Your Parenting Guide to Preparing Your Child for Preschool

Apr 12, 2017

Starting school is usually a very exciting time for a child. Children love to learn and socialize with other children their age. Nursery school is a perfect setting for that combination. Preparing your child for the transition to going to preschool is important for you and your child. There can be a myriad of emotions on both sides, so preparation is key to reducing stress.

1 Visit a nursery school together

Once you have chosen the nursery school your child will be attending, be sure to set up a time to visit. Check with the director to see if they offer some kind of tour for kids or a time where new students and their parents can come to meet the other children. It is helpful for the children to see what their new environment is going to be like so they are familiar with it on the first day.

2 Read books

Head to your local library to find books about the first days of school, especially preschool. You might also want to find books on separation anxiety. The book I used with my son when he first went to preschool was The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn. We loved it. I am sure your librarian can recommend some great books to read with your child. Read the book several weeks before the big day.

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3 Stick to routines

You will need to establish bedtime routines as well as morning routines for the days your child will be attending school. The bedtime routine is a great time to prep your child for the next day. With your child, choose what clothes to wear, pack the backpack if needed, and discuss what the day will look like. Make sure the time for bed is at a good time so your child will receive enough sleep.

Morning routines are just as important as bedtime routines. Getting dressed, eating breakfast, and other routines in the morning set the stage for a great day. Again, be sure to remind your child of the day’s activities. This is a great time to talk about any anxiety or uncertainty if needed.

4 Saying goodbye

Saying goodbye is another time you can establish a routine. Maybe you and your child sing a song before heading into the classroom, or maybe you do what they do in the book, The Kissing Hand. Whatever you decide to do, make it a common routine for saying goodbye.

5 Preparing yourself

Preparing your child also means you will need to prepare yourself. Your child can sense your anxiety if you are feeling any. If you are going to show sadness, they will feel the same. They need to see that you are okay with this big change so they can be okay too.Take some time to prepare yourself for your child’s first day at school.

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Even though starting a nursery school can be exciting, it can also be unsettling if your child is not prepared for the new adventure. Try these five tips for a great start to a new stepping stone in your child’s life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of preschool for my child?

Enrolling in preschool can offer a range of benefits such as providing children with a stable and predictable routine, fostering a passion for learning through early education, and developing crucial cognitive, social, emotional, and language skills. Additionally, most preschool programs focus on a well-rounded curriculum to ensure children receive a comprehensive education in their early years.

What is the best age to start preschool?

Preschool programs are typically intended for children aged two to five years old. Since preschools often reach capacity quickly, it’s recommended to begin researching options when your child is around one year old or earlier to secure a spot for them.

When should I start preparing my child for preschool?

It is recommended to start preparing your child for preschool around 6 months before their enrollment. This can involve introducing them to a structured routine, reading books about preschool, practicing separation, and encouraging independent play. However, the specific timeline may vary depending on your child’s needs and development.

How can I ease my child’s separation anxiety?

Separation anxiety is common in young children starting preschool. You can ease your child’s anxiety by establishing a consistent goodbye routine, reminding them of when you’ll return, and reassuring them that you love them and will be back soon.

What should my child bring to preschool?

Most preschools will provide a list of required and optional items for your child to bring, such as a backpack, change of clothes, snacks, and a water bottle.

What can I do if my child is struggling in preschool?

Collaborate with your child’s teachers by sharing your concerns and providing them with your records of ongoing incidents and behaviors. It’s important to listen to their perspective and give feedback to ensure effective communication and teamwork. Together, you can work towards finding the best solutions for your child’s needs.

What if my child doesn’t like preschool?

Establish a morning routine and allow for some time to adjust to it. Help your child develop language to express their emotions and encourage open communication about their school day experiences, including both positive and negative aspects. Show empathy towards any difficult emotions they may be experiencing.