Published : Friday, October 6, 2017 | 12:19 PM
Have you been thinking of transitioning your toddler to preschool but aren’t sure if your child is ready? Even though you are your toddler’s first and most important teacher, it may be time for your little learner to explore the world, meet new friends, and gain knowledge that will be with your child forever.
Why is Preschool Important?
“Children who attend high-quality preschool enter kindergarten with better pre-reading skills, richer vocabularies, and stronger basic math skills than those who do not,” says NIEER (National Institute for Early Education Research) Director Steven Barnett, PhD. In addition to these early learning skills, preschoolers learn how to socialize with their peers, share, and contribute to a group for the first time.
Preschoolers must explore, experiment, and make discoveries for themselves through playful interactions with the environment as well as with other people in order to make sense of their world. With a preschool that promotes STEM and STEAM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Arts-Math) curriculums, allow children to engage in fun hands-on activities at a very young age. With an early start your little one will be well prepared for the many years of learning to come.
Here is a checklist to see if your little one meets the criteria for starting preschool.
Is Your Child Potty Trained?
Your child can attend most preschools sometime after their second birthday. Potty training is an important step toward being preschool-ready. Check with the director at school for guidelines and tips on toilet training readiness or plan to attend a local potty training workshop.
Problems With Separation Anxiety?
Has your child had the opportunity to spend time away from you? It’s natural for a preschooler to initially cling to parents in a new setting, but most learn to quickly let go and enjoy joining the group. When choosing a new preschool, consider taking a tour of the facility with your child. This will help to introduce them to the new faces and surroundings they’ll be experiencing on a daily basis and help you look for signs that the preschool is a good fit.
Does Your Child Engage in Routines?
It’s no surprise that a preschool curriculum is set up with daily routines. Daily routines are important for helping to support your child’s sense of security and understanding of their world. If your child is used to routines at home, then this transition will be most likely be an easy one. Most children are resilient and will easily adapt to new routines.
When you’re considering whether your child is ready for preschool, next ask yourself – does your child play well with others and are they able to share toys? Practicing these skills at home and in a public setting, like out at parks, is a great way to prepare.
Is Your Child Practicing Daily Living Skills?
Can your child wash their hands alone? Are they attempting to dress themselves? These are skills a good preschool will support in partnership with parents. Ask if your prospective preschool curriculum includes a focus on autonomy skills.
Is Your Child Ready for Exploration and Discovery?
Preschool is an amazing time for a young child, full of rich learning experiences, meeting new friends and socialization. All children are eager to learn at this young age. An ideal preschool will provide your child with a world of new learning opportunities intended to connect them to their unique interests and abilities.
If you have answered yes to most of the questions above, then your youngster is most likely ready to take on preschool. As part of our commitment to the future of our youngest generation, Stratford School provides a balanced STEAM curriculum starting in preschool in order to instill a lifetime love of learning. To learn more, schedule an appointment for a guided tour of one of our local California campuses.