Starting preschool is a huge deal for your child and your family as a whole. Soon, instead of being home with you all day, your child will be in their first school environment, learning social skills, beginning to read, and getting guidance from their teachers. While preschool is generally a very positive and beneficial experience, the initial transition can be scary for some kids (and parents, too). Here are four great ways to prepare your child for preschool, ensuring the smoothest transition possible:
Practice Periods of Separation
For many young children, preschool is the first time they've been away from their mom on a regular basis, and this separation can cause anxiety and clinginess. A smart approach is to build up to preschool gradually by practicing periods of separation. Periodically leave your child with a trusted family member, babysitter, or at daycare for at least a couple hours. Present this in a positive, exciting way ("You get to play with Grandma today!") so that your child associates separation with fun experiences instead of fear.
Familiarize Your Child with the School
Another aspect of a new preschool that can be daunting for kids is just how unfamiliar and foreign it feels. You can make your child much more comfortable by familiarizing them with their new preschool ahead of time. Schedule a visit in order to meet the teachers, tour the school, and even play on the playground. If possible, ask for a list of parent contact information for your child's upcoming class, and arrange a couple of playdates before school starts.
Purchase New School Supplies Together
A simple way to build excitement and also allow your child to feel empowered is to purchase new school supplies. Allow your child to pick out a backpack, new folders, a lunch bag, etc. Explain that they will get to use this cool new stuff every day as soon as preschool starts.
Implement a Daily Schedule
Your child may adjust to the structure of preschool more easily if you implement a similar schedule in the weeks leading up to the first day of school. Breaking your day down into set periods of play, learning, outdoor activities, meals, and naps will make being on a preschool schedule feel easier and more natural for your child.
By following these tips, you will feel at peace knowing your child is truly prepared for this exciting new phase in life. Contact a preschool like Little Dreamers Preschool Of Cary for more advice.