Prepping Your Kids for The World Of Preschool

 

Preschool Preparation

 

Preschool is a major milestone not just for the child, but the entire family.  If this is your first child heading to preschool, the process can be overwhelming.  There’s a combination of happiness and concern. Take into consideration that your child may be feeling the same.  For example, they may be concerned about being separated from the family for the first time. The good news is that now we live in a time where there are more resources and info than ever to help you make a smooth transition. Here are a few to keep in mind: 

What Do I Need To Know?

This article assumes you have chosen a preschool that you want to visit. Be sure to do your homework and pick a place that meets the needs of your child.  Also, although everything looks good on paper, there is still going to be an unfamiliarity factor with your child.  As a result, visit the preschool with your child before it actually starts. Speak with the facility, and ask if it is possible for you to do a tour together.  Meet the teacher and tour the playground for a bit. Some preschools do a “preview visit” where parents and children in the incoming classes can meet.

Also, talk to your child during the preparatory process about what they are feeling. This doesn’t mean brushing aside their concerns with general statements like “don’t worry, you’ll love it.” Instead, actually hear what’s worrying them and use information to try and alleviate their concerns. Simply saying that you’re going to be there to pick them up or that their teacher will be nice is not enough.  Furthermore, let them know that other children have the same feelings they have. Even adults have concerns. By verbalizing this, you can also come up with suggestions to help them avoid feelings of worry. Additionally, these feelings may be nonverbal.  So, you need to be attentive to see if your child is clinging or becoming withdrawn as preschool approaches.

What Do I Need To Do

Along with talking to your child, there are also more things you can do to get ready for the new environment of preschool. While there may not be a full academic curriculum for preschool the way you may expect for other school levels, there are going to be a lot of different learning experiences and stimuli for your child.  As a result, one of the best things you can do to prepare them is give them an idea of what to expect.  One of the best options is reading children’s books about preschool, that cover potential situations in ways they understand.

Another thing you don’t want to forget is there will be a new social dynamic. This is likely the first time that your child is going to be around a large number of other children.  As a result, try to add in more children for your play dates.  This may help your child to get used to this type of interaction.  Also, if being away from you is a concern, consider having them sleep over at a place where they feel safe.  For example, their grandparents or an aunt or uncle.

Of course, there is also the logistical piece of preparation as well. Part of going to preschool means your child having a regular routine.  So, you will want to start putting the foundation together as soon as possible. This may mean getting your child ready for a bedtime earlier, practicing washing their hands before eating, addressing toileting needs, and eating at the table. As a result, set out clothes and prep breakfasts the night before.  These steps will save you a headache on those busy mornings. Be sure to check with the preschool about what your child will need to bring.  Discuss possibly bringing a transitional item from home to help them feel at ease if you feel they need it.

Preschool can seem like a daunting change for your entire family.  However, it is a time where your child begins to take the steps that will guide them into formative years. So, the best thing you can do as a parent is stay informed.  Most importantly,  prepare.  A good plan means less worries and more fun for everyone.

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Comments

  1. This is great, sensible advice! I’m happy to report that schools these days (not just pre-K but also early elementary) are doing much more to acclimate children, using many of the tips you provide here. One grandchild’s school parks a bus during orientation, allowing the kids to get on with mom and dad and see for themselves it’s not such a big, scary monster!

    • Rhonda Gales says:

      Hi Joyce, I really like the idea of the school parking a bus and the kids getting on with mom.  My granddaughter had to ride the bus one afternoon and she was terrified.  Thank goodness her big brother was there to comfort her.  Thanks for dropping by.