I get asked a lot of questions about what children will learn while they are at the Burlington Integrated Preschool. Even though we have a heavy emphasis on literacy development one of the biggest things we do is develop Social skills. I found this article and thought it was worth sharing. Source: http://www.extension.org/pages/Children_Need_Social_and_Emotional_Skills_for_School_Success
Children Need Social and Emotional Skills for School Success
Last Updated: March 18, 2010
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When you ask almost anyone what children need to be able to do to be successful in school, they will say ABCs, colors and numbers. Surprisingly, you’ll hear a very different answer if you ask a preschool or kindergarten teacher.
Kindergarten teachers say it is the social and emotional skills that children need to be a success in school. More and more children are entering school without these critical skills. States across the nation report that between 20 and 49 percent of children entering school are not ready to learn.
Kindergarten teachers tell us that it is hard to teach children who are not interested in learning, lack confidence in their own abilities and have trouble cooperating and controlling themselves. Intellectual skills are less of a problem, they say, because they are more easily solved. To succeed in school, children need a sense of personal well-being that is created from stable, caring relationships at home and in child care in the early years. Quality child care can make a difference. Studies of school achievement have consistently shown that high quality child care can get children off to the right start.
Child care providers can help preschool children need to develop these social and emotional skills in order to be ready for school:
Ability to follow directions
Ability to focus attention
Ability to take turns
Ability to control themselves
Ability to solve problems with words rather than through aggression
Ability to work independently
Ability to work in a group
Age-appropriate social skills and ability to make friends
Skills communicating with other children
Skills communicating with adults
The best way to help children develop these skills is to offer them a balance of “child choice time,” such as free play, and time to be in small groups when they’re asked to work together. Children learn important social and emotional skills when they have to solve problems that arise in play with others. With the guidance and support of their caregivers, children can face these problems and learn the skills needed to be successful in school and in life. While you should give some time to large group activities that you lead, keep this time active and short.