Time for preschool, but is your child really ready for it?
Many parents struggle to decide the right time for their child’s preschool admission and may worry if they are signing him/her up at the wrong age and/or in the wrong activities. The average age for preschool sign-up is 2.5 – 3 years for children. However, just because they turned a particular age doesn’t guarantee school readiness. The most important factor which acts as a prerequisite in this case is the child’s ‘Preschool Readiness’. Readiness for preschool has less to do with age and much more to do with where your child is developmentally and how well can he/she cope with social, emotional, physical and cognitive factors in a structured schedule. If you are looking for particular signs in your child for preschool readiness, then please read ahead:
- Signs of Independence
Before you send your child to the preschool, it is always good to ask yourself these two questions – Is my child fairly independent? Will he be able to perform basic tasks on his own when he is away from me?
Many children start showing signs of independence around the preschool years. They start performing basic tasks like hand washing, eating without assistance, using restrooms on their own, sleeping alone etc. In fact many preschools consider this as a prerequisite for all of the admission-seekers. If your child shows these signs and has no problem performing most or all of these tasks independently, then this is one indicator that he might be ready to attend the credible preschool of your choice.
- Enjoys Company and Participates in Group Activities
Can your child communicate easily with his/her peers? Does he/she participate in group activities without any hesitation and enjoys it?
Preschool activities require simultaneous participation of all the children collectively. Be it a storytelling session, musical session or any other activity; these interactions give children a chance to play and learn together, thus enhancing their social and developmental skills.
If your child isn’t comfortable with group activities, then don’t worry because you can start introducing him/her by yourself slowly. Take him to storytime at your local libraries and family gatherings etc. This will surely put him in the habit of interacting with other children and encourages group participation.
- Can Keep a Regular Schedule
Did you know that children tend to feel most comfortable and in control when they follow a predictable schedule?
Preschool programs typically run with precise schedules. Parents can narrow down preschool choices by the amount of hours and times that work best for their schedule. This also help creates a routine for the teachers and students to follow within the school. If your child currently don’t follow a regular routine at home, you may want to consider adopting a version of one in order to help prepare him/her for the transition to preschool. All these efforts can help to standardize his/her days a bit before he starts preschool.
- Start by offering meals on a regular timetable.
- You could also plan to visit the park each afternoon or set and stick to a bedtime ritual.
- Can Spend Time Away From You
This may be the hardest part for you and/or your child. Many children struggle to stay apart from their parents in the initial stage of preschool. They may nag and cry or even make moves to try not showing up at school. If your child hasn’t spent much time apart from you or your family, then you may consider scheduling meet-ups where he/she spends time alone with other people. You could schedule a weekend with Grandma and Grandpa or arrange for him/her to spend time with a reliable babysitter etc. This will enable him to spend less time with you at home and explore other people’s company, which may help him in the transition to preschool. Kids who are used to being apart from their parents often bounce right into preschool with hardly a backward glance.
Before signing up your child for preschool, always make sure that he/she is in a good emotional and developmental state to make the most out of this experience. Hope this information helps and you can also let us know about any other traits or your child’s preschool experience in the comments. Check iQuriousKids.com for great preschools near you!