Pre-School and Daycare

how important is techology & for language?

I am trying to choose a preschool for my daughter who will be three in sept which is when I will be sending her.  I am looking at a few programs, 2 are at churches and are very affortable, seemed very nice ie, small classes, lots of outside time and a kind, educated staff.  However they do not do any computers or spanish at all.

The other 2 I am considering are a Goddard school and another local one similar to Goddard and they do spanish and computers in addition to the basics and they are siginificatly more costly.

 How important to you think computers and spanish are at this age?  In a 3 yr old program should I be forcused more on education or socialization and group play?

This will be her first experience outside the home other then a once a week gymboree class.  Any feed back you be greatly apprecaiated

Re: how important is techology & for language?

  • Do you have a smart phone or ipad that she plays with? My DS' school has an optional computots program but I didn't sign him up b/c he's better at using my mom's ipad than I am! We also have some learning apps on my phone and he got a leapster from Santa so I feel like he has a good enough grasp on the technology we have that I didn't need to pay for an extra program.

    As far as Spanish, DS apparently learned the days of the week and they are working on counting. I have considered starting him in a separate Spanish class but so far I'm lazy.

    I think learning at their age should be as fun as possible.

  • DD's daycare/preschool does spanish once a week and they have computers as a center they do a few times a week.

    I think its nice to have it, but I wouldn't make a decision based on taht one way or the other.  I think the general program and the teachers and jsut getting a feel for school and how to operate in a classroom/group setting, etc. are important and the skills you want your LO to get out of the experience for now.

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  • Honestly at age 3, I feel that general socialization and basic education are more important than computers or language.  If you have a computer/ianything at home, let your child use it.  As far as language, yes kids learn other langauges faster when they are younger but I feel that learning the basics of ABC and 123 are more important and the socilaization stuff is huge.  My daycare preschool does have a computer in the preschool and school age classes but the times the kids actually use it is very limited.  The center also offers a Spanish class that parents can pay extra for (30 mins 1x a week).  My older DD did it for a year and my younger DD for about a year and a half.  Both loved it and they still remember what they learned but we also did the extra soccer class and my younger DD is doing the extra dance class.  I think if you can get those things, its a plus but I would not pick a program simply because of it.  I think you need to look at the big picture and find the place where your child will be happy and learn the basics and have fun.  In my older DD's PreK class, they have 2 computers and again, the kids take turns so they don't get a ton of time with it but enough and they have a ipad for a few weeks avery few months (shared between 5 classes).  My kids learned most of their computer knowledge just using our phones and stuff like that.  For kids today, computers are so part of every day life that they learn it really fast since they are exposed so yong and computer classes are so not needed at this point.
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • image-auntie-:

    I would actually avoid a preschool with access to screens for my kid. He gets plenty of screen time and often teachers use them in the primary grades as a way to deal with kids who are more work to socialize. Play, outside time and socialization are what I look for.

    As for Spanish. Unless it's daily immersion it's not likely to stick but it's certainly not harmful. Not sure I'd pay extra at the preschool level

    Agree 100%.

    I think that a pre-school school that had any computer time might be a deal-breaker for me. Then again, that may or may not be because I have mommy-guilt about how much screen time DD gets at home. . . :)

  • Not important IMO, and I used to be a teacher :) They already probably get plenty of experience with computers/technology at home and will be once in elementary school.

    Preschool is for socialization and should be play based. That was one of the top things we looked for in a preschool: play based. So many studies out there on why that is best and so important

    Spanish language would be a nice bonus, but I wouldn't make my decision based on that... unless I was Spanish speaking and wanted reinforcement outside of the home, then I might think twice about it.

    FWIW, DD1 went to Goddard for a year, and while I loved the school, it was really more of a daycare then an actual preschool. Her current preschool is WAY better and what I'd want out of a preschool, and 1/2 the price...but of course it depends on each individual school... and the "Spanish" and "sign language" they taught there... it was like 1 word a week. Not anything to be excited about..

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  •  I personally feel that computers should not be part of the early childhood classroom.Children learn more by hands on experience. Spanish is a nice bonus but honestly not needed. As an early childhood educator I would suggest picking a program that promotes the problem solving technique aka teaches them to solve their own problems. And also one based on play not structured lesson plans. I think lessons are suited for older 4's and 5?s. 

  • I taught children for a year and a half (early childhood; Pre-K and Kindergarten) and the one thing I learned and really believe is that children step up to the expectations that their parents and teachers set for them.  Building on that premise, my husband and I expose our daughter to a variety of things and have since she was born.  Computers and technology are a great way for children to expand their view of the world they live in and if used properly, can give them a sense of accomplishment and independence.  Our daughter uses her computer and our iPad and iPhones for a number of things from learning her Chinese characters/words that she learns at school to watching her favorite episode of Lazy Town or The Fresh Beat Band.  The school she attends now is an international school so she's learning different languages but each week there is a technology component where the students have time to practice what they've learned through computer software programs made especially for younger children.  They all love it!

    On another note, when we lived in California, DD attended a Goddard School and we loved it.  It was difficult for her to leave us in the mornings (she would cry like most children do) but at the end of the day she'd learned so much; different languages (Spanish and a little Japanese--one of her teachers was from Japan, by way of Hawaii), yoga and there was also a bit of computer time.  She was socialized well and taught small things that we reinforced at home like simple manners (how to hand something to her friend nicely, walking slowly in the hallways, etc.) and sign language.  It was a wonderful experience, overall. 

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  • Hi -- lurker from school aged kids.

    My kids both went to a standard church preschool of the kind you describe in your first paragraph.  The emphasis was on socialization and school readiness.  My kids had a great preschool experience and were well prepared for kindergarten.

    I understand that exposure to other languages is beneficial and helps with cognitive development.  But those kind of benefits really come from a truly bilingual environment, and most of the brain development that comes from exposure to a second language needs to happen prior to age 3. I'm not sure that the minimal amount of Spanish kids probably learn at a preschool that purports to offer such a program would make much of a difference.  And if your DD's future elementary school doesn't offer an after school Spanish program, in all likelihood, your DD will forget most of her preschool Spanish by the time she's in first grade.  Both of my kids learned a lot of sign language in preschool.  Once they were out of the environment, and it wasn't reinforced daily, they forgot it. 

    I also felt like my kids got more than enough exposure to computers in my home.  Once I let them play a few computer games, they were hooked, and they are both really computer literate.  I actually liked that their preschool had no computers -- just good old blocks, a play kitchen, and art supplies. 

    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • I think when they get to kinder they will get plenty of tech.  My kids already know how to work my IPhone when I'm not looking.  I'm not worried about them falling behind.
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  • imagejlw2505:
    Honestly at age 3, I feel that general socialization and basic education are more important than computers or language.  ......


    I agree.

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  • I don't think they are that important. Technology time is something I can provide myself it I want ds to have it. Spanish is something that he seems to retain very little of, even though he had an exclusively spanish speaking nanny for the first three years. I think 30 minutes, once per week, isn't enough to help them that much and is barely enough time to revisit what they learned the previous week.

    Ds gets some computer time in preschool (and they also have an interactive whiteboard they use) but it's focused and limited and we do almost no screen/media time at home so I don't worry about it at all. To me, technology is something that seems to come easily to most of them and I'd rather they focus on other skills in preschool.

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