Highlands Blog

Start Strong: How to Choose an Exceptional Preschool

For decades, parents have been torn over the importance of preschool. Some have a hard time sending their four-year-old off to a classroom environment. After all, they’re so small, and kindergarten is right around the corner. Despite these attitudes, early childhood education experts agree — the value of an exceptional preschool experience cannot be undermined. Not only does this critical year prepare a child for kindergarten academically, but also physically, socially, emotionally. Where your child attends preschool matters just as much. The highest quality programs integrate learning and play, fostering whole-child development.

Here Are 6 Important Things to Look For:
  1. Intentional Play: Students learn best when their minds are engaged. At age four, nothing's quite as effective as play. Lessons across various subject areas should be designed to feel like fun and games for your child. Look for less direct instruction, and more hands-on activities that allow students to be fully engaged.

  2. Reading Emphasis: Early literacy is extremely important for kindergarten success. A child’s vocabulary will grow from 900 to 2,500 words between age 3 and 5. Being exposed to a variety of reading material will accelerate this development, preparing students to form and understand longer, more complex sentences

  1. Collaborative Learning: It is important that students learn to work in collaboration with others before entering kindergarten. After all, working together toward a common goal is not only essential for success in school, but in life. Look for team-building activities and learning centers where students can share experiences with their peers.

  2. Nurturing Teachers: Preschool is your child’s first introduction to formal schooling. Look for teachers who will make that transition as smooth as possible. Teachers should have knack for making students feel safe, comfortable, included, and inspired. These special skills will motivate your child to learn while piquing their curiosity.

  3. Mathematical Focus: Mathematical concepts are a large part of the kindergarten curriculum. Make sure your child receives a solid foundation through their preschool experience. Young learners grasp math skills best through games, projects, or other hands-on activities.

  4. Family Partnerships: As students embark on their journey to school, it is important for parents to be as involved as possible. Learning is enhanced when families are engaged with the skills their children are developing and fostering additional growth at home. Don’t be afraid to ask the school what parent involvement opportunities are available.    

Visit Highlands Preschool
Are you looking for a high-quality preschool for your child? We invite you to visit Highlands School in Birmingham, AL today! Our 4K program and unique approach to early childhood education fosters kindergarten readiness and exceptional learning outcomes. Contact us to schedule your tour today.
Highlands School, 4901 Old Leeds Road, Birmingham, AL 35213, (205) 956-9731
Highlands School's 'whole child' approach to education and commitment to academic excellence, creative expression, and leadership development prepare and motivate students in grades 4k through 8 to make a positive difference in an ever-changing world. Located in Birmingham, Alabama, Highlands School holds dual accrediation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Southern Associations of Independent Schools (SAIS).

For more information, visit www.highlandsschool.org.