You may already have done more to prepare your toddler for preschool than you think. The best preparation may require a few tweaks to your child’s routine and a little parental homework. What you want to avoid is overwhelming your little one with anticipation of the experience. Starting preschool is an exciting step, but your overhyping it can build unnecessary anxiety.
What You Can Do Before Preschool Begins
Here are some things that child psychologists and teachers recommend doing as ways to help your toddler get the most out of a preschool program.
Establish a Schedule and Stick to It
You probably already have a schedule that everyone in your household follows. Your toddler has a time to wake up and get dressed, a time for meals, nap time, time for play, time for bed, and so forth. This helps give your child a sense of structure, order, and what to expect each day.
Establishing a schedule means setting a routine with tasks to help your child understand self-reliance and the importance of rules. For example, breakfast at a set time each day could mean the child should wake up by a certain time, be dressed, make the bed, and brush teeth. If you have not already set a daily schedule and routines for your little one, it is time to start. If you already have one, make sure you stick to it. Getting your toddler acclimated to the idea of a schedule with rules to follow is one of the best ways to help your child adjust to a preschool program. The sense of security fostered by schedules and routines will stay with your child for life.
Give Responsibility for Completing Small Tasks
A toddler should be able to learn to do simple tasks without much supervision. Examples include putting away toys, putting on a coat and boots, and bringing dirty tableware to the sink. Make a game out of it by giving them a treat the first time they complete the task.
Include time in the schedule for reading stories to your toddler out loud. Reading out loud to your child stimulates the imagination and helps them learn vocabulary and verbal skills. To prepare them for a Christian preschool experience, you can include bible stories in your story reading.
You can incorporate story time into your schedule any time of day. Your toddler will look forward to this special time every day. By the time preschool starts, reading will be a fun and familiar activity. Christ Lutheran Preschool incorporates story time into every day activities.
Visit the Preschool Before School Starts
Selecting the preschool for your toddler probably included a personal visit to the facility. You met some of the school staff and teachers, toured the facility, and learned about the program’s teaching philosophy. Arrange to bring your child for a preview as well. Let the child see the environment, meet the teacher, walk around the facility, and even play on the playground. This would be a good time to describe to your child what his or her school day will be like when school starts. Let them know how much fun it will be meeting new friends, learning about new things with them, playing on the playground, making arts and crafts, and so forth. Christ Lutheran Preschool is always open to visits if your child wishes to visit the school early.
Listen to What Your Child Says about Starting Preschool
Casually encourage your little one to talk about starting preschool. You are likely to hear a mix of worry and excitement. You can reassure him or her that these feelings are normal but preschool will be lots of fun and is a part of “growing up”, then describe what you remember about your first day of school and how you were a little scared but then you had a lot of fun. Let your child know that even though they will be away from you for a few hours each school day, you will be there at the end of the school day to bring them home.
Think about what you will and your child will need for the first week of school. Go shopping for clothing, backpacks, and any supplies your toddler may need. Submit any paperwork the school requires before the first day of school. Have food for snacks or mid-day meals ready to go. Having it all ready before the first day will reduce the level of stress on everyone. On the first day, plan to stay with your child for 15 or 20 minutes to help meet a few classmates, find a place to sit, and so forth. Then give your child a hug good-bye, tell the child you know they will have fun today, and you’ll be back to pick them up and hear all about it.
Contact Christ Lutheran Preschool for More Information
For a wonderful Christian preschool experience, contact Christ Lutheran Preschool for more information about their program. The staff would be happy to meet with you and help you prepare your toddler for a Christian preschool program that will provide your little one with a solid foundation for an academic education. Contact Christ Lutheran Preschool soon to enroll your child in a Christian preschool program.