The decision to enroll your child in preschool can be a challenging one. You must consider the type of environment, curriculum, schedule, and many additional factors. One of the most difficult questions may be “Is my child ready?” We all want to be sure we set our children up for success.
Your child enjoys being around other children.
The peer interaction a child experiences in preschool helps to set them up for success as they move into Kindergarten and beyond. If your child is showing an interest in spending time with other children, this is an important sign that they are looking to expand their horizons and meet new people.
Your child is comfortable with routine.
The preschool day is structured in most environments. There is a set nap time, meal time, and time for class activities. It is important that your child be able to work with this type of structure to be successful in navigating their day.
Your child is building independence.
Basic independence is important to success in preschool. Your child should be comfortable spending some time without mom or dad as well as completing basic tasks on their own. Some tasks you can look for are dressing themselves, feeding themselves, minimal help needed with bathroom activities, and washing and drying hands appropriately.
Your child has developed a suitable attention span.
Lots of activities in preschool, such as circle time, require the children to be able to focus on an individual task or activity for a length of time. One good indicator of attention span is if your child is able to focus while you read him or her a book. This activity is one that will take place in the classroom and is a good point of reference for the length of activities your child will encounter.
Your child is interested in the classroom environment you are considering.
One of the best indicators of whether your child is ready for preschool or not is to visit a center you are considering. Be sure to alert the preschool you will be bringing your child along and you would like to see how your child does in the classroom. That way, your child may be able to join in activities and you will be able to observe how your child assimilates into the classroom. Your observation should give you a good sense of how your child would do in the learning environment. Also, while you are visiting, ask the classroom teacher what skills he or she would like your child to have when entering the classroom.
Deciding if your child is ready for the preschool environment is always a challenging process. Using these concepts, you may be able to determine your child’s readiness. Preschool programs help to set your child up for future educational success. Making sure your child is ready for preschool can help guarantee that your child will get the most out of this important experience.