Is My Child Ready For Preschool?
We are all aware that children are capable of learning at an early age. Most schools accept preschool students at age two and a half. But is that a magic age? Is your two and a half-to-four year old child ready for preschool? As a seasoned preschool teacher for 33 years, I ask parents to consider the following five things: Is my child ready socially, emotionally, physically, cognitively and are they toilet trained?
1. Social Readiness
Does your child often interact with adults and other children? Play well with others? A preschool program is an opportunity for young children to get along with others. Many circle time activities in the first few months of preschool cover grace and courtesy lessons. These lessons are how the children learn what behaviors are expected of them. Sharing and being respectful of others are very important rules.
2. Emotional Readiness
Is your child ready to let you go? Many young children participate in playgroups and library, art and music programs but mom or dad are usually close by. Separation anxiety can sometimes occur if your child rarely/never spends time away from mom or dad. Be sure to schedule sleepovers with grandma and use babysitters for some shopping trips or dinners out. Your child’s time with other caregivers is very important for emotional readiness!
3. Physical Readiness
Preschool classrooms are very busy places with circle time, various social and academic activities, snacks, specials and outdoor play. A half-day preschool child will be on the go for four straight hours! Does your child have the physical stamina? Sometimes creative nap schedules and bedtime routines will help your child adjust! Routines are very important!
4. Cognitive Readiness
The preschool classroom is a structured opportunity for learning. Can your child work independently on projects, follow directions and work cooperatively with others? Would your child sit for 15 minutes at circle for music, stories and lessons? Does your child engage in imaginative play and sing songs from the radio and television? These are strong signs your child would flourish in the preschool classroom!
5. Toilet Training/Self Help Readiness
Is your child dressing on their own? Brushing their teeth and hair? Able to wipe their nose and bottom? Cover their cough? Self-help skills are very important for success in the structured environment. Being toilet trained is necessary. We often see accidents while children are engaged in the early stages of a program. Be sure to keep your child’s changed box well supplied during this adjustment period. No diapers or pull ups are allowed!
Need Help With Potty Training?
Join us on Tuesday, August 22 at 6:30 p.m. for a Potty Training Workshop with Ms. DeStefano. For more information and to register, please visit www.hilltopcds.org/pottytraining.
Want to Learn More?
There is still some limited space available in Hilltop’s preschool for September enrollment. Please contact us to learn more.