The education of our children may be one of the single most intimidating tasks that God has bestowed on every parent. One may think education only implies academic education, however, the very meaning of the word “education” encompasses all “…instruction and discipline which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations.” (Webster’s 1828)
The Biblical Mandate to Train Up a Child
Proverbs 22:6 tells parents to “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Parents are responsible to lay the foundations of moral, spiritual, and academic instruction as they invest heavily in a child’s day-to-day experiences. God sets forth in Deuteronomy 6:6-7 a parent’s blueprint for imparting education, “You shall teach [all God has commanded] diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” One must have at the very beginning of parenthood the mindset of laying foundations in every aspect of a child’s life and continue in the mindset of building upon the foundations laid until their young adult is set upon society. The goal of this mindset and actions that follow is for parents to intentionally bequeath upon society a young adult ready and able to further the Kingdom of God in his/her unique position in life. It is to this end that examining the beginning of one’s education is so important.
Is Preschool Really Necessary?
Considering that the exhortation to educate children is given to the parents, it’s fair to ask whether a brick-and-mortar preschool is necessary. As it relates to coming alongside parents and helping lay key foundations, yes.
The implementation of educating a child in spiritual matters that take root, manners, proper social behavior, relational interactions, academic knowledge etc. is no small feat that often feels overwhelming. Often preschool parents are new or young and appreciate the seasoned perspective experienced teachers can offer. In a preschool setting, children are exposed to friendships and experiences they may not have at home and parents are encouraged as their child’s unique gifts and personalities are seen through someone else’s eyes.
Once a parent has determined preschool to be an effective tool, one must decide which preschool will best come alongside their God-given parental duties to educate their child in the fullest sense of the word.
How Do I Choose a Preschool?
Will any preschool benefit my child? To a degree, yes. Any preschool can expand knowledge of letters, numbers, and the world where one lives, but academics on its own do not develop character formation. In The Educated Child, William Bennett communicates a child may be able to have academic successes without developing certain character traits: love, compassion, loyalty. However, the character of responsibility, perseverance, and self-discipline are necessary to academic performance. He goes on to say, “if your child graduates without [good character], it really doesn’t mean a great deal that he’s at the top of his class. He’ll likely end up failing in more important ways.” Recognizing the value of teaching good character in conjunction with academics is why choosing a preschool wisely is so important.
Dayspring, as a Preschool through Grade 12 academy, offers continuity and depth of the moral, spiritual, and academic formation. The Dayspring preschool classroom is a valuable resource for a child’s first school experience. Academics, which are important, are taught with a variety of interactions.
Developing friendships and learning proper social interactions are also especially crucial at a preschool level. As the children learn, create, and pretend, their interplay with one another is observed and guided to aid them in their development of playing games, taking turns, resolving conflict, expressing kindness to one another, respectfulness to authority, and self-discipline in pertinent situations. As is known by the populous already, some of these attributes can take a lifetime to learn, yet it is never too early to begin. Being part of a classroom environment, both academically and relationally, gives a child a confidence and momentum as they transition into subsequent learning environments.
If a parent determines their child would benefit from such a resource, Dayspring offers an engaging, fun, loving, safe, structured classroom environment where the teacher seeks to impart a joy of learning to the student and partners with parents to lay foundations of academic, spiritual, emotional, and moral development.
If you would like to learn more about Dayspring Christian Academy, please register for our Early Childhood Education Open House or call Karol Hasting at 717-285-2000.