|How Your Preschool Child Learns
A Parent's Guide to Preschool
by Diane Trister Dodge and Joanna Phinney
|Your child is at a special stage. Children ages 3 to 5 are learning all the time-and they learn best
by being active. Like other preschool children, your child probably asks lots of questions: How
does this work? What makes plants grow? How do worms move if they don't have legs? What's
inside this old clock? Preschoolers are very curious about their world.
We could answer these questions, and sometimes we do. But because we want children to see
themselves as inventor, problem solvers, discoverers, and capable learners, we help them
develop their natural curiosity. We encourage them to observe, explore, take things apart, build,
create, draw, and see what they can find out. The more active children are in their work, the more
they learn and remember.
While preschool children are alike in many ways, no other child is exactly like your child. And no
one knows your child better than you do. You know how your child learns and reacts to new
situation, so you can help your child's teachers. If you share with us what is happening to your
child at home--the arrival of a new baby, the death of a pet, nightmares, temper tantrums, trips,
separation, or divorce-we can understand your child better. We can support positive and difficult
events through reassuring stories, soothing art activities, imaginative dramatic play, and extra
love and attention.
If you child has a health problem such as an allergy, diabetes, or asthma, please let us know
what we can do to keep you child safe. We also want to know if your child has a diagnosed
disability or any other type of special need. While a child may have a disability in one or more
areas of development, in other areas a child may be developing at a completely normal rate. We
will do everything we can to help your child participate as fully as possible in all aspects of our