Is Your Child Ready For Preschool?
Among the many hard decisions parents will face in the first few years of their child’s life, is the question of preschool. Most preschools start accepting children when they reach 2 1/2 years old, but that doesn’t always mean your child is ready. The readiness of a child about to enter preschool depends on their age developmentally. Is your child socially, emotionally, and physically capable of participating in a structured environment on a daily basis?
A Parent’s Motivation
First, consider the reason why you would want your child to attend preschool. If you’re a stay-at-home mom, and the idea of getting that much needed break, sounds like heaven, rethink it some more. Do you find that your child isn’t getting enough stimulation at home, or if given a different setting, would they learn more?
Many children are in need of interacting with others. If your child doesn’t seem ready when their around other children, they might not be ready for school. If you’re wrestling with a child who doesn’t understand how to share or take turns, now is the time to teach them. If you’re deciding whether or not to apply for a specific school, go ahead and apply, your child doesn’t need to be ready the day you apply.
Your Child’s Attention Span
Have you ever questioned how your little one will manage their first day at preschool? Don’t hold your child to unrealistic standards, thinking they need to concentrate for more than ten minutes. Realistically, your child should be able to concentrate the number of minutes that equal their age.
The Nap Schedule
If your 2 1/2 year old is still napping, that’s okay. Most preschools have the option of a half a day program, lasting a total of three hours. If your child hasn’t ditched their mid-day snooze, they’ll be worn out by the time the clock strikes twelve. If your child has given up their nap, prepare them for the adjustment by allowing a period of “quiet” time.
Communication is Key
I’m sure as the parent to your child, you’re able to understand them clearly. Does your child express their needs to you or their caregiver in any way? If the answer is a negative, then preschool might not be a good fit.