Preschool can be very difficult for young children. They don’t have a concept of time, so it is hard for them to understand that they will be at the preschool for a portion of the day and then you will pick them up again. Kids can have a difficult time letting their mom or dad leave.
Everyone has seen scenes where a child is clinging to their parent, tears coursing down their face, and the parent is reluctant to leave, glancing around for some help. This is not only hard for the child, but also for the parent. I think we have all seen or faced this experience.
Situations like these can be less stressful if you follow a few simple ideas. If you are starting out at a new preschool, visit before the first day and take a tour of the school. Tell your child how they get to be big now and go to school. Show them where their things will be. Find out what they will be doing on their first day. Most schools have a schedule with themes and activities mapped out. You can talk about how they get to paint today, or they are learning about clowns. Get your child excited about what they will be doing.
When the day arrives to take them to school, try not to make a big deal about saying goodbye. Help them hang up their things and take them to their teacher. Give them a quick kiss or hug and say goodbye. Then turn around and leave. This is the hardest part – walking away. Dragging out the goodbyes only makes it more emotional for your child. If you don’t act like you will be missing them throughout the day, they won’t act that way either.
It’s time for kindergarten! If this is your first kindergartner, you may not know what to expect. Kindergarten varies from school to school, but here are some general principles that apply across the board.
Kindergarten assessment is done before your child begins school. The teacher will do some testing to see where your child is at as far as learning. As you watch this take place, you might feel like you are being put under the microscope. Does my child know the difference between an oval and rectangle? Does my child remember what each letter sounds like as was rehearsed at home? Try not to take personally the responses that your child gives. Everyone learns at a different rate.
Assessment will review colors, shapes, letters, writing, more or less, and other skills as applicable to the teacher. Remind yourself that this is just a help for the teacher, and a way to gauge what your child has learned already. During parent-teacher conferences, the teacher will refer to the assessment to see where your child has progressed.
Prepare for homework. Your child will have homework assignments, probably on a daily basis. You will have to help with these. Think of it as after school learning, and you are the teacher. This is also a good time to start collecting magazines or newspapers, because you can be sure that you will have to start clipping out pictures that begin with the letters of the alphabet.
Kindergarten is a great time for your child. They will learn and grow so fast during this year. They will make new friends and begin to discover more of the world around them. With your help, this can be a successful year for them!
There are several different ways you need to prepare your child for school, including mentally, emotionally, and physically. Whatever the age, there are certain physical things that you need to get ready for them to begin school.
If your kids are like mine are, they have spent the summer with long nights and late mornings. Now that school is almost here, it’s time to move back to an earlier schedule. If you have older children, this might be more difficult as you have less control over their schedule. But for younger ones, get started about three weeks before school starts by adjusting their sleep time a little earlier, the same with their wake time. Then the following week, adjust it again. Continue this until your child is sleeping and waking during the same hours they will be when school starts.
Since summer is winding down, it might be time to wind your kids down and start their minds working again in preparation for school. A few weeks before school starts, crack out the reading books and paper and pencil. Spend 30 minutes during the day working on reading or writing.
Physically preparing your children for school involves getting them the things that they need for school. If you like to shop for school clothes in the summer, start this about one month before school starts to get in on the sales. Retail outlets usually start their summer sales around this time. Watch the ads and sales for the best time to go.
If your school likes you to bring school supplies, watch for these sales too. Again, shop early to ensure the best prices and best selection. Getting your kids ready for school can be a challenge but it will make the transition back to school easier.