Your baby is growing up, and it’s about the time that they have their first experiences with going to school.
It may seem like yesterday you were taking them home from the hospital, but the reality is that the tomorrow of taking them on their first day of preschool is fast approaching.
Part of your anxiety may stem from thinking about your baby leaving you for the first time, but probably another big part of that anxious feeling stems from the fact that you are not sure if you have done everything you can to prepare them properly.
Whether it is a year, a few months, or a week away there are actual several easy ways that you can begin to prepare your little one for that next big step – heading to preschool. It may seem overwhelming, but getting your little guy or girl ready for school is a lot easier than you think.
Here are six of things that you can do from home that will leave both you and your child pretty confident when it comes time for the first day of school.
Read books about school
Books are a great way to introduce a topic to a child and to help them learn about it in a gradual and non-overwhelming way.
There are plenty of books out there most likely featuring characters your child is familiar with and showing them on their first day of school or going to school.
Read and discuss regularly with your child the characters in the books who are going to school and how they will go to school and likely do the same things your child will do. This will get them excited for when their time comes and help it seem a lot less intimidating.
Teach them to be independent
Teaching your child little tasks each day to make them feel more independent will be a great way to help them prepare for a school where they will be doing a lot more independent tasks.
Ask them to help you to do little tasks throughout the day, and as time goes on make those tasks a little bigger and a little bit more difficult.
Let them figure it out on their own at first, then take the time to teach them how to do it, and then stand back and let them complete it.
Adjust your routine
If you know which preschool your child is going to go to, find out their schedule. And if you can, learn how their day-to-day is run and match your at-home schedule to it.
Adjusting your daily schedule to match theirs will help your child to adjust easier once school time runs around, such as getting up earlier than they normally do, taking a nap at a different time, and eating their meals at certain times.
Talk to them
One of the best things to do with your little one is to be open and honest and allow them to express their feelings about going to school and being without you most of the day.
Talk about how you will have to leave them, but that they will have their teachers and friends there with them so they won’t feel alone or won’t have someone to help them.
If they are nervous or scared let them express it or be observant and watch for abnormal behaviors that could have to do with their anxiety and try to help them with it to the best of your ability.
Buy school supplies
A fun way for you and your child to prepare for school is to go out together and gather the supplies they will need for a school such as a backpack, pencils, and paper.
Let them pick out what they want and help them to know what they will be using it for.
Show them how they will pack everything and how they can write their name on it so they will know which is theirs versus their friends.
Find the place that fits both of your needs
This step is as much to prepare you as it is your child but look for a place that fits both your needs and the needs of your little one.
If you work for example and need both a daycare and a preschool, look up places such as loloschildcare.com which is both a quality preschool and daycare. Or if you want one that is just a preschool, drive around or look online for one that fits that criteria in your area.
Ask around and see what friends with your kid’s same age are doing and discuss possibly sending your kids to the same school.