Your child’s first day of preschool is something that you will never forget, and it is the first step in your child’s educational journey. When a child enters preschool, they are no longer a toddler. They are taking a massive step in independence, ability, knowledge, and maturity. As parents, it is up to you to help prepare your child for this big step in their lives. Here are five things that you can do to make sure your child is ready for preschool.
The best piece of advice any parent could follow is to simply read to your child. Read every day and read multiple times per day. Have books spread throughout your home so that your child sees the importance that you place on reading. Visit the library with your child, share favorite books from when you were their age, and introduce them to what it means to love reading.
While reading is vital, talking to your child and listening to what they have to say is equally important. Talking to your child and having them respond builds both receiving and transmitting language skills and are integral in preparing your child for preschool. They need to be able to listen to and understand their teachers but also to follow conversations and be able to get their point across as well. Put down your phone, turn off the television, and converse with your child. Talking with your kids will help them to build social, academic, and emotional skills that will serve them not only at preschool but for their whole life.
Spend time on the floor each day playing with your child. Take them outside to play, and do not be afraid to get messy. Laugh and have fun with your child, give them a chance to play alone, and encourage your child to laugh and have fun with others as well.
By the time your child enters preschool, they should have a certain level of independence so that they do not rely on an adult for everything. Make sure they have shoes they can put on by themselves, that toddlers can eat without help, and that they can go to the bathroom without needing their teacher to accompany them. While they are still young and will need help with some things, there are certain areas of life where you can teach and model independence, and this independence will help to ensure their success.
The old saying “practice makes perfect” is a cliche because it is true. You have to give your child some time away from you so that they can put the skills you have taught them to the test. Let your child play alone in their room or while you are cooking. When you go to the park, do not always hover but allow them to play with others. Giving them some space will help take care of the separation anxiety that many children feel on the first day.
It is important to get them started writing numbers early. There are worksheets for kids to trace numbers to get them started on the right track. Slowly your children can begin to draw freehand. Practicing numbers early can make your child stand out from the rest of their classmates when they enter kindergarten.
If you follow these steps, you will be well on your way to seeing your child succeed in preschool and that success will serve them well for the rest of their life.