Starting school for the very first time is an exciting milestone for every child. It is the beginning of new friendships and learning new things. For some children, this may be the first time that they will be without mom or dad for a substantial amount of time. For this reason, we want to make sure that you put our best foot forward before your child starts school. This is the beginning of their path to their educational career and we want them to develop the sense that learning is fun as well as exciting. Here are some things you can do now to prepare your child for school this fall:
Playdates. Playdates are a great way for your child to get use to other kids around their age. Having a playgroup that focuses on a learning activity or craft is even more awesome. You can find playgroups online, word of mouth or even in your religious organization. If you are ambitious, you can even contact the school to see if you can send out word to other parents whose child is attending school for the first time as well to see if they would like to form a playgroup in the summer. This allows children to get to know each other and helps when they see a familiar face in their classroom.
Preschool Role Plays. Pretend play school with your child. You can set up an area in your home like a small preschool. It should have a desk, fun play items and some study material like notebooks and pencils. Have them start with easy instruction fun play lessons. You can teach them their letters or their numbers. For extra fun, switch roles and let them be the teacher. Your child will get a kick of that!
Read stories or show movies about preschool. The better idea a child has about what preschool is like, the less fear they have about attending. Read them stories that talk about what preschool is all about. There are also films like Sesame Street: Preschool is cool that talks about what fun they will have when they get to attend preschool.
Make an appointment to visit the preschool and meet their new teacher. Having the opportunity to see their new classroom first hand before they attend their first day of school is pretty important. This allows them to get an idea, with you close by, to what their new routine will look like. It also helps to meet the teacher first so they know who to expect to see on their first day. Let them ask questions and explore their new classroom. It can all be very exciting.
Keep a routine. Routines are very important to a successful integration to preschool life. Make sure their bedtimes and meal times stay consistent. When your child first enters in preschool they learn all about routines and so they can anticipate what comes next. Integrating reading time or activity time during their day is also a super way to get them prepared for preschool.