Preparing Your Child for Preschool
By M. Renee Edwards
Your choice of preschool should be suited to your child's stage of development and personality rather than parent's aspirations for their child's future."
The following are some suggestions that may help you prepare your child for preschool:
Take your child with you when you visit the school. Visit on a day when school is in, so that your child will have the opportunity to see what the school has to offer and a chance to meet the teacher.
Ease your child into the change of routine. You can start simply – for example, by changing your child’s bedtime -- gradually easing the child into spending less time with you and more time playing on their own or with others. You may also want to begin laying out clothing the night before to get them in the habit of doing so.
Use a calendar to highlight school days and activities. Let your child see that his/her schedule is just as important as yours by allowing him/her to see your schedule, then highlighting school days and activities on a calendar designated as their own.
Talk to your child about what the school offers. Discuss with the school the general makeup of a typical day, then offer details about the school’s curriculum to your child – i.e., finger painting, playing outdoors with others, singing, looking at books, snacks and naps.
Familiarize the child with any new equipment they’ll be responsible for once they go to school. For instance, if your child takes lunch, let them choose the lunchbox (or lunch bag) that they’ll use and talk to them about the importance of bringing it home each day. Do the same for a backpack, sweater or jacket, etc.
To help your child be more comfortable on the first day, get a few phone numbers of future classmates and set up some dates for the children to meet and play together before the start of school.
"Again, make your preschool decision based on the needs of your child, rather than your desires for their education – they’ll have plenty of time to get into the educational swing of things once they hit kindergarten."