Preschool Readiness Quiz and Rationale (page 3)
Looking for a little more information on the questions you saw on the preschool readiness quiz? Well, here you go!
Have you begun to teach your child a morning routine in preparation for getting ready for preschool on time?
Reinforce your child’s early waking by planning fun activities for the morning, including breakfast or reading time together.
Have you facilitated regular social activities with same-age peers for your child?
Play with peers is an important part of preschool. You can provide opportunities for peer interaction by scheduling playdates, mommy and me groups, or playtime at the park.
Have you read books or engaged in pretend play about going to school?
Many experts recommend reading books that discuss the first day of school experience for children about six months before school begins. This provides a “template” for what to expect on the first day and helps soothe fears and concerns about the uncertainty associated with the first day. In addition, many children like to “play” school and parents can help children practice the steps of attending school. It is often useful for kids to take on the role of teacher, too!
Has your child met his or her new Preschool Teachers, yet?
Three to four months before the first day of school, take your child to visit the teacher about once a month. With your teacher’s permission, take pictures of their teacher alone and with your child. Create a small scrapbook, so that your child can refer to it when they are home.
Have you and your child visited the preschool, yet?
Approximately 4-6 weeks before school starts, begin to visit the school once a week or once every other week. Walk about the classroom and playground, familiarizing your child with the grounds and environment. Take pictures of the classroom and playground; add these to your child’s scrapbook.
Have you been counting down the days until school starts?
A month before the first day of school, post a large calendar, marking off each day of the week. This helps to establish a sense of time for the child and prepare them as the first day of school nears.
Have you gone school shopping with your child?
School shopping can be fun! Take a list of items to the store together and allow your child to pick out their lunch box, pillow or special blanket for nap or rest time.
Have you received information from your Preschool about rules regarding snacks, payment, discipline, change of clothes?
Make certain that you understand whether you are supposed to provide snacks on a daily basis, or whether the preschool will. If you are supposed to provide the snacks, are there rules about what kinds of snacks are appropriate? When is payment due? What form? What sort of discipline practices are used at the preschool? Are you comfortable with these practices? If not, talk with your child’s teacher and administration about what approach you advocate for your child. What about change of clothes? Should you always have several changes of clothes at the preschool? You don’t want any surprises that could disrupt your child first few weeks of school!
Is your child potty trained?
Many preschool require that your child be potty trained before beginning school. If your child is not potty trained, begin to research proven practices for effective potty training at least six months in advance of your child’s first day of school.
Are you prepared to handle the emotional reactions many preschool-aged children experience as they transition to preschool?
Many children regress in behavior and development: acting out, separation anxiety, bedwetting, temper tantrums. These actions indicate that your child needs to connect with you and feel your love and support.
Refer to Hand and Hand Parenting, NYU, Nemours, etc.
Do you have friends and family who can support you as you struggle with the wide range of tough feelings that many parents experience when children leave for preschool?
Research shows that if you are supported as a parent, you will be able to do a better job supporting your child through the Preschool transition. You might also consider taking some time off from work so that you can spend time at your child’s new preschool to ease their anxiety (and yours).
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