Many schools are struggling in terms of budget cuts for teachers, courses and availability for extra-curricular activities. Layoffs for teachers recently reached a record high and the Chicago Public Schools teachers went on strike for the first time in 25 years. With longer school hours, less pay for teachers and huge budget cuts in course curriculums; people are starting to really take a look at what is going on in the education system in the U.S.
Although many public schools think of preschool as optional rather than mandatory, preschool can play a huge instrumental role in the molding of young minds. Preschool not only helps to socialize young children at an early age but it also prepares them for future learning. The lessons learned in preschool are crucial in transitioning well for future education and utilizes a key time in a child’s mind for optimal learning.
However, there is more to preschool than simply learning to take your turn and helping to learn the alphabet and fundamental numbers. A crucial part of preschool is the added course of drama in terms of imagination, music and socialization. Many schools are trying to cut out music appreciation and drama because they don’t feel that these are essential elements to learning.
Organizations like the “Save the Music Foundation” help to restore arts education in public schools all across America because of they feel that this is a much needed course in developing a well-rounded education. Drama is not just about pretend play, especially in the preschool years.
Drama can help to motivate self-confidence in toddlers because it allows them to take the spotlight in a non-threatening way. While it may seem that simple education courses like learning the alphabet and distinguishing colors can be easy for young children, these are relatively new ideas to toddlers and can be intimidating when introduced.
It’s important to offer options in learning that differ from simply repeating letter formation and using flashcards. Drama offers the ability for playtime while implementing imagination, self-confidence and music.
Instead of forcing toddlers to sit in their chairs and remain quiet in concentration, drama allows them to use up a lot of the high energy kids have during the preschool years. This keeps kids active, which is essential in a time where many children are facing the epidemic of childhood obesity. Government initiatives like the “Let’s Move!” campaign helps to motivate children to be more active and healthy in their lifestyle. Drama is a great way to facilitate active movement while stimulating both the body and mind.
Drama can help to facilitate socialization among children at a young age. During preschool years many toddlers aren’t necessarily used to socializing with big groups on children their own age. With many children staying home in their early years, preschool is usually the first time they are given the chance to be around big groups of children their own age. Drama allows preschoolers to interact with one another rather than playing solo, which is what young toddlers tend to do.
Drama is not just an additive when it comes to a preschool curriculum, it is an essential part of education. Preschoolers can sometimes be overwhelmed with the new expected milestones they are to reach and it’s important to implement play time without focusing only on individual play. Drama can help to mold toddler’s minds and can help to encourage self-confidence and imagination, which are two very important elements into becoming a well rounded adult.