Should parents send their children to preschool? According to education practitioner Najelaa Shihab, attending preschool is not a must. But it becomes more important for children whose both parents work.
In addition, according to her, the question of whether it is important or not is less relevant because stimulation at pre-school age must still be given.
“The important thing is that children at pre-school age get the right stimulation. Preschool is only one tool that helps parents to provide the right stimulation. But when asked whether a child should go to preschool or not, the answer is not certain,” explained the woman who is familiarly called Elaa.
What stimulation is suitable for preschool age children? The form of stimulation can vary. Starting from cognitive stimulation, which is the urge to recognize and know something through one’s own experience, social stimulation — how he interacts with other people — to emotional stimulation — his ability to express feelings.
“Sometimes what is difficult if children are not included in preschool is that the form of stimulation is more limited than children who attend preschool. But again, it cannot be generalized because each child’s situation is different,” she added .
For example, in preschool generally the context of social interaction given varies. The child can have the opportunity to play with a friend, play in groups or play with the teacher. He also has the opportunity to overcome social problems or emotional problems that are sometimes not found at home.
This is because interactions at home are usually limited to one child and one adult (father, mother or caregiver). Even if there is interaction with peers, only for a certain period. For example a few hours after lunch, or in the afternoon before taking a shower. These interactions generally last only two to three hours and are not routine every day.
“While in preschool they feel they are in a social group for a long time. Starting from the first time (entering school) getting acquainted, in one class, everything has dynamics,” said Elaa.
When in preschool, the social interaction is quite intense, there are mutually agreed rules and each has a role in a group. These are things that sometimes children don’t get if they don’t attend preschool, they don’t have the opportunity to get more diverse social interactions.
However, the formation of the playgroup should be on a regular basis, for example on weekends or even every day if time and opportunity allow. Ideally, children should get good social interaction at home and preschool as a complement.