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How to prepare your child for preschool

Don't over prepare

There's no need to prepare your child for preschool months in advance. Some well-meaning parents begin talking about preschool and building up too far ahead of time, and by the time school starts, the child feels this is a huge event in his/her life, which can be overwhelming to a little one. Instead, start talking about preschool in a casual, upbeat manner about two to three weeks before class starts.


Establish a set schedule

Following a routine provides opportunities for making decisions and acting responsibly, and having a daily schedule can help ease your child's transition to the structure of a preschool setting. Children learn best when routines and daily schedules are established. Routines provide opportunities to learn about order, sequencing and concepts of time. Established routines make for smoother transitions and help children to prepare mentally for the day ahead while providing frameworks in which creative learning can occur.
If you don't have a consistent schedule at home, your child likely to have difficulty adjusting to school.


Stick with morning & bedtime routines

If done consistently, routines give the preschoolers a sense of belonging and reassurance, and provide parents with frequent opportunities to connect with their child, so its best is available, attentive, and responsive to your child's needs. An early morning routine can include helping your child make her bed, get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth and hair, and assemble personal items. Young children typically love a Good Morning chat with the task listed in order and a picture next to each item to provide a visual reminder for what is expected of them.
Bedtime means sleeping in a dark room alone, which can often stir up night time fears. A comforting routine before bedtime can include, bathing, changing into pajamas, reading a book, brushing teeth, saying prayers, discussing the day's events, singing a song, giving hugs and kisses, and tucking in. These tasks add closure to the day, settle down a restless child, and provide additional bonding.


Plan a visit to the school

It is a good idea to plan a visit/tour of the school ahead of time during evening or weekend, before starting. Introduce your child to the teacher and give him/her time to observe and explore the classrooms and Montessori materials on the shelves. Explain what is going to happen here - like story times, learning new things, eating snack with new friends etc.


Look out for separation anxiety

It is perfectly natural for children to experience separation anxiety during the first few weeks when they're dropped off at school; even it may take up to 1 month. Be prepared for few tears, but stay positive so that your child doesn't pick up on any anxious feelings that you may have about leaving her. On the drive to school, let your little one know how her day will proceed so that she knows what to expect. When you drop her off, calmly assure her that you will return at the end of the day. Keep your goodbyes short and sweet. Don't linger, as that will only make the separation more difficult for both you and your child. Once your child adjusts to the new school setting, goodbyes will be much easier.

The more you linger around the area; it is cumbersome for the child to come out from her comfort zone to pursue her new journey with new guardians and peers. Be brave and trust the educators that your child is in the safe haven.