Do you ever panic a little wondering how to prepare your child for preschool? I mean, the amount of information out there on the topic is exhaustive—and exhausting! It’s tough for us moms to even know where to start!
Well mamas, look no further! One of my dear friends is an elementary school teacher in New York City, and she has offered to give us some amazing pointers based on her experience!
So here is a guest post, written by the amazing Sheri Sankner.
Is your preschool age child ready to enter today’s formal education system? Maybe you are looking to home school your child instead. Perhaps, you want to know what your child is expected to know and learn prior to that all-important transition. Whatever the situation, it’s always better to be armed with more information to help your child succeed in school.
Here are just a few suggestions for helping to get your child school-ready.
Teach Your Child to be Independent
Your child will willingly accept responsibility if you give him jobs or activities to do at home, such as picking up toys, cleaning up after himself, bringing his dishes to the sink after eating, making his bed, putting on his coat, and toileting and grooming. You can show him how to do certain jobs and give simple directions that he can easily follow.
Follow Routines That Develop Life Skills
The ability to obey rules and follow directions is essential for your child’s development. If you always read a book after breakfast or go to the park to play after lunch, then those activities are part of a routine that your child anticipates and looks forward to during the day. Make play dates with other children a priority in your child’s socialization. Making friends and getting along with others is an essential life skill that your child should develop at an early age.
Stimulate All the Senses
Yes, television can be a handy babysitter, however, your child will benefit greatly from learning-rich, hands-on activities. Every child loves to paint, draw pictures, bake cookies with mom, visit fun and interesting places (the beach, the park, the zoo, a museum, an aquarium, a bowling alley, etc.), conduct simple science experiments, and burn energy with sports. Pinterest has a variety of fun and simple activities you can do with your child to develop sensory awareness.
Read, Read, Read to Your Child and Not Just at Bedtime
A child who loves books will grow into an adult who loves reading. Read different genres of books to your child, not just picture books. Not only will she enjoy fairy tales, but she can learn about plants, animals, and other interesting nonfiction subjects. Check to see if your local library offers a storytelling circle time for neighborhood children.
Make Time for Arts and Crafts
Not only will you have fun with your child, you will have mementos to display. The arts promote your child’s freedom of expression and foster creativity. Plus, using pencils, crayons, and various other tools to create art, write their name, etc. helps to enhance fine motor skills. Besides, you don’t want your child to be the only one in preschool who doesn’t know how to hold a pencil or crayon.
Enjoy Rhymes and Songs With Your Child
Rhymes and songs can introduce numbers, colors, shapes, and other key concepts to your child. There are many websites such as www.ABCya.com, www.abcmouse.com, and www.bussongs.com that are great online resources for learning songs, rhymes, and games. Remember the academic basics you learned from “Five Little Monkeys on the Bed,” “This Old Man,” “One Potato Two Potato,” and “One Two Buckle My Shoe?”
Okay, so you are enjoying quality time with your preschooler and using the suggestions in this article to get your child motivated to learn. Now, you want to know what your child will need to learn for pre-Kindergarten. Below is a checklist of skills that children will develop during their first school year:
- Hold pencils, crayons, and scissors correctly
- Take turns sharing with classmates
- Listen to and follow directions
- Understand and follow class rules
- Identify feelings and emotions
- Name and write the letters of the alphabet
- Sit and listen to a story
- Name and draw shapes
- Write their first name
- Tell a story through pictures and words
- Sort objects
- Count to 20
- Identify numerals 1-10
Good luck to you and your preschooler!
Want your own FREE copy of this checklist?
Just print it off and keep it somewhere convenient! Then you will always know exactly what skills you need to be working on with your child to prepare them for school!
About the Author
Sheri Sankner, is a published writer and an elementary school teacher in New York City.