August 16th, 2017
If your child is between the ages of 2 and 4, you may be thinking about preschool. Preschools offer a variety of benefits and are a wonderful way to prepare your child for the years ahead, however, there are some things to consider when deciding on a preschool program. Here is a list of skills needed (or learned) throughout the early years of education.
- Independence– Is your child potty-trained? Can she wash her hands by herself? Does she complete puzzles or other activities on her own? If not, you may want to work on these things before she starts a new program. Don’t worry if she’s not able to do everything completely on her own, children often build skills in a preschool environment they have struggled with at home.
- Separation– If your child is comfortable being away from you, he is very likely ready for preschool. The transition to school is often easier for children who have attended daycare or spent time with a babysitter. Even if your child hasn’t been separated from you in the past- don’t worry, he’ll most likely do fine. You may want to ease him into time apart by scheduling a few playdates or overnights with family or friends. If separation is a concern, talk to teachers about options such as sitting in for a few hours (or days), starting with partial days instead of full days, etc.
- Group activities– Is your child ready to participate in group activities, such as “circle time”? Does she easily interact with others? If she’s not used to spending time with other children, joining activities at your local playground, library, or children’s museum can help prepare her for what preschool will bring.
- Schedule– Preschools usually follow a routine to help children feel comfortable. Children who typically follow routines at home, such as morning or bedtime routines, will easily settle into preschool schedules. Learn more about the Benefits of Routines or visit our Routines for Preschoolers board on Pinterest for ideas.
- Stamina– Many preschools include naptime as a part of the afternoon routine, however, if your child still needs a morning nap to get through the day, you may want to talk to the preschool administrators about the flexibility of their nap schedules.
Please do not let concerns about these skills stop you from giving your child a head-start at education. Here at Learning Tree, we provide preschool programs which allow children to develop at their own pace. For example, in addition to lessons in academics, our 2-year-olds practice skills such as potty training, self-expression, and following directions while our 3-year-olds practice skills including letter recognition, cause & effect, and motor skills. We also offer a 4-year-old Pre-K program focused on kindergarten readiness.