Is It The Right Time To Move To A Big School?​

Shifting your child to a prestigious primary school is a very important step for parents. All parents wish to enrol their child into a reputed school as soon as possible. However, in this bid to bag the admission, we often forget the child and his needs. Education is important, but what is more important is the timing. It is important to make sure that your child is ready for the big move to a formal school, whether it is from a preschool or otherwise.

A preschool and a school differ from each other in various ways. Therefore, it is necessary for you as a parent to have a complete understanding of both and make an informed decision.

What is a preschool?
A preschool is an institution that provides early education to children during the intervening years of infancy and compulsory school education. The preschool is specifically designed and caters to a particular age group of children. 

Difference between a preschool and school:

1. Environment:
The environment of a preschool, as I mentioned earlier, especially caters to young children. It is lively and colourful but more importantly, it is an environment which reinforces the concepts that are important for young children. It is an atmosphere of fostering as opposed to disciplining the students which is usually followed in big schools.
When we talk about teachers also preschool is a different ball game. Teachers play the role of caregivers. The teacher-to-student ratio is usually less which allows them to pay individual attention to children’s growth. It also allows teachers to encourage the students to be more independent instead of forcing them.

2. Teaching methods:
There is also a considerable difference in the teaching methods employed by preschools. They are increasingly encouraging holistic development of students rather than uni-dimensional growth. They don’t have a fixed curriculum and syllabus that needs to be completed by the end of the year. Therefore, teachers are unlikely to force the children to learn things before they are ready to.
Another commonly used method of teaching in preschool is sensory understanding. Children are encouraged to learn through their experiences by understanding their environment. This allows the child to apply everything that he learns in school to his environment in the practical sense.

3.Testing methods:
The evaluation methods employed in preschools are different from those employed in formal schools. In preschools, the evaluations are based on understanding how much the child has understood the concepts taught in schools. The assessment does not solely cover ‘intellectual’ aspects of intelligence. It also looks at the child’s overall and holistic growth.
There is not a lot of pressure to deliver marks. Instead, more attention is paid to the development of a child, especially in terms of what they knew when they joined and how much they have progressed in the period that they have been in preschool. Written assessments are usually taken only for Jr. KG and Sr. KG students. 

Preschool is the first opportunity children get to be independent. They learn to handle themselves independently under the guidance of teachers. They also learn to make decisions for themselves, even if they are small ones. This proves to be very helpful when the child enters a formal school.
Besides this, they also learn how to interact with peers and behave in group settings. These are a couple of things that can not be overtly taught to children and schools do not always provide this opportunity. Because of the slightly informal nature of preschool, children get a better opportunity to be self-dependent and confident in their work.

These are some of the basic differences that one finds between a preschool and a primary school. It is very important to acknowledge the difference between the two and then understand where your child stands. If your child is independent and emotionally mature, you can consider enrolling him into a primary school. However, if your child is not very social or cannot express himself effectively, preschool might be a better option for your child.

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