Over the weekend, we went to our very first school open house. Our oldest is four, and we have another who is almost three. It’s time for preschool already?! I wasn’t ready for this! As a first time “school” mom, I wanted to share some tips for preparing your child for preschool.
That first experience with your children going away to school, even if it is only half time and for a few hours a day, is rough! It is so much harder than I expected.
I was actually homeschooled all the way through 4th grade, and then homeschooled again in 5th grade. I didn’t really get that separation from my mom and I never understood the concept of that first time they would go away to school. Honestly, I had thought about homeschooling my children for a long time, and still plan on it when they get a little older. For now, the social interaction and the activities to keep their little minds working is great for this mama of four!
Hopefully, these tips will help you ease into preparing your child for preschool, or whatever age of school that they are in.
7 Tips for Preparing Your Child For Preschool
- Make sure your kids are ready. Honestly, I am still up in the air about sending out (almost) 3-year-old to 3’s preschool during the day. Even though it’s only a few days a week, I struggle with the back and forth of whether or not she is ready for “big kids class”, as she likes to call it. She is smart, and has always been around older kids, and I know it would be great for her. I feel like, first and foremost, we never want to push our children into such a new thing if they are not ready for it.
- Don’t settle. There are so many different preschools out there. From pre-k at a normal school, to preschool at a Montessori school, to combined daycares and schools, the options are vast. Make sure to check out as many as you want. They are your kids, after all. You don’t have to settle for the first option that comes to you. Not to mention, the tuition differences in various schools are crazy! You might pay half of what you would pay at one school, for the same thing in another area. It all depends, so do your research. Visit the ones you like, and decide from there.
- Talk to your kids. Find out if what their fears are about school, figure out how you can try to help ease those fears. Talk to them about what they are most looking forward to! Working through all of the emotions is important to get your children mentally prepared for their school experience. It will really help them to associate school with a safe and fun space. Here is a great article on how to get your kids talking, if they aren’t big in that area yet.
- Take your kids shopping. School supplies are one of the best parts of school when you’re young, at least from what I remember;) Take your kids to pick out a few of the necessities that they will need for their classroom, to keep them involved with this new adventure they are about to go on.
- Work on self help skills. Your little one will be on their own without you when their at school. Work through the activities that they need to know how to do on their own, so that they don’t always need to ask the teacher for help. They might be busy helping other students at times, and it’s important that your child is confident in the skills to help themselves.
- Stick with a schedule. School hours can throw a wrench into your schedule, but don’t throw schedules completely out the window because of that! Bed times, morning routines, and schedules on non-school days are going to important to that your child doesn’t get too overwhelmed or worn out with all of the time and activity changes to their day.
- Buy all the wine. Seriously. Whatever you need to do to drown in the fact that your babies are growing up so fast, do it! There will be no judgment from me. I’ll just be here, in a corner, with my bottle of wine watching my little ones turn not-so-little.
We found a really amazing preschool here in the Scottsdale, AZ area called WhizKidz and I am super thankful that we did. It’s a great school/daycare combination. If you live in the Phoenix area, I highly suggest checking it out!
What are your tips for preparing your child for preschool or other levels of school?
*Cheers to our not so little ones heading off to school for the first time*