The Five Most Important Things for a Child to Learn during the Preschool Years

The Five Most Important Things for a Child to Learn during the Preschool Years

I recently surveyed a large number of parents and a large number of first-grade teachers. I asked them all the same question: If a child is going to succeed in school, what are the five most important things for her to learn during the preschool years? The results were as follows:

Parents

1. To recite the alphabet

2. To count to 20

3. To identify different colors

4. To identify different shapes

5. To sit still and pay attention for long periods of time

Teachers

1. To love learning

2. To feel confident in the face of challenging tasks

3. To solve problems in different ways

4. To get along and cooperate with others

5. To be willing to listen and follow instructions

According to the teachers, the kids destined to succeed in first grade and beyond are not characterized by the specific things they have learned in the past, but rather by their potential to learn anything quickly and easily in the future. And while rote learning exercises may produce some seemingly impressive short-term performances, it is fun, fascinating, free-form play activities that form the foundations for long-term success.

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