Preparing for preschool is different for every child (and parent). For some youngsters, the idea of preschool is exciting, a place they’ve looked forward to attending. For others, going to school may be a bit nerve-wracking—and, for still others, it’s a combination.
Talk To Your Preschooler
KidsHealth.org suggests that you gradually introduce your child to activities that he or she might participate in during preschool. Talk about what a day might be like and, if possible, visit the classroom together and meet the teacher. In the classroom, allow time for observation and exploration. The more familiar it seems on day one of actual preschool, the better.
Be willing to discuss anxieties and provide support without putting too much emphasis on this (because it could make your child’s worries even stronger). Don’t let your child see you stress over this transition. Do your best to project calmness and confidence.
Cultivate a Love of Learning
PBS.org also notes how important it is to prepare your child emotionally for preschool—and encouraging a sense of curiosity is key. Once someone develops a love of learning, then a sense of self-motivation can help them to further their abilities: in reading, writing, engaging with others, and more.
Reading books to your preschooler with a curiosity theme can spark that trait, too. In The Curious Garden by Peter Brown, a young child named Liam decides to tend a struggling garden, one that eventually spreads and transforms his city. In Ada Twist, Scientist (The Questioneers) by Andrea Beaty, Ada and her classmates, Rosie and Iggy, go on numerous quests to find answers to their questions.
Develop a Routine Before School Starts
Use the days leading up to preschool to develop a school-year routine, advises VeryWellFamily.com. The night before the big day arrives, have as much prepared as possible This includes packing lunches, if that’s necessary, laying out clothing (give your budding preschooler a choice between two outfits), and considering whether a bath the night before school will make the morning easier on everyone.
In the morning, start the day fifteen or twenty minutes earlier than you think you’ll need and provide a healthy breakfast that will give your child energy for the day ahead.
Have a designated place for anything that needs to go to preschool with your child, MessyMotherhood.com suggests, including their shoes—and, when temperatures drop, their jackets. Not having to look for misplaced items can go a long way toward reducing stress.
When your child comes home—on the first day and every day—spend time listening to what happened at preschool. If it appears that something upsetting occurred, help your child to explain what happened and how it made him or her feel.
A resource at Penn State Extension suggests something like this: “You took a breath and calmed down. Now you can say how you are feeling and what the problem is. Then we can figure out how to solve the problem.”
Then, when bedtime arrives, your child may still be adjusting to the preschool schedule. Provide clear instructions about the routine, ChildMind.org recommends, and then help them to wind down and get rest for the next day.
Preparing For Preschool at Horizon Education Centers
Horizon Education Centers offers quality preschool programs to prepare your child for future learning. To learn more about how we can support your child and nurture their love for learning, contact us at any time.