As your child heads toward the big step of going to preschool, there are a few things you can do to help them be successful for years to come. And while these things might require some time and patience, they are something that everyone can enjoy. Here are 5 ways to prep your kids for school starting right now.
1. Introduce Routines
Going to school involves more than one routine. It means getting up at a particular time, getting ready for school, attending structured class with others, nap time, play time, and going home at a set time. For little ones used to having a lot of free time during the day, this can be a hard adjustment.
Prepare your child for their school experience by creating some routines and schedules at home. It could be simple routines at first, such as eating at particular times, washing hands, and having a consistent nap time.
2. Share Attention
When your child starts preschool, they will have to learn how to share attention. You can help teach your child that sharing time and attention is just fine. This can be difficult for both you and your child at first, but it’s a good step toward being able to develop patience and a sense of compromise.
One easy way to start teaching your child is to let them know that they have to wait their turn when they want your attention. This strategy will help your child develop patience because they know that they will be heard. And be sure to follow up with your promises.
3. Spend Time Away
Learning to let go can be one of the most difficult parts of the adjustment to school — for both parent and child. Get a head start and make it less traumatic by spending a little time apart now. Call up the grandparents, aunts, or cousins, and suggest a short visit for fun.
Then graduate to overnight stays with trusted family members. Your little one will not only learn to be on their own without you but also learn the importance of following instructions given by other adults.
4. Learn to Tidy Up
Small bits of responsibility give children confidence and develop self-control skills. Tidy up your child’s bedroom with them — not for them — at the end of a play session or the end of the day. Show them how to keep toys in a proper box in shared family areas. Teach them to bring their dirty dish to the sink after eating. Have them help you separate and fold their own laundry.
It may be tempting to do the work faster yourself, but consider it an investment in your child’s future. Kids love to be helpful, and they will learn how to be responsible with their own belongings and with other people’s without even realizing it.
5. Use Learning Games
Preschool will use a lot of fun games to teach the kids important skills and lessons. You can start using games at home, not only as a way to prepare them for the experience but also give them an edge on the learning process.
For instance, do you want to teach the alphabet? Why not cut out pictures of items that start with one letter and arrange them together? Choose simple card games, books with special effects, or children’s board games too. Encourage artistic expression, which can help teach soft skills like patience as well as motor control and coordination.
For more ideas on how you can help your child get ready and then thrive at preschool, talk to the childhood education professionals at Advantage Learning Center today.