Preschool helps children socialize, learn to share, and to interact with other children and adults. The question really isn’t whether preschool will benefit your child, rather “Is your child ready for preschool?”
Every child has been created as unique individuals. Children develop their skills differently and at their own time and learn best when they are developmentally ready. Being developmentally ready has nothing to do with a child’s chronological age. Here are some considerations to determine whether your child is ready for preschool.
There are several factors to consider when deciding if your child is ready for preschool.
IS YOUR CHILD SELF-SUFFICIENT?
Many schools require children to be potty trained. They should be able to go to the bathroom, wash their hands and feed themselves. Some children may feel insecure when other children are able to accomplish these tasks and they are not.
HAS YOUR CHILD SPENT TIME AWAY FROM YOU?
When was the last time your child was away from you? How did he/she do? Was your child anxious when you leave them? Was your child is uncomfortable? If your child had a difficult time away or has not regularly been away from you, attending preschool may backfire. It is common for children to have some separation anxiety on the first few days of school, but if they are ready, they will adjust to being away from you fairly quickly.
IS YOUR CHILD SOCIALLY READY?
Can your child express basic needs? Children may be shy and uncertain at first, but in time, should be able to express basic needs. For example, children should be able to tell their teacher when they need to use the bathroom, if they are not feeling well or if they need something.
If your child likes being around other children and is interested in playing, that may be a good indication that they are ready to be in school. One of the most important benefits of preschool is helping children to socialize.
IS YOUR CHILD READY FOR A STRUCTURED SCHEDULE?
Many preschool activities require all children to participate with other children at the same time. Activities like Circle Time will require children to sit still, listen to stories and sing songs together. Most preschools usually follow a predictable routine every day. Children tend to feel most comfortable and in control when the same things happen at the same time.
These indicators do not guarantee that your child will be ready for the transition to preschool. But, when the time comes for you as a parent to make that decision, do plenty of research to find the best atmosphere and structure for your child. It may also be helpful to seek the advice of others who know your child, like care-givers or friends. The goal is for your child to love school and be successful.. When they are ready, they will thrive. Do not worry if your child is not ready for preschool as soon as you would like. It is better to wait and make certain that your child is socially, physically and cognitively ready to participate in a daily, structured, educational program with a group of other children.
YVETTE CHUN IS THE FOUR YEAR OLD DEPARTMENT HEAD AT KIMBER HILLS PRESCHOOL. SHE HAS TAUGHT AND SERVED THE CHILDREN AND FAMILIES AT KIMBER HILLS FOR THE PAST 12 YEARS AND IS A CALIFORNIA STATE CERTIFIED EARLY CHILDHOOD PROFESSIONAL. SHE ALSO TEACHES A WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS AT TRI-CITY CHINESE BAPTIST CHURCH WHERE SHE ALSO SERVES AS THE AWANA COMMANDER.
Written by: Yvette Chun