Is your child ready for preschool? If they’re at least 3 years old now, this is a question you might be asking yourself.
It’s a great idea to sign your child up for preschool if you can. It’ll equip them with all the skills they’ll need to start attending kindergarten once they hit the age of 5.
Before you begin sending your child to preschool, though, you should make it a point to improve their school readiness. They aren’t going to be ready for school if you don’t make the proper preparations in advance.
Preparing for school will take some time and effort on your part. But it’ll leave you with a child who is 100% school ready in the end.
Read on as we provide you with some useful tips on how to be school ready. They’ll help you and your child get their first school experience off to a fantastic start.
Start by Finding the Right Preschool for Your Child
If you think your child is ready for preschool, the very first thing you should do is look around for the right preschool for them to attend. You shouldn’t just pick the first preschool you can find and decide it will be your best option.
Instead, you should Google “preschools near me” and search for facilities that offer childcare and preschool. It’s a good idea to compile a long list of them so that you can consider all your available options.
Once you’ve got a list ready to go, you can go through each option on it and see what they bring to the table. Your goal should be to locate a preschool that has a reputation for providing both kids and parents alike with wonderful experiences.
Begin Talking to Your Child About Going to School Early
Once you’ve found a preschool for your child and you know when they’re going to start attending it, you should begin to talk to your child about what’s to come. You should ask them if they would like to go to school and, assuming that they say “yes,” tell them that you’re working on making this possible for them.
You should not, under any circumstances, rush through the process of sending your child to school and do it without giving them any warning. They aren’t going to get off to a good start if you do this.
You should strive to let your child know that they’ll be going to school far in advance. You can then have a series of conversations with them about school to build up their anticipation for it. You can also answer any and all questions that they might have about attending school.
Put Your Child in Situations Where They’ll Socialize With Other Children
If your child has already spent their fair share of time hanging out with other kids throughout the course of their young life, you won’t have to worry about doing this too much. But otherwise, you should try to put them into plenty of situations where they’ll be forced to socialize with other kids.
One of the most difficult things that kids face when they start going to school is learning how to get along with other kids their age. You can give your child a jump start on learning how to do this by allowing them to socialize with kids as often as possible.
In some cases, this will mean signing your kids up for classes at your local rec center. In others, it’ll mean taking your kids to your local park so that they can play.
Spend Short Periods of Time Apart From Your Child When Possible
It’s completely normal for young children to suffer from separation anxiety when they first start going to school. Most kids haven’t been away from their parents for very long, so they get anxious when their parents go to drop them off for school for the first time.
To improve your child’s school readiness, you should try to spend short periods of time apart from them in the weeks leading up to their first day of school. You can do this by dropping them off with another family member, leaving them at home with a babysitter, etc.
There is no guarantee that your child won’t still suffer from some separation anxiety when you take them for their first day of school. But there is a good chance that they won’t suffer from it for too long when they’re used to not always being around you.
Work on Making Sure Your Child Is Potty-Trained
Potty-training a young child can be tricky. Some kids get the hang of it when they’re just 18 months old, while others will still be working on potty-training when they’re 3 years old.
But if you’re going to send your child to school, you should do your best to potty-train them in advance. Although some preschools will work with parents on potty-training, others will require that kids be potty-trained before they can begin attending preschool.
This is yet another reason why it’s important to start working on your child’s school readiness in advance. You aren’t going to be able to potty-train your child overnight. But when given a few weeks, you might be able to get them as close as you can to being fully potty-trained.
Teach Your Child How to Eat and Drink on Their Own
In addition to potty-training your child in advance of them going to preschool, you should also work on teaching them how to both eat and drink on their own. This is something that most parents work on when their kids are 1, 2, and 3 years old anyway. But it’ll be extra important to do it when the plan is to send your child to preschool.
When your child is at school, they’re usually going to be in charge of eating and drinking on their own. They might get some help from their teachers. But generally speaking, teachers don’t always have the time to help all their kids to eat and drink.
Just like with potty-training, teaching your child how to eat and drink on their own is going to be a work in progress. You’ll need to spend several weeks working on it with them. But they should be able to get the hang of it eventually as long as you both put in enough work.
Visit Your Child’s Preschool With Them to Meet Their Teacher
Most preschools will provide parents and their children with the opportunity to visit them so that they can meet their teachers. You should take full advantage of this opportunity if it’s offered to you.
When you meet with your child’s preschool teacher, you’ll be able to ask them any questions that you might have. You’ll also be able to make sure that your child knows their teacher’s name and what they’re all about.
After your child meets their new teacher, they’ll be more likely to be excited about going to school. They’ll also know what they can expect from their new school when they’re able to see it in person and explore it a little bit more.
Build up the Excitement Surrounding Your Child’s First Day of School
Your job in the weeks and days leading up to your child’s first day of school will be to build up as much excitement for it as you can. You want your child to be overflowing with excitement by the time their first day of school finally arrives.
So, how can you do this? Here are some things that you can do to get your child excited about school:
- Take them out and buy them a bunch of new school clothes
- Let them pick out a bookbag and other supplies for school
- Talk to them about all the cool things they’re going to learn at school
- Tell them about all of the friends they’re going to make at school
- Share stories about the memories that you have of your first day of school
Outside of doing all of these things, you should also invite your child to tell other family members, friends, etc. about how they’re going to be starting school soon. The more that you get your child talking about school, the more excited they’re going to be. School readiness won’t be an issue at all for them.
Leave Plenty of Time for Your Child’s Arrival on Their First Day of School
Under normal circumstances, you shouldn’t have to set aside too much time to drop your child off at school. You should be able to get both yourself and your child into a nice little routine.
But on your child’s first day of school, you might want to take off from work and leave yourself plenty of time in the morning. It’s going to take you more time than you might think to leave for school and drop your child off there.
You will, first and foremost, want to make sure that your child eats a healthy breakfast prior to their first day at school. You will also want to make sure that they wear the right outfit and have all the school supplies that they picked out.
And then, there will be the school dropoff itself. There is always a chance that your child might not be 100% cooperative with you when you attempt to leave them at school. They might insist that you stay with them or ask you to take them with you.
Whatever the case, you shouldn’t try to rush through the process of dropping your child off at school. It won’t be good for you or them if you take this approach. You should instead leave yourself more than enough time to say your goodbyes and get your child’s first day of school off to a great start.
Avoid Putting Too Much Pressure on Your Child When It Comes to School
As a parent, you want your child to do well in school. You want them to get along with other kids, play nice, and learn as much as they can.
Encouraging them to do all of these things is fine. But here’s the thing: You should try not to put too much pressure on them as far as school is concerned. They are, after all, still just a child trying to find their way in the world of school.
Some parents will make the mistake of turning their kids off from school by pressuring them. You should take a step back and let your child’s teacher worry about the progress they’re making and focus on making school fun for your child.
You have the power to put down a solid foundation for your child when it comes to school from the start. You shouldn’t pass up on the chance to do this by insisting on making school harder than it has to be on them.
Improve Your Child’s School Readiness by Taking These Steps
Just because your child is 3 years old doesn’t automatically mean that they’re ready for school. Your child’s school readiness is going to depend largely on the work that you do to get them prepared for it.
You can get your child ready for school by taking each of the steps that we’ve laid out here. They should keep both you and your child moving in the right direction and ensure that your child’s first experience with school is a good one.
Are you interested in obtaining more tips that will help you raise your child right? Find them by browsing through our other blog articles.