According to one study, 48% of children struggle during the transition to kindergarten. Putting young children into preschool prepares them for school. From a young age, the child will experience carefully controlled periods of separation from their parents and socializing with other children and adults. Children who attend preschool will experience a less traumatic experience when they transition to traditional school. Here are five ways to prepare your child for preschool.
1. Start Small
Gradually work your way up to regular four-hour days of preschool five days a week. Start with two or three half days and build up to five half days in a row. Eventually, you'll be able to work your way up to a full schedule. Your child will adjust better since you eased them into the full-time schedule at a gradual pace.
2. Get the Child Excited For Preschool
Instead of emphasizing separation and strangers, focus on all of the good things your child will like about going to preschool, such as the new toys and new friends. If the child has friends at the school, get them excited about spending time with their sibling or friend during the day. If the child struggles to see the fun part of preschool, give them an extra treat for lunch to make the experience a little easier.
3. Stay Positive
Starting preschool isn't only hard for children. It's hard for the parents, too. Your child will pick up on your own anxiety regarding preschool if you express it. Always maintain a positive attitude when talking about the school, even if you miss your child during the day.
4. Pick the Right Preschool
Not all preschool programs are the same. Research the preschools in your area to learn more about your options within your price range.
Things you should consider include:
- Core lessons vs. free play
- Teacher to student ratio
- Teacher qualifications
- Religious affiliation
5. Introduce Your Child to the School in Advance
You should bring your child to visit the school and the teacher before you drop them off for their first day. The child will feel more comfortable if they already know the teacher and feel somewhat familiar with the school. During your visit, encourage your child to play with the other children and step to the side.
Starting preschool is an important milestone in a child's development. Separation can be difficult for you and your child, but it's healthy and beneficial for the child's independence. For more information, contact a preschool near you.Share