Enrollment to preschool is a significant milestone to your child’s growth and development. Preschool, sometimes known as “Pre-K” or ”Nursery School,” is a preparatory education program for young children, typically between the ages of three and five years old. The goal of preschool programs is to nurture the development of social and educational skills of the children before they start going to elementary school. As parents, we want our children to have the best positive learning experience. This is where the importance of school readiness comes into play.
It’s never too early to prepare your child for attending preschool. Here are some tips to help you get your little one ready to start preschool!
Create a routine
One of the most helpful ways to help make the transition to preschool easier for kids is by helping them become accustomed to following a daily routine. Establishing a routine in your home will help your child have a better idea of what to expect in school. Start by following a consistent schedule every day for things like meals, playtime, naps, reading, and bedtime.
Following consistent routines teaches children about the concept of time, sequencing, and order. By doing so, you can help in easing their transition, while mentally preparing them for what lies ahead.
Introduce the idea of preschool
Use this time to help children understand what they can expect at preschool. Start by explaining what school is all about and why kids go there every day, just like you do if you go to work or other activities that entail leaving home.
Discuss all of the different things that kids do in school, like playing with friends, learning new things, singing, making art projects, and so much more.
It’s best if this conversation takes place long before the first day of preschool so children can become familiar with the concept of school early on. This can help alleviate feelings of anxiety about attending school. The more familiar the children are with what goes on in preschool, the easier it will be for them to adjust when the first day arrives.
Get a few books about preschool
Reading books about preschool together is another great way to prepare your child for what to expect at school. On top of helping them get a better idea of what a typical day at preschool is like, it’s also an excellent way to help strengthen their phonemic awareness skills. At the same time, it will enhance their early literacy development, as well.
Reading books together and making it a part of your daily routine can help children prepare for preschool. It is also a great opportunity to bond with your child.
One of the most important things that kids learn in preschool is how to interact with their peers. It’s normal for children to be shy at first. However, when children only spend time with adults or at home it can lead to increased difficulty adjusting when it’s time to go to school.
Introduce your little one to new faces by setting up playdates with other children. If you have friends or family members who live nearby, then invite them over for a play date so that your child can become more accustomed to being around different people.
Visit the preschool with your child
It’s helpful for your child to have an opportunity to visit your preschool before school starts. Find out if you can come in for a tour to explore the building or the classroom. Perhaps you and your child can meet the teachers or have a chance to play on the playground. These things can go a long way to help children feel comfortable and more familiar with the new environment and faces.
Help children develop self-help skills
Going to preschool is a great way for children to learn a variety of life skills. Help them master a few self-help skills at home by giving them opportunities to complete simple tasks on their own. For example, teach children how to put on their coats, buckle their own seat belts, set the table for meals, and brush their teeth by themselves.
When children do these kinds of tasks independently at home before school starts, it becomes much easier for them to learn new skills when they get to preschool. The transition from home to preschool can be challenging for young children and their parents. By following these tips, you are helping the child transition smoothly, while making it a positive and enjoyable experience at the same time.
The Pillars Christian Learning Center, an experienced and Christian-based early childhood education that supports parents, focuses on family as well as community. Visit our website to learn more.