Starting Preschool

Aug 8, 2013

Preschool provides a safe venue for kids to learn some hard lessons about the world.  Is your preschooler ready?

Lesson# 1:  What do you mean you’re not going to stay?  For kids who’ve been home with parents, preschool may represent their first major separation.  You can prepare your child with visits to friends, playdates in other homes and seeing the classroom before the first day of school.

Lesson #2:  What do you mean I’m not the center of the universe?  At home a child is his parents’ focus.  Becoming one of ten or twenty children in a classroom provides an enormous wake-up call.  Learning other people’s needs sometimes come first builds good citizens, but may be a painful lesson. Kids need practice putting others first at home to be ready.

Lesson #3:  What do you mean I have to share these toys?  Children are thrilled with the array of toys in a good preschool room.  However, this passionate engagement may lead to his wanting to claim ownership of a favorite toy.  You can give him opportunities to take turns with things at home to learn sharing.

Lesson #4:  What do you mean I have to follow directions?  Your child’s success in school will largely depend on her being able to regulate her own behavior and follow the program provided by her teacher.  Whether it’s sitting still for a moment or putting away her backpack, she will have to live by classroom expectations.

You can prepare her for success by communicating your expectations at home and then following through to make sure she complies.  Children learn to manage their behavior in their relationships with their parents.  Then they carry this self-discipline to preschool with them where it enables them to shine.

The rich background of loving relationships, language experiences and cognitive stimulation kids have enjoyed with their families will blossom in the preschool classroom.   Planning ahead for the social adjustments your child will make initially will pay off for a great preschool year.