Getting Your Child Ready for Preschool

The first years of your child’s life fly by so very quickly. In an instant, you may feel as though you are dealing with a baby one day and a big kid the next. Though it may not seem like it at the time, the years fly by and so too do all of the many milestones. Before you know it, you are looking at an almost school aged child and wondering to yourself if they are ready for the next big step.

Preschool can be a huge step for many kids, while others just float into it with great ease. Just as every child has a different upbringing and different care each and every day, they will be different in their readiness for preschool. Though age is a big determining factor in their readiness, it’s certainly not the only one. You should think through other factors, particularly personality, when you make the decision to put them into preschool or not.

Is Your Child Really Ready?

First and foremost, there are certain age limits or restrictions that may help to make the decision for you. In many preschool programs, kids can start by the age of three but they must have turned three by December first of the current year. If they aren’t there yet, then they’ll need to wait for the next school year to start. This isn’t always a bad thing as it can give you plenty of time to prepare for the big step, but it is something worth looking into before you get them signed up for a preschool program. Some kids start preschool at four years old, but it is becoming more and more common these days that they start at three years old and then work their way up.

You also want to decide if they are ready in other ways too. Take a look at this preschool guide for example. Consider if your child can bear to be without you for a couple of mornings a week. If they have never been away from you at all, then this can be a shock to the system. It can also make their adjustment to preschool very difficult so plan accordingly. You also need to ensure that your child is potty trained before you enroll them in preschool. Many schools won’t even take a child unless they are potty trained and can work independently in this and other areas.

Helping to Prepare Your Child

Preschool is a big step for both of you, so it’s important to work with your child ahead of time to get them ready for it. First and foremost any exposure that you can give them to a school like setting can be a big help. Sign them up for a parent and toddler class beforehand to get them acclimated with the structure and feel of a real classroom. Be sure that they get plenty of exposure to other kids, because this will be a big help.

Though you want to be present for every big moment in their life, do your best to let them work independently whenever possible so they get used to that feeling. Work with them on lessons like the “ABC’s” or painting. Though you don’t need to put them through boot camp, any steps that you can take to get your child ready will really benefit them when that first day of preschool comes upon you.

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