5 Ways I’m Preparing My Child for Preschool
It is often said, “The days are long but the years are short.” No statement has even been more profound than when parents are getting ready to send their children off to preschool. An exciting experience for kids and their parents, it’s also a time of many changes, which for some kids might be the first time they are in a structured school.
While my youngest daughter is excited, there are a lot of things that I’ve been working on with her to make the transition smooth for the both of us come September. Here are a few ways I’m getting her ready:
1. Learning on the Go
My days can be pretty frantic with a full-time work schedule and three kids, so a lot of the learning that we do comes from our everyday experiences. Sometimes in the car, I’ll ask what shapes she sees from the window or when we are eating out, what colors she sees on other people’s clothing. I’ve also been going through the ABCs and encouraging her to write her name and simple words.
2. Library Visits
Another one of her favorite this to do is visit our local library. She loves to “read” to me by recounting the story based on the pictures. I then read to her and ask her questions throughout to see if she understands the text and the story. Being around this positive environment is a great way to plant the seeds of reading and to encourage kids to connect with books and games, which will be a big part of their preschool experience.
3. Setting up Playdates
This year, I saw a big shift in my daughter talking about friendships and her “best friends” at school. Over the summer, I’m going to set up a bunch of playdates, so she can stay connected to these friends who she will be seeing every day in September.
4. Establishing Routines
Routines are very important and helpful for my older girls during the school year and this summer I’ve been trying to establish the same pattern with my youngest. Typically, this has been a little loose with her since I’m often doing a hundred things to get everyone out of the house (and somehow have to get myself ready, too). Before she goes to bed, I ask her to pick out her outfit for the next day and tell me what she wants for lunch. After breakfast, she then wants to dress herself, brush her teeth and check her backpack (just a few dolls in there now) and we’re off.
5. Visit the School
It is so important for kids to feel comfortable and familiar with their new surroundings. One easy thing to do is to visit your new school and maybe setting up a tour so your child can see their classroom and get to see their new space. If that’s not possible, you can always drive by the school from your home so that your child gets to see their new route.
6. Talk about Drop-Off
Being dropped-off has always been a challenge with my kids. She had a hard time adjusting to the nursery program, so we have been talking about drop-off and how Mommy will leave and come back right after work. I told her that she can hug and kiss me and wave goodbye and I’ll see her at the end of the day. While I don’t want to create anxiety, I think talking about what’s to come is important for her to understand what’s going to change about her day in a few months.
Preschool is such an exciting time of learning and discovery for kids. It can also be scary and overwhelming as little ones start to become big kids and establish new patterns and structures in their day. These are just a few things that you can do to get your child ready for a fun year ahead.
What are some of your preschool preparation tips?
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