“If our children are to realize their personal and professional promise, if our country is to continue to boast the creative, adaptable, career-ready populace that has made us the world’s leader in innovation and productivity for more than a century, we must accept that K-12 is the past. The future of public education is pre-K-12.” Pre-K is a bi-partisan issue. It aims to narrow achievement gaps. It gets children on the right track from the start and gives them self-esteem when they recognize and understand basic skills and concepts upon arrival in their Kindergarten classroom. When kids walk into school armed with educational foundations formed at home and in preschool, school becomes fun and enjoyable rather than daunting like a detested chore. There are clear personal benefits, but what about societal benefits?
State and Local Governments look to Michigan’s Perry Preschool Project and North Carolina’s Abecedarian Project as justification for investing in Pre-Kindergarten education. Both randomized studies note that quality Pre-Kindergarten education results in long term societal benefits such as a more productive workforce, lower crime rates, less need for special education and fewer repeated grades.
Why would anyone even debate Pre-K? What could possibly be wrong with more education at an early age? Expense. Pre-K is more expensive not because of technology or lab needs, not because supplies are costly, but for pre-K to be most effective, a low teacher to student ratio must exist. Young children require more personal attention, thus more educators.
But can an at home supplement help alleviate these pressures and needs by preparing the children at home? Does the preparation need to be administered by a certified early childhood specialist? Of course they are the best option and we cannot replace the social-emotional benefits of attending Pre-K classroom, but parents, caregivers, older siblings, grandparents, any reading person can help get early learners on the path to success before entering Pre-K and as a supplement to Pre-K.
What kind of investment does this require? It’s shockingly little. People do the most learning from ages 0-6 years in limited time spurts, and the young brain has significantly more learning capabilities than we thought a couple of decades ago – we just need to ask more of young brains. Even just fifteen minutes a day will make a dramatic difference. We can make an impact on the chance of our children’s success and happiness by investing in a plan and promising a small amount of time each day to their personal cognitive achievements.
We have to commit to raising the bar and expecting more from ourselves as parents or caregivers and expecting more from our children. We can show them how much we care by sitting at their side each day to work on basic concepts that will create strong educational foundations.
Why is this difficult? There exists an abundance of worksheets online that we can print out and put in front of our children, there are plenty of workbooks, endless apps and even interactive websites focused on elementary learning concepts. But they are all missing something. A PLAN. As Benjamin Franklin noted: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” Like any curriculum, the program needs structure.
Playroom Prep brings the plan. Playroom Prep is a fun, interactive plan for academic readiness in the earliest stages when kids are most receptive to learning. Playroom Prep provides clear at-home activities for brief lessons targeted for 2, 3 and 4 year old children.
Playroom Prep is a toolkit that unlocks children’s learning potential in their earliest days. It is a lesson plan that anyone can administer to a child. The toolkit contains the step-by-step instructions, tools aimed at specific development on things like fine motor skills, pattern and letter recognition and most important - engages adult and child in an interactive dialogue.
Playroom Prep is personal. Playroom Prep is concise. Playroom Prep is easy to execute. Anyone can teach at Playroom Prep.
 “Pre-K Now: Marking a Decade of Pre-K Milestones,” October 10, 2011. The Pew Charitable Trusts.