Starting preschool can be scary and nerve wracking for you and your child. However, there are things you can do to make this change less frightening and a more positive experience for your child. THE Children’s Academy, a preschool in Franklin, TN, encourages parents to help ease their child into preschool with these tips.
TEACH THE BASICS BEFORE PRESCHOOL
As a parent, you can find teaching opportunities every day. Before they start preschool, introduce them to learning. Learning the basics will encourage them to be eager to go to preschool. Teach them their name, write it and post for them to see and, if they are interested, let them try to write their name too. Go over colors, numbers, and letters in the alphabet. While you’re at the grocery store, teach them to identify basic fruits and items. Doing all of this will help them transition into preschool learning quicker and easier.
TEACH THEM SELF-HELP SKILLS AT HOME
Give your child many chances to practice self-help skills like zipping and unzipping a jacket, taking off and putting on shoes, and going to use the restroom on their own. It’s more fun for both of you if you can turn the practice into a game. You might set a kitchen timer and challenge your toddler to sit still (maybe while looking at a book, coloring, or listening to you read) until the bell rings. Tip: Children should be expected to sit about one minute for each year of age.
Some preschool classes assign students responsibilities. These can be as simple as being the line leader for the day or helping with handing out papers or crayons. Teach responsibility at home to help them prepare for being responsible and helping others out at preschool. Some children may not partake in tasks at home, so the transition may be a shock when they get to preschool. But, you can easily help them learn responsibility by letting them help with chores around the house. Give them simple chores like putting silverware on the table and putting away their toys.
START A ROUTINE AND ENCOURAGE THEM
Create a good-bye routine such as planting a kiss on your child’s palm that they can “hold” all day or kissing the top of their head and saying, “See you later, alligator.” This can ease separation anxiety on the first day at preschool. Establishing a routine and consistently following it not only provides reassurance, but it also encourages your child.
If your child gets upset and cries, don’t go back to the classroom. These first goodbyes aren’t just hard for the children! It’s a big change for both of you. You can leave, even if your child is crying, with the assurance that the teacher has experience in calming, comforting, and distracting upset young ones, especially during their first days.
SET UP A PRETEND PRESCHOOL AT HOME
If you are concerned that your child will have great anxiety starting school, another way to prepare your child for preschool is to incorporate preschool lessons and activities at home. Set up a pretend preschool in the corner of your living room. Get them acclimated with what a preschool classroom would look like. Have your child hang up his coat, take off his shoes, sit in a circle (a few stuffed friends can help make the circle more fun), play for a set amount of time and then clean up the toys, and have a snack. Plan and do preschool activities with your child, like read a book or do an art and craft project. Doing this often enough to make them feel familiar will help your child adjust when they begin attending their real preschool.
VISIT THE PRESCHOOL AND MEET THE TEACHERS
The most crucial part of preparing your child for preschool is visiting the preschool and meeting the teachers. Schedule a time to tour the school and meet the teachers, but also bring your child along. During the visit, allow the child to explore the room and interact with teachers. Once your child sees the classroom, environment, and teachers, they’ll be less nervous on their first day because they’re already familiar with the place and people.
Going to preschool can be scary for your little one. THE Children’s Academy can help make it a fun, exciting, and easy transition for your child. We are one of the best Franklin, TN preschools, and our curriculum makes learning fun for every child who comes here. Schedule a tour with us to check out our classrooms and learn about our program.