One of the best things you give to your little one as a parent is quality education. This means enrolling your son or daughter at a good preschool.
Quality early childhood education has many benefits. It provides opportunities for playtime, helps your child adjust to kindergarten and keeps your child physically active.
Enrolling your child in an excellent preschool also gives your child an advantage. A study published in one of the journals of the Society for Research in Child Development found that kids who attended quality preschool displayed better academic and self-regulation skills compared to those who didn’t enroll in this program. Preschool, therefore, is worth it and gives your young one the advantage they need in life.
Starting preschool, however, is a huge step for your child. As a parent, you should do everything you can to help smooth the transition and prepare your little one for early childhood education.
Here are six suggestions to get your kid ready for this new experience:
Come up with a Set Schedule
A routine offers opportunities for behaving responsibly and making decisions. It also teaches your child the concepts of time, order and sequencing. Establishing a daily schedule helps your little one transition to the preschool setting structure.
Follow Morning and Bedtime Routines
When followed consistently, routines offer your little one a sense of reassurance and belonging. They also give parents opportunities to connect and play with their child.
Some activities that you could include in the morning are helping your kid make the bed, getting dressed, eating breakfast and brushing their teeth and hair. If your little one is having trouble following several tasks, create a Good Morning chart that enumerates the tasks in a particular order along with visual reminders.
As for bedtime, you could come up with a comforting routine that helps settle down a restless child and allow them to get a good night’s sleep. Some activities you can add to your kid’s schedule are bathing or showering, changing into their pyjamas, singing songs, reading a bedtime story, tucking your little one and giving them kisses and hugs.
Arrange Overnight Stays with Grandparents or Trusted Relatives
Many preschoolers struggle with separation anxiety. They may cry or throw tantrums when you leave them in their new environment.
You could minimize separation anxiety by allowing your child to stay overnight at the house of your aunt, uncle or grandparent. Your little one will become used to the idea of being away from you for extended periods in a familiar, safe and loving environment.
Overnight stays also introduce the concept of change. Your child will need to adapt to sleeping in a different room and bed. They also have to eat food cooked and served by someone else.
One of the classic activities in preschool is coloring. Look for a coloring book or free printable sheets on the web. Then, ask your child to color the drawings. This activity helps develop motor skills, as your little one will do their best to stay within the lines.
When your child is working on a coloring page, check their progress. Then, ask if the color they picked is the right one for the drawing. If they’re trying to color a group of deer, for instance, you could ask questions like, “What color is that crayon?” and “What is the color of a deer?” Don’t forget to praise them if they choose the correct crayon for the drawing.
Allot Time for Reading
Apart from a bedtime story, make time to read a child-friendly book to your little one. When you give the gift of language and books to your kid, you provide them with imaginative experiences, which are crucial in forming innovators and creative thinkers. Excellent children’s books also offer the rich language necessary to make your child more successful in school and life.
Give Your Child a Sneak Peek and Tour of the School
If you’ve already chosen a preschool for your little one, bring your child to that school for a quick tour. Ideally, take your child during school hours. If this isn’t possible due to your work schedule, try to visit the school on a weekend or after work hours.
Then, give your little one a sneak peek of the rooms and allot time for observation. Make sure you explain what happens in a preschool session. You could emphasize the fun of eating snacks with classmates and playing fun games.
These six tips will help your child get ready for the classroom. The transition won’t be jarring to your little one when they’re mentally and emotionally prepared for the change.