Are you thinking of enrolling your child into a preschool? As a parent, you may have many questions regarding how to prepare your child for kindergarten. That’s why, our staff at Trillium School, a preschool in Markham, has written this blog post of important things you should know while preparing your child for his/her first schooling experience.
Trust your child’s teacher
When you send your child to a preschool, they will spend a lot of time with their teachers. These professionals play a major role in your child’s life as they not only teach them but also guide, motivate and take care of them. Checking in with them frequently is a great way for you to keep up-to-date with your child’s progress. For instance, if the teacher notices an issue in their language development skills or finds they are having a hard time participating in class they can let you know immediately.
Take them to different places
Your child will draw, paint and play in preschool. But, what about life outside of school? As a parent, you should take them to other recreational places such as the zoo, theatre or aquarium as they will have the opportunity to learn about things that are not covered in school.
Keep them home when they’re unwell
While schools are great for many things, kids who are sick should stay home. Many illnesses and infections can easily spread in an enclosed environment. Children, given their curious and social nature, WILL play and interact with other children. It’s best to take the risk out of the situation by having the child stay home until he/she is fully recovered.
Dress them in comfortable clothing
Your child will spend a considerable amount of time in school which is why dressing them in comfortable clothing is necessary. When they are with their friends and classmates, they will be playing around, drawing, painting and taking part in various physical activities. This is why it’s advisable to avoid fancy clothes as those tend to be uncomfortable and can cause irritation when worn for long periods of time.
Preschool helps in their learning process
A preschool is the first schooling experience of your child’s life, where they learn the alphabet, small words, spelling their names, colouring and basic arithmetic. Even though they are at the most basic level, these skills are bound to come in handy when they join grade school. This is why a preschool is a suitable way to jumpstart their learning process.
Teach your child to share
Your child will be exposed to a lot of new faces in their preschool. They will meet teachers and other children who may eventually become their friends. In a way, this will be their first experience with social interaction. So, teaching them to share things like food, toys, crayons, etc., can make them more approachable and make way for new friendships. Therefore, it’s important that parents promote sharing at home as it will translate inside the classroom.
Never compare them to their peers
Comparing your child to other children should be strictly avoided as this can result in lower self-esteem, hamper their confidence and their learning process. They will constantly strive to compete with their peers which is not healthy for young minds. As a parent, you should understand that every child is unique and they learn at their own pace. So, rushing them by comparing them to others of their age won’t help.
Teach them manners
In the classroom, children are taught to be polite and respectful to teachers and peers. This is reflected in the use of specific words such as ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘sorry, or ‘excuse me’. Parents are encouraged to reinforce these lessons at home through repetition and practice. In addition to building manners, this will also contribute to your child’s ability to socialize and make friends.
Read to them every night
Reading a book to your child before they go to bed is a good way for you to connect with them. When you’re reading to them, they are learning new words and then it’s your responsibility to explain the meaning of those words to them accurately.
Keep their schedule light
Your child is introduced to a school’s structure for the first time when they are enrolled in a preschool. They are already learning plenty of new things in a Montessori school, which might be overwhelming to their young minds. However, you can keep them engaged in a few more activities outside school in a way that will not affect their mental and physical well-being.
Feed them light snacks
While in a kindergarten, your child will be quite active, playing with their friends along with engaging in other activities. So, make sure you pack light snacks for them as a heavy meal can make them feel full and uneasy. In many cases, children are also known to get sick from overeating. Foods like sandwiches and smoothies are great lunch options which will keep them feeling full without making them feel ill.
Pack extra clothes in their school bags
It is wise to pack an extra set of clothes in their school bags as they can dirty their existing clothes by spilling food, drinks or water. Dirty clothes are sure to cause discomfort for them, especially if they have to sit through class with them on.
Express love when you drop them off
When you drop your child off at preschool, don’t leave in a hurry. Show them that you care, bid them ‘goodbye’, kiss and hug them. For the first few days, this will make them cry as they are not accustomed to staying away from you. But, with time, they will get used to this practise and smile when you drop them off. In this way, you can also create a good bond with your children.
Follow the above-listed suggestions and prepare your child for preschool. Your support, encouragement and guidance will help your child make the most of whatever he/she is learning from their kindergarten. Being a popular preschool in Markham, we also encourage parents to get actively involved in their child’s initial learning phase to help develop his/her language, motor and social skills.