How to Prepare Your Child for Preschool
Posted on 26 February 2018
Starting preschool is a big step for a child, and parents can play an essential role
in preparing their little one for this new experience. Here are a few ...
Established routines make for smoother transitions and help children to prepare mentally for the day ahead while providing frameworks in which creative learning can occur.".
Preparing your child academically for preschool may be different than what you are expecting. By simply reading, playing, and exploring together, you are helping your child get ready for preschool activities.
Emotionally preparing your child – and yourself – for preschool might take more
intentional effort. Below are a few ideas to smoothly make the transition. If your child is starting preschool this fall, you may be approaching this major milestone with conflicting emotions. You’re probably excited about all the fun (you hope) your child will have and the new friends he’ll make. At the same time, you may feel a little sad that your baby is venturing out into the big world without you. These emotions are normal. Your child is also bound to have a host of feelings about this transition, feeling proud to be a big kid but at the same time worried about being separated from you and starting something unfamiliar.
Below are a few ideas to smoothly make the transition.
PREPARATION TIPS FOR THE FIRST FEW DAYS OF PRESCHOOL
Get organized. As the first day of preschool approaches, make sure you have clothing, shoes, and backpacks organized and labeled. Turn in all forms to the school. Stock up on healthy snack and lunch foods.
Stay with your child for 15 to 20 minutes on the first day of preschool. Point out the classroom activities and help your child get involved. Help your child meet a few other children. When it's time to go, offer a hug and a positive, matter-of-fact attitude. "I know that you're going to have a good time today. I'll be back to get you soon."
Stay involved. Separating from parents is a major milestone. Even if your child has been attending an early childhood program or toddler program, a new classroom and teachers may bring anxiety once again. Children develop independence at different rates with some children being able to separate easily from parents while others need extra support. It’s important to find the right balance for a child to develop independence. Talk with the teacher if your child is struggling with saying goodbye to you. Always tell your child when you're leaving, rather than sneaking out, and be prompt for pick-up at the end of the day.
Overcoming separation anxiety and adjusting to school may be gradual. Give your full attention at home whenever possible. Ask and answer questions. Listen and bond with books and play. Tell to your child that you are proud of them for going to school.
Preschool is a time of tremendous growth. With just a little preparation, you can make this transition a confidence-building experience for both you and your child.