Your child is growing up and developing new skills each day. Single words are becoming complete phrases and curiosity is abundant. While many are eager to start school like the big kids, the transition to kindergarten doesn’t always go so smooth. In fact, a recent study showed about 20 percent of kindergarten children lagged behind in cognitive development and 31 percent in social and emotional development. This is during a time when their minds are truly expanding. Before the age of five, 85 percent of their brain development has already occurred.
Although many schools accept students based on age, a child’s readiness also relies on social, emotional, motor, and language development.
“The habits and attitudes with which children approach learning are important factors when it comes to school success,” said Dominique Ciccarelli, Ed. M., education spokesperson for Kumon North America. “Evidence shows that kindergarten readiness characteristics go hand-in-hand with academic performance.”
Fortunately, there are programs that can help prepare your toddler for kindergarten. The Kumon Math and Reading Program enrolls children as young as three years old. Its early learning curriculum helps preschoolers develop important skills like the ability to work independently, identify sounds and letters, and strengthen fine motor skills.
Here are 5 benefits of enrolling your toddler into an early learner program:
- Foster a positive attitude towards learning.Children are naturally curious and often question the world around them. For many children enrolled in Kumon’s early learning levels, the centers are their first introduction to an academic setting. The engaging curriculum allows them to experience feelings of success as they progress. This sparks a confidence that can lead to a love of learning. Whether repeating words like “car” or “hat” develops their interest in reading or counting pictures of apples makes them more fond of math, a “can do” attitude often emerges.
- Instill a strong academic foundation.Kumon develops the solid foundation children need to flourish by teaching them to follow classroom rules, be flexible to new routines and be enthusiastic about learning. Kumon Instructors help children learn important study skills such as following direction and developing self-learning concepts by first demonstrating exercises on the worksheets and then having students repeat the process.
- Exceed kindergarten expectations by developing fine motor skills.Before students can learn how to write letters and numbers, proper pencil grip and a certain level of pencil skills are needed. In Kumon’s early levels, students learn how to use a pencil and develop skills through the practice of scribbling and drawing lines, curves, and angles in a fun, colorful and engaging way. The aim is not to draw perfectly within the lines, but instead have fun learning to hold and use a pencil.
- Develop print awareness and learn sound structure of words.The Kumon Reading Program starts pre-readers off with fun “look, listen, and repeat” worksheets that have colorful pictures to help them connect words with familiar objects. Early learners improve their language skills one step at a time by learning the letter sounds and how to put them together to form words.
- Learn to read, write and recite numbers.There is a lot of emphasis on early literacy, but the importance of early math skills is often taken lightly. The Kumon Math Program develops children’s first math skills. This includes number counting, writing and sequencing. Eventually, kids move on to addition and subtraction and beyond.
There is a lot of emphasis on early literacy, but the importance of early math skills is often taken lightly. The Kumon Math Program develops children’s first math skills. This includes number counting, writing and sequencing. Eventually, kids move on to addition and subtraction and beyond.