A recent vintage in terms of legislative programs to improve education was Head Start, and as with many acts in government, it has supporters and detractors. However it is mostly a beneficial program that is tasked to take back the American lead in education. Basically, it accessed some principal studies on early childhood development.
These studies were done in the long term, and most educators know how these had some inherent advantages and disadvantages. Dallas TX preschool for instance will now have a lot of Head Start items. The main item is preparedness, and kids from birth to five years old, preschool age and those who come from low income families, are the main target constituents of this.
Education philosophy says that the learning curves within the relevant ages are extremely high. This means kids learn all the time, and in the earlier years they will often learn more by playing. Physical activity is something that goes with mental development in these years, and so the learning process during this time can feature lots of games.
Preschool operates squarely within this philosophy, and you can see the difference in how there is a lot of time dedicated to play or physical exercise. Singing and dancing games, which is usually related to the alphabet and numbers, are typical. Also, the beginnings of formal education is accessed, but with limited emphasis.
This is soft preparation for the more rigorous need to concentrate and sit still for the primary grades up to high school and beyond. However, kids do not take to these well, and thus studies like these are not extensive during preschool. This does not mean that the process is not formalized only that there is focus on play, which tends to be informal.
Texans appreciate the Head Start process, and parents from the start are advised to make sure that there is some sort of learning process in the home. This could include books for children and play things that help develop motor development, cognition and knowledge. These will include blocks, puzzles, books that have interesting illustrations about nature and history.
Preschool does not have that many books, and the workbooks here are mainly made of coloring books and simple identification methods like matching images to words. These are in fact materials for the primary grades, but Head Start says how kids are already well versed in simple words and images that these should be available as early as possible.
There might also be some new materials based on the internet. The need is to make the interactive programs adjusted to this age level, and that means the simpler images, messages or words. There is also some speech programs inherent to these, where words are rounded out and emphasized slowly so that children are hardwired with things like basic phonetics.
Audiovisual materials also have a place, but again, these will be limited. But sounds, visually attractive items, and things they can manipulate with their hands are well stocked here. The mentors will not usually use intervention techniques and only provide basic instructions that are easily understood.