peer acceptance: links to social competence." Child Study Journal 32.3 (2002): 145+. Academic OneFile. Web. 30 July 2015
Mascarenhas, Patricia, "The Preschoolers; Every toddler should have some sort of group experience before she/he starts school. Patricia Mascarenhas tells you why." DNA [Daily News & Analysis] 25 Nov. 2014. General OneFile. Web. 25 July 2015.
"Research shows: Benefits of high quality early learning." Early Edge California Starting the path to school success. N.p. n.d. Web. 30 July, 2015
Ross, Casey. Phone Interview. 13 August 2015
Taylor, Kathryn Kees, Albert S. Gibbs, and John R. Slate. "Preschool Attendance And Kindergarten Readiness." Early Childhood Education Journal 27.3 (2000): 191-195. Professional Development Collection. Web. 31 July 2015.
"Teachers: pre-k provides benefits for kindergarten." Report on Preschool Programs. 25 Aug. 2004: 132. Academic OneFile. Web. 28 July 2015.