Most preschools accept children as young as 2 years old, but that doesn’t mean you should enroll your child right away without weighing your options first.
Education is one of the toughest decisions parents make for their kids. Sending your kid off to school for the first time is a difficult decision for parents and the child.
You have to consider if you and your toddler are physically, mentally and socially prepared to go to school. It’s quite a big step, and here are the things you should consider:
Sending him to school doesn’t mean you should stay by his side during class, which is quite daunting for some parents.
We know that leaving kids on their own at such a young age can be a heartbreaking experience but when they’re ready, you’ll know that he will be confident to spend more time learning new things with his classmates and teachers.
However, make sure that before you send him off to school, he is comfortable to not be beside you all the time – a little anxiety is generally okay like the child clinging to your arm till the classes start, but if he shows signs of distress such as crying, begging you not to leave or chasing you to the parking lot, then you should rethink if he/she is ready for preschool.
To make this experience a little easier for them, you can pack their favorite stuff toy in the backpack to make them feel safe even in an unfamiliar environment.
Those who spend more time away from their parents will find it easier to be left in school. If your child is used to babysitters or being left with grandma for a few hours, he/she may feel less attached to you and therefore find it easier to adjust to the new preschool environment.
Interacting with Kids
So much of the time spent in preschool is about learning to socialize with other kids and not technically about dealing with highfaluting words.
It is where they understand how to interact and coexist with classmates in a fixed, systemized educational environment. Children who are generally shy and timid may take time to warm up to other toddlers.
Meanwhile, those who are an only child may have a harder time socializing with kids of their age, which means the transition may be slow and difficult.
If your kid is used to undivided attention, he will learn in school that this is not the case. Other classmates have different personalities and some may need more of the teacher’s attention than him.
So to train him in interacting with other children, you can bring him to the kids’ public library or to the playground – at least, he’ll have an idea that other people his age come with unique personalities.
Is your child very expressive or does he tend to keep his requests to himself? Your kid should be able to know how to communicate his needs to the teacher and his classmates – whether he wants to use the toilet, he is cold, or hurt, he should be able to express himself confidently.
It doesn’t always have to be through verbal communication, but what’s important is that he is able to send the message across somehow.
If he uses euphemisms or gestures to tell you what he needs, then tell the teacher this practice beforehand. If he is still struggling to say or show what he needs or wants, this may become problematic in school.
In school, almost everything is about discipline and following a certain routine. The predictable schedules can make kids feel comfortable in the long run and let them feel in control when they know what to expect every day. Some of the activities in preschool include circle time, play time, nap time, and snack time.
If you and your child don’t follow a routine at home, try incorporating regular activities in a scheduled manner pretty much so he can anticipate what’s going to happen in school. Examples of which is giving food at specific times within a day or having a bedtime ritual.
State of Health
One of the most important deciding factors to consider when sending your kid to school is his health. Know how many pupils will be in a class and the population of the school.
If your child can easily catch diseases, then know that a school is a place where he all the more can fall ill. This is not just for the sake of your little one, but for the entirety of the school.