How to prepare your child for preschool
Starting preschool is one of many exciting milestones of childhood. Anoka-Hennepin Schools Preschool teachers and staff are excited to meet your child and eager to help your family make this a successful and smooth transition.
Sarah Strate, Anoka-Hennepin Schools Preschool teacher, says, “By taking some time to prepare your child and yourself, the transition can go smoothly for your whole family.” Keep your efforts low-key. If you make too big a deal out of this milestone, your child may end up being more worried than excited. Here are some ideas to help your young student prepare for a successful year in preschool:
- Start bedtime and morning/afternoon routines a few weeks before school starts to give your child time to adapt to the new routines.
- Read stories about going to school to help your child gain conﬁdence and information about the new experience. Talk about the changes that school will bring to your child’s typical daily routines.
- Drive by your child’s preschool site so it becomes a familiar place. Talk about the fun experiences your child will have at preschool.
- Let your child help get ready for the ﬁrst day of school by choosing which clothes to wear and backpack to use during the school year.
- Approach the year with confidence so your child will, too. Listen if your child has doubts or fears. Talk with the classroom teaching staff if you have concerns.
- Always say goodbye when you leave and assure your child that you will be there when school is over. A family photo in your child’s pocket or a small, familiar object from home can help your child feel connected to you and more comfortable with separation.
These tips are also great to keep in mind and practice whether dropping your child off at a daycare, or with a family member or friend who is lending a hand. Setting routines and expectations early helps instill school readiness skills in toddlers or even babies well before preschool.
Finally, remember the importance of attending your child’s preschool open house. “Going to the open house is an important step in helping preschoolers feel comfortable in the classroom.” Strate recommends. “When your child sees you talking with the teaching staff and being in their new classroom with them, it helps them feel more comfortable and ready to start their first day on their own.”
Learn more about the Anoka-Hennepin Schools Preschool program, and register online.