It’s that time of year again. The time of year when children and their parents are prepping for back to school. If you have a child going to school for the very first time, there may be even more pressure on you. You need to plan schedules, prepare lunches, get school supplies, buy new clothes, and you need to make sure your child is ready for the big day. Preparing your child for preschool is rewarding and should be celebrated! It’s a milestone in their life and another “first” to keep track of!
On top of all the other things you have to do, you need to ensure your child has the readiness skills needed for Kindergarten.
What skills will your child need to be ready for going to school for the first time? Here are some general guidelines.
Preparing Your Child for Preschool
- Read to your child daily and visit the library often. Promote a love of books and reading.
- Sing rhyming songs and talk about the things you do in your day.
- Plan playdates and get your child some interaction with his peers.
- Encourage your child to write his or her name.
- Help your child learn basic colors.
- Teach your child the alphabet song and teach him to recognize letters on sight.
- Take your child to the park, the zoo, the post office, and other places while you run errands.
- Set rules and boundaries and consequences for breaking them.
- Discourage hitting, kicking, biting, and other negative behaviors.
- Model and discuss positive ways to talk about your feelings.
- Have a regular routine for things like meals and sleep time.
- Let your child learn independence by getting dressed on her own.
- Encourage independence in using the toilet and handwashing.
- Encourage your child to listen to others when they speak.
- Parents: Understand that the head lice notice will quite possibly come home. Be ready and prepared to handle any possibility of getting rid of head lice in advance. It’s not as hard as you may think.
In addition to readiness, you will also want to talk with your child before the big day of school. Don’t allow your anxiety to cause fear with your child. Be upbeat and positive whenever you discuss school.
Parent To-Do’s for Preparing Your Child for Preschool
Here are some tips for the parents in preparing your child for preschool:
- Help your child plan for his schedule. Tell him when school will start and when he will come home at the end of the day.
- Talk to your child about possible anxieties. If they have an item they are attached to reassure them it will be waiting for them when they return.
- Visit the school with your child and show them around where they will be going.
- Explain to your child that most kids feel nervous on their first day of school.
- Let your child know that you love her and will miss her when she’s gone.
With these tips, you’re ready to help your preschooler get ready for school for the first time.