When I started college, I quickly realized that the rest of my class was far ahead of me. In addition to struggling to understand the material, I also had a hard time working in group settings and understanding how the lectures tied to the homework. After failing my first two semesters, a helpful counselor asked me to sign up for a study habits class. In the class, I learned how to apply myself in formal educational settings, which really helped. I think that everyone should take the time to understand how to learn, so that they can be successful in their classes.
Preschool is an important step in a young child's life, helping them to learn the social and academic skills they will need in kindergarten and beyond. Studies have shown that attending preschool helps children have greater academic success in the future, and even leads to lower crime rates. Going to preschool for the first time can also be a bit intimidating, however, for both children and parents. Luckily, there are things you can do to help ease the transition to preschool. Here are four tips for getting your kids ready to attend preschool:
Nurture Their Social Skills
Preschool is a very social environment, where your child will spend hours a day surrounded by other children as well as unfamiliar adults. This can be stressful at first, especially if your child typically spends most of their time at home with family. In order to help ease your child's transition to preschool, it's a good idea to nurture their social skills first.
Setting up play dates with other kids, attending activities such as story time at the local library, and occasionally bringing your child to daycare are all great ways to help your child get used to and enjoy the company of other kids. The more comfortable they are around other kids, the more ready they will be for preschool.
Build Excitement Well Ahead of Time
Instead of avoiding the subject of preschool because you think it may cause your child anxiety, it's a good idea to start talking about it well ahead of time. This allows your child to slowly get used to the idea of attending preschool and also helps you to build their excitement.
Bring up preschool in a positive, animated, and exciting way whenever possible. For example, when your child is coloring, you can tell them "When you get to preschool, you and the other kids will get to play with all sorts of art supplies and make fun crafts. Doesn't that sound fun?" By the time they get to preschool, they will already associate it with positive emotions like excitement.
Encourage Your Kids to Be Independent
The more independent your child is, the easier their adjustment is likely to be. If your child is used to you doing everything for them all the time, they may be anxious when you are not around. On the other hand, if they have confidence in their own independent abilities, they will more easily navigate the new environment and skill-learning that come with preschool.
Ways to help your child become more independent include letting them make their own choices when reasonable to do so (for example, let them pick out their outfit or decide which vegetable they'd like with dinner), teaching them skills like getting dressed and washing their hands, and occasionally having them stay with a trusted babysitter so they get used to being independent from you for brief stretches of time.
Get Potty Training Down
While some preschools allow non-potty trained children to attend their programs, generally things will be easier if your child already knows how to use the toilet prior to beginning school. Many preschools require that your child be fully potty trained before beginning school. Potty training can be frustrating and doesn't always "take" on the first go, so it's best to start working on it well ahead of the start of school. If however, you are in a bit of a time crunch, you can always try these tips for potty training your child in one week or less.
By following these tips, you can help ensure that your child has a fun, anxiety-free start at preschool. For more information, contact a preschool in your area.