Starting preschool is a huge leap for a child. It is the beginning of a new phase of your kid’s development. And as a parent, you are probably excited about all the joy and fun your kid will experience and the new friendships he’ll make at school. At the same time, you may feel sad that your kid is going out into the world without you, and also, you may probably wonder whether your child will find it hard to adjust to the expectations of teachers at school. And have a lot of questions about how your kid reacts to the changes in his environment. These feelings are normal. Your kid will also feel the thrill of the transition; he will feel proud of himself for being a big kid but at the same time anxious about starting something unfamiliar and being separated from family for the first time.
As parents, you play an essential role in preparing your kid for this new experience in his life. As soon as you notice your kid showing curiosity in his surroundings, you can introduce him to different activities that prepare him for the next stage of his life: going to school.
Chances are you are already doing essential things to prepare your child, like playing, exploring, and reading together. These things are helping your kid get ready for preschool activities that he will encounter later on once the preschool year starts.
To give you a lot more ideas on how you can guide your child in transitioning into a preschool, you my take consideration of the following tips below:
6 Easy Steps to Prepare Your Kid for Preschool
1. Discuss and Introduce your Kid to School and What You Expect from Him
The first step in preparing your kid is sharing the information about preschool with your kid. This step is essential. It helps your kid understand the things he will be doing at school. And it also helps him get excited about his new school adventures. You can start this process by asking him some questions such as:
-Do you know what preschool is?
-Where do you go to school?
-What do teachers do at school?
-What do you think we’ll do at preschool?
Try and be patient while communicating with your child, and answer all his questions patiently and truthfully. It will also lead you to talk about the things that matter to your kid.
2. Role Play
Encourage your Kid to “Pretend Play” to prepare him for preschool activities. For example, let your kid pretend that you will start preschool or that he will be picked up by someone new at the end of the day. It will help him get used to the idea of leaving you and taking care of him by himself.
Scavenger hunts are also good ways to introduce your child to school. For example, get your kid an empty lunch box, get one of his favorite books or toys, and go out for a walk together. As you walk around, give him clues about what he needs to find in preschool, like his nameplate, change for his locker key, and a lot more.
3. Encourage Your Kid to Read
Reading aloud is one of the greatest ways to communicate with your child. And reading books before preschool will help him be prepared for reading activities he might encounter in preschool. It also helps him develop essential reading skills like comprehension, vocabulary, and syntax, useful for learning success at school.
Encourage your kid to read by taking him to bookstores, library or even book-sharing events. You can also read books together. Even if you do not have enough time, try reading at least two books a week with your child. It will help him develop his independent reading skills. In addition, reading aloud with your kid is one of the best ways of bonding time while learning about preschool and a way to help him develop a habit of listening skills.
4. Introduce Your Kid to Different Tools and Materials
At preschool, your kid will be using lots of things like playdough, sand table, paintbrush. So try introducing these materials to him before the school year starts to familiarize himself with them when he encounters them in preschool. You can do this by asking him questions like, “What is it?” “What do you think you’ll do with this?” And introduce not just one but several objects to him about which you want to teach him.
5. Teach Them the Basics of Computer Technology
Like Computer Kids Daycare, most schools nowadays integrate computers for preschool in teaching students concepts and developing their skills. So, if you want your kid to succeed in school, you have to help him learn how to use a computer. So if your kid is not using any technology, now is the time to start. You can help your child learns how to use computer technology by introducing him to different things he might encounter, such as:
-Mouse and Keyboard
-Different apps, games, and websites
-Identifying Essential Computer Components
6. Teach Self-Help Skills
Your kid is going to be responsible for many things in the classroom. For example, he will have to put away his toys and clothes, tidy up his table and even clean up after breakfast and lunch. So, teaching your kid self-help skills like making beds, sweeping the floor, folding clothes, and putting things back where they belong is essential.
Preparation Tips Weeks Before Preschool Starts
Weeks before preschool starts, you can start getting your child ready. First, however, it would be best to keep some things in mind to make the transition a success for you and your child. Things to consider include:
- Help prepare your child for preschool by purchasing shoes, clothes, pencils, books, and bags. Bring your child with you when buying backpacks; this way, he will feel the excitement of going to school.
- Figure out how your kid will get to preschool and how he will come home safely. For example, discuss the routine your child needs to follow to attain safety.
- Encourage your child to follow the school bedtime routine so that he will get used to it once the school year starts.
- You can also visit the preschool before the start of the school year to familiarize yourself with the place and talk with the teacher. It will help you get an idea of how to prepare your child for school.
Tips for the First Day of school
If you and your kid are ready for preschool, then it’s time to enjoy the experience. Here are some things that you and your child should do on the first day of preschool:
- The first day of preschool is a new experience for many children. So it’s vital to help your child wake up early so that he could join the other kids and have a great first day.
- The first day of preschool is a big day for your kid. So, it’s essential to have a proper breakfast in your child’s stomach to prepare him for any possible worries. Choose food he already likes to set up his mood.
- Pack your kid’s backpack and make sure you have a list of everything that your child will need to take to preschool.
- Before saying goodbye to your kid in the morning, talk to the preschool teacher about how you plan to communicate with them.
Tips for Saying Goodbye after Sending Kids to School
Your child’s first day at preschool is one of the most crucial days of his life. Some children may feel excited about their new journey and environment, but some will hold emotions of fear and anxiety. These emotions are normal, and you can expect them to happen in your child. To give you an idea of how you can help your kid overcome separation anxiety. You may consider the following tips.
1. Stay for a Little While
Stay for a little while with your kid after you drop him off at preschool. Take time to explore the classroom with your child, let him meet with other children to increase his comfort level. If you plan to leave, make sure that you tell them clearly about your departure and expect them to be okay with it. In addition, encourage him to make friends on his first day to develop his social skills.
2. Keep Your Tone Easy
If you are the one dropping off your child, you can try to explain preschool. You can talk about why they need to go and the fun things they’ll do there. Avoid talking with a tone that makes them afraid or worried. Instead, talk smoothly and in a friendly manner and assign your child not to be scared and play happily with other kids.
3. Create a Good Goodbye Routine
Before dropping your kid off, try to let him know what they need to do when you leave. For example, you can have a good morning routine or, if possible, even prepare him by guessing toys or books that you need to take with you. In addition, try to give him the fun of controlling the process of saying goodbye to feel more comfortable about it.
4. Ask for Help
If your child is having a hard time coping with preschool, let them know that they can ask for help at any time if they are feeling scared or worried. It can make them feel better about themselves and make them aware that it’s okay if they don’t always feel good about saying goodbye.
What if You are Still not Confident if Your Kid is Ready for Preschool?
If your child is not ready for preschool, then it’s not the end of the world. There are plenty of other school options available to help your child prepare for preschool. These school programs are structured toward assisting students in getting ready for preschool. Some of these programs include:
-Spring and Summer Breaks
For example, if your kid cannot read, paying a tutorial school could be an excellent option to help your kid learn to read at grade level before starting school. Or, if you think your kid needs extra childcare after school, then an afterschool program might be what you need. For example, Computer Kids Daycare has offered afterschool programs at various locations to assist children with homework if they need help. But, again, you may send your inquiries through the contact us form to know more about it.
Preparation is essential if you want your child to transition to preschool goes smoothly. The tips mentioned above will help you and your child prepare and transition into preschool smoothly.