In our last couple of posts, we examined if there is an appropriate age for your child to start preschool and signs for their readiness, so in today’s post we’ll look at the very exciting time when your child will start preschool!
Preschool can be nerve-racking for both parent or caregiver and child — you’re watching your little one step into a new season of their life and they’re leaving the comfort of their surroundings to enter the educational system.
If you and your child are at the point where preschool is in the near future and you haven’t quite decided on the preschool education program, come and tour Community Education Research Group today. Our preschool program begins enrolling at age two and a half, as we begin to prepare your child for their elementary school experience and a lifetime of learning. Follow along as we explore actions you can take to assist in a smooth, stress-free transition.
The philosophy around preschool is that a concrete age isn’t what makes them ready, but rather a skillset and developmental milestones. While preschool is only advantageous for acquiring knowledge and socioemotional finesse and children develop at differing rates, there are a few non-negotiable skills your child must have before taking the leap towards preschool!
One of the biggest parts to entering preschool is to ensure that your child is completely potty trained. At this age, accidents still happen and will be met with support to help clean things up, but the notion that your child should be out of diapers is implied.
Once potty training is addressed, there a few more skills to both cultivate and observe before entering preschool. Establish that your child exhibits some independence and are able to solve some of their problems and do projects on their own without constant redirection.
Adequate communication skills — age appropriate — is a skill your child must have. Their communication doesn’t have to be perfect, but able to express themselves clearly to an adult in a way that is understandable will make this transition much more of a smooth one.
In this shift into preschool, your child must also be able to concentrate and be emotionally ready for the change. Concentration will come into play in classroom activities, so being able to focus for 10 to 20 minutes is expected of your child in preschool. Distractions will always happen, so explore tasks and activities your child can do to grow their focus. Being emotionally ready to leave you and the comfort of your home and go to preschool can also be a barrier when entering preschool, so make sure your child understands where they’re going and are able to be without you for an extended amount of time.
Helping Your Child Prepare for Preschool
If your child has been enrolled in a preschool education program and has the basic required developmental skills, there are things you can begin doing to help prepare them for this exciting time.
- Start building a schedule – Building a schedule is one of the simplest things you can do to help in the preschool transition. If you’re a stay at home parent or caregiver, you can write up a little schedule to help your little one follow to show them what they will be doing for the day. It can begin with breakfast, cleaning up and making their bed, followed by playtime at the park in the afternoon. If you’re a working parent, a bedtime routine is golden. After dinner schedule a bath, quiet time, followed by reading time and then bed.
- Practice fine-motor skills – In preschool your child will begin to learn to write and use more fine-motor skills, so honing in on them is beneficial. You can do small things like coloring and teaching them how to use scissors, to playing and shaping clay.
- Tour the preschool – You’re probably talking to your child all about what preschool is and where they will be, so help them understand it by visiting the school. Help your child become familiar with the school and explore the playground and layout — you may even be able to meet the teacher.
Taking the leap towards preschool is often bittersweet and as long as your child enters with basic skills such as being potty trained and having some basic independence and focus it will make the transition less stressful. To further prepare your child for preschool you can help them by establishing a schedule, honing their fine-motor skills, and touring the preschool.