By Fiona Farrahi, Director of Admissions, Marketing and Communications
If you’ve been wondering how best to transition your little one from nanny to preschool-ready, read on. The most common concerns from families entering school for the first time are about preparation. Although there is no scientific or evidence-based formula, you can add these five easy-to-apply activities and approaches to you preschool-ready checklist:
1. Enlist your child in a part-time or full-time summer enrichment program. Many schools and neighborhood centers offer summer camps for three-year-old’s without requiring membership. These camps provide daily structure and create the habit of routine and separation for you and your little one. Most importantly, they are immersed in a social setting similar to that of the school, which encourages peer culture development.
2. Incorporate books that illustrate the positive impacts of school community. Books about going to school are very instrumental at illustrating the fun children have at school or the learning that explodes as a result of going to school. Not to mention, the power of reading to your child is one of the best gifts you can bestow!
3. Begin incorporating activities that foster independence, such as the following:
- Selecting their own clothes each night before going to bed.
- Helping to select, shop for and prepare snacks and lunch.
- Encouraging them to be responsible for their personal belongings. Ask them to determine the best place to hang their coat or store their bag each day. When they forget, you can remind them to recall where “they” decided to store their crayons, back pack, etc.
4. Crank up the play dates. If enrolling in a summer program or part-time play and learn group is not an option, get some play dates on the calendar with friends and neighbors. Not only does it provide instant support to all families involved, it revs up your child’s ability to socialize with others. Some of the best places to arrange playdates are parks, free museum days, or at your home. My family has a standing “family day” with another family of two boys and we rotate whose house will host each month.
5. Less is more when talking about the “big school” to your little one. If your child asks about it, of course, by all means, share what you know, but don’t make it overwhelming. Do not create a “big school” curriculum at home (yes, I’ve heard this before) and do not worry about whether or not they know their colors, shapes or numbers. Trust that the educators are experts at transitioning children into their rich and dynamic learning environments. Most importantly, trust that your child has everything she needs to become a lifelong lover of learning.
Contact us for more information.