Importance of Kindergarten states three things Imitation, play and rhythm. These are the three basic components that characterize the attention of the teachers and the progress of activities in a Kindergarten that follows the World education. In our Kindergarten the teachers have formed according to a constant inner work in the awareness of the importance of their task.
Much attention has been centered during recent years upon children of preschool age. Kindergartens, either public or private, have been established in many communities to care for their educational and social needs. On every hand there is evidence that the kindergarten movement is gaining momentum; but the great lack of kindergartens in many of the most progressive towns and cities indicates that the underlying purposes of the kindergarten are not clearly apprehended. Properly to appraise the kindergarten, one must understand its purposes.
One of its great objectives is increased health.
Most of the physical defects found in children of school age originate and are remediable in the preschool years. Children from four to six years of age have enlarged tonsils, adenoids, carious teeth, undernourished bodies, and other defects ordinarily detected in the first and second grades. The kindergarten brings children into the school system from one to two years earlier than obtains where there is no kindergarten. Health examinations are instituted, physical defects are reported to parents, and remedial measures are taken at least one or two years earlier than would otherwise be the case. The potential injury from physical defects is thus greatly reduced.
Importance of Kindergarten In The kindergarten prevents failure in the first grade.
From 25 to 50 per cent of the children fail to complete the work of the first grade in a single year where there are no kindergartens. The most common causes of failure are immaturity, frequent or prolonged absence, or a lack of understanding of the English language. Mere babes do not enter the first grade when there are kindergartens, but are educated in the latter until they are mature enough to do the work of the grade. The kindergarten thus fosters attitudes of success and mastery rather than those of defeat and failure at the very beginning of school life.
Medical examination in the preschool period, by removing many of the causes of illness before the children enter the first grade, makes possible better health and better attendance and, for that reason, a greater likelihood of success. Children whose mother tongue is not the English language gain acquaintance with it before they begin the more formal work of the school, and the language handicap is thus removed.
The kindergarten is a very potent agency of Americanization, of which process learning the English language is only a part In the kindergarten children work and play in accordance with American ideals. They practice the principles of cooperation, sharing, and fair play. They not only learn how to choose and follow leaders but are themselves given abundant opportunity to develop and exercise power of leadership. In all their activities they express themselves, their own ideas, their own feelings, their own creative abilities. In this way every child is Americanized, regardless of his parentage. But this is not all; the kindergarten opens for the teacher and the visiting nurse a contact with the home and an opportunity to acquaint the foreign-born with American standards of life.
Finally, the kindergarten provides human association of a kind not always possible in the home. In many American homes there is an only child; in many others are children widely separated in ages. Unless such children are fortunate as to playmates, they are almost constantly in contact with superiors or inferiors. It is extremely unfortunate for a child to be deprived of association with his equals at a time when he should be learning to enjoy and cope with them, learning to give and take, to share toys, books, and experiences. No child can develop a well-organized personality without contact with his peers. “To the kindergarten is entrusted the great responsibility and the most delicate task of so balancing self-expression and self-repression as to develop a human personality that is at the same time self-sufficient, yet helpful and cooperative.”
There is little formal work in the modem kindergarten. The kindergarten atmosphere is one of joyousness. The children constantly engage in activities that grip their interest. Technically, the activities are called projects. Whatever the child purposes to do and proceeds to carry out is a project. It is purposeful, planned activity.
The doll’s house is a typical project. Dolls and building blocks are part of the equipment of every kindergarten. To the children dolls are human beings and must have homes. They build houses for them, using the wooden blocks. Every room requires appropriate furniture; they build it with blocks — plus imagination. The location of the furniture is important. It has reference to air and light as well as to convenience otherwise. If a child wrongly locates a bed or dressing-table, his playmates will have suggestions to offer of a better location. The dolls require clean clothing and clean bedding; so the children do the necessary laundering. Dolls, like children, take naps, and the children put them to bed.