As a parent, wondering if it’s beneficial to send your child to preschool has been a frequent question.

According to The New York Times, an evaluation in Tennessee showed that children who attended Pre-K had gains in math, language and reading.

I think that attending Pre-K can be beneficial under all circumstances because the child learns subjects and how to communicate with their teachers and classmates. The evaluation of the children in pre-K tracked them until their third grade year.

There was no evidence that they had benefited from preschool. However, even though the students didn’t retain much from attending pre-K doesn’t mean that students in different parts of the country couldn’t either.

The New York Times stated that a randomized study showed that pre- kindergartners in Boston gained up to seven months of progress in reading and math. Everyone is different and there are a variety of ways to learn. I attended pre-K and loved it; I made friends there and grew up with them throughout the school system in my home town. One of my friends who attended the same pre-K school as me is now one of my roommates.

There is nothing wrong with a little extra schooling to get your child’s mind thinking about subjects such as math or reciting the alphabet.

Given that, quality happens to be the difference between these Boston and Tennessee schools. Vanderbilt professor and the Tennessee study’s co-author Dale Farran stated that Tennessee doesn’t have a coherent vision. He added that each teacher is inventing pre-K on their own. In Boston, the teachers receive coaching from knowledgeable veterans. The head of Boston’s public preschools Jason Sachs said that unlike Boston preschools, the adults usually do all the talking while the children sit in a circle.“Here, the children take much more of an active role. They learn about the concept of length by comparing the shadows they cast when lying on the ground.

They learn about measurement by producing a guide to making light blue,” Sachs said.

I remember being hands-on in my pre-K classes. I also remember sitting around in a circle and learning about how many months are in a year and how many days are in each month.

By the way, children in New Jersey who happened to be poor attended pre-K and are now in fifth grade receiving an achievement gap of 20 to 30 percent between poor students and the nationwide average.

This goes to show that different schools and teachers have many ways that they can provide knowledge to their students that could have long lasting effects. There are people in my life who never attended preschool and are presently receiving high grades in college. I don’t feel that pre-K can necessarily set a child up to pass or fail throughout the rest of their academic career.

It all depends on who is teaching the class and what kind of experience they have, just like the teachers in Boston who work with people knowledgeable in that area to benefit themselves and their students. I do feel that attending pre-K can present positive opportunities for children to start thinking about aspects of life that maybe they can’t get at home at such a young age.

Allowing your child to attend Pre-K could help better their communication and relationship skills while learning how to be respectful and responsible.

Heather O’Brien can be contacted at

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