Who knew adjusting to preschool can be so tough for children? While early childhood education is known to offer a plethora of benefits to young kids, the transition is not that easy. It involves a mixture of emotions both for the child and parents alike.
To a child, attending preschool is like entering an unknown environment with unfamiliar people. It can be overwhelming and terrifying. Because anxiety is common among children who are just about to enter preschool, here are some ways to prepare your child for preschool and make the transition smooth.
Describe a typical day at preschool
One of the reasons why children feel anxious about going to school is that they do not know what to expect. Tell your what will take place by describing to them what a typical preschool day looks like. Highlight the exciting things they will enjoy. Tell them about being able to meet new playmates and friends, the toys they’ll be able to play with, the time they can spend on outdoor games and so on! Telling them about the things they will experience in preschool will make them look forward to it with excitement and enthusiasm instead of fear and anxiety.
Preschool is one of the very first places where young kids learn about schedules and routines. To make sure they are well prepared for this transition, it is best to start establishing routines at home. Create specific schedules for eating, sleeping, playing and so on. Also make sure you are consistent. Once they get used to following schedules, adhering to the schedules in preschool will become easier.
Take them shopping for school materials
Children tend to get excited when they have new stuff. Get them excited about going to school by tagging them along when you go shopping for their school materials. Let them choose their own pencils, coloring materials, notebooks and other items for school. Tell them they should wait until school starts before they use these supplies so that they have something to look forward to on the first day.
Read books about preschool
Reading books about preschool is an excellent way for your little one to feel that they are just like any other child who attends school. It will make them realize that it’s actually part of growing up and is a perfect opportunity to make new friends. Take time to borrow books from the library or take them to a trip to your nearest bookstore.
Work on practicing self-sufficiency
Going to preschool is a huge milestone for every child. It is a phase where learning confidence and independence becomes even more critical. If you have been doing nearly everything for your child, it’s about time to teach them to be more independent. Let them accomplish simple tasks on their own, such as taking off their shoes, hanging up their coat, putting away their toys, etc. Be there to guide them but encourage them to carry out these tasks by themselves.
Do pretend play
Pretend play can give your child a better sense of how it feels like to be attending preschool. When you get the chance, play different scenarios at home and pretend you’re in school. Pretend as if you are a teacher and they are the student. Then switch roles afterward. Act out the common events and activities that take place in preschool, such as storytelling, singing nursery rhymes, playing games and a lot more!
Visit the preschool
Before the classes officially start, take time to visit the preschool with your little one. This is an excellent way to introduce them to this new environment where a tremendous amount of learning takes place. Introduce them to their teachers and other preschool staff. Take them for a tour around the school and give them some time to play on the playground. When they become comfortable and familiar with the environment, the adjustment becomes easy.
The transition to preschool may be tough for young kids, but this guide can help you prepare your child for this huge milestone and make the transition smoother for them.
Give your little one the best quality early childhood education they deserve. Please feel free to call The Pillars Christian Learning Center for more information.