The ongoing coronavirus pandemic continues to keep many children out of preschool nationwide, due to school closures or to parents’ concerns about sending their children to the in-person learning options that are available.
These children, who are not attending preschool, will enter kindergarten next year without the benefits of a formal education experience and lacking the foundational skills that promote success in school.
In Texas, for example, data show that pre-kindergarten enrollment is down by 8 to 12 percent, according to an October 5, 2020, article in the Dallas Morning News.
It’s a trend in many school districts around the country. An Education Week Research Center survey of nearly 500 district leaders and principals found more than half are seeing a decline in kindergarten enrollment.
The changing school environment has led to a re-assessment of how to provide essential early childhood education.
Learning Without Tears, an EdTech company that has provided pre-K writing and educational materials to parents and teachers for more than 30 years, has developed “Get Set for School” (GSS), an award-winning complete pre-kindergarten curriculum, to meet the needs of preschoolers in home-based, hybrid, and in-school learning environments.
The dual language English-Spanish program is designed to help preschool-aged children reach their important early learning milestones, while keeping them engaged and having fun.
The program combines purposeful play, multimodal-multisensory activities, and digital apps and teaching tools.
“Pre-K should be fun and joyful while full of learning that results in children feeling confident about themselves and their abilities,” says Dr. Elizabeth DeWitt, an early childhood expert at the center of GSS.Get Set for School stands out from other preschool programs in part because it is truly age-appropriate, says Dr. DeWitt.
“GSS is unique because we go beyond other Pre-K curricula with our research-based focus on the fine motor development of young children,” she explains.”The children build and form letters based on the development of writing strokes and use a different manipulative daily while learning each letter as they progress from building to writing before they are expected or asked to write on paper.”
Readiness & Writing, an element of GSS, address any weakness in writing letters and numbers, alphabet knowledge, as well as connecting printed numbers to quantities
.In addition, the program’s interactive Sound Around Letters app allows children to identify, match, and say capital and lowercase letters and receive instant feedback to promote progress and boost confidence.
Multi-modality resources allow children with different learning styles to use an engaging animated touch screen to learn number and letter formations.
“We are more committed than ever to ensuring that children are learning whether they are in the classroom or at home,” Dr. DeWitt emphasizes.
“To equip and support parents and teachers, we have added more videos and distance learning resources to assist with using our unique and exclusive materials in any setting”.