Preparing Your Family for Preschool
Did you know that as much as 90% of our brain's growth occurs between birth and age five? We experience more brain growth during these early years than we do for the rest of our lives! Armed with this knowledge, it is plain to see how important it is to foster early education in our children! Yet, a recent study funded by the Kellogg Foundation found that roughly one in three children aren’t prepared to learn when they start kindergarten. Why is that? According to their teachers, a lot of children didn't receive the early childhood education or developmental services they needed!
This lack of readiness is why it's so crucial for children to have access to early learning opportunities before kindergarten. This is also why The Learning Experience has devoted so much time and effort into crafting our proven proprietary preschool curriculum that has more than nine out of 10 of our preschool graduates entering kindergarten already reading.
Just as it is important to get your child ready to learn, it is equally as important to get them ready for the school experience. Meeting new people can be stressful! Fear and separation anxiety is common for everyone, parent and child alike! Take a deep breath and try to remember you're not alone: there's an entire school full of teachers and administrators ready to support you, plus a whole lot of other parents and children that can relate to what you're going through.
Here are a few tips from our childcare experts that will help make the transition to preschool as easy as possible:
Leading Up to the “Big Day”
Anything worth celebrating deserves a big countdown! Preschool is no exception. It is vital that you get your children thinking positively about starting school. Here are a few suggestions to pump up the excitement:
- Start having daily pep talks with your child to build anticipation!
- Describe teachers, fun learning games, and how great new friends can be!
- Take fun countdown pictures with your children or create a colorful calendar!
- Read “I Am Too Absolutely Small for School” by Lauren Child!
- Take your child on a tour of his or her new preschool before it starts to meet the teachers!
- Make a few practice runs to get your child accustomed to the schedule!
- If you meet a fellow classmate, suggest a play date!
It’s Finally Here!
The day has arrived. You and your little one(s) have been gearing up for this moment. Despite your best efforts at preparation, invariably there is going to be anxiety for both you and your child. There may even be tears, but don’t panic! That’s pretty normal. Let’s talk about a few ways to handle the first day jitters:
- If possible, make plans to spend part of the first morning with your child.
- Don’t stay TOO long! Often, the child will stop crying shortly after the parent leaves.
- Talk to your child’s teachers about any concerns you have regarding separation anxiety.
- Let the school be your guide! Experienced schools have helped many parents through this transition.
Pre-K First Day Survival Pack
Day one will be tough, especially if it’s your first rodeo, but as with everything, preparation is the key to success. During the first day, it is always good to make sure your child has everything he or she needs to stay comfortable and organized. Besides the standard supplies the teachers may have requested, here is a list of things you can also pack to make sure it goes smoothly:
- A full change of clothes (or two).
- Any medical information the school may need including pediatrician’s phone number and any medical issues.
- A plastic, waterproof folder for teachers to use when sending home notes and important information.
- A favorite blanket or small stuffed animal to help your little one adjust to the transition.
- Pack a picture of yourself with your child, especially if it’ll be their first time away from you.
As with anything, practice makes perfect. Helping your child get ready to learn through excitement and anticipation can greatly aid in reducing first-day stress. If you have other tips and tricks that you use or have used in the past, let us know in the comments below!