Monday, June 22, 2009

A Teachers View - Getting your little one ready for Preschool!

I am blessed to live next to a elementary school teacher who loves my kids and we love her!! She has multiple education degrees and is the first person I run to when I am worried about speech, development or anything learning related!! She has agreed to write a weekly post for me on some common concerns involving little ones. If you have a topic that you would like to see addressed, please e-mail me at

Preschool Part 3: Is My Kiddo Ready?

You’ve picked a preschool and your darling child is all registered and ready to go.

Congratulations! Here are a couple of tips for the weeks leading up to preschool.

Visit the school. Stop by while preschool is in session and let your child watch the other children playing outside. Build up your excitement – “I am so excited for you! Look how much fun you’re going to have! I can’t wait to see you go down that yellow slide/dig in the sand box/ swing on the tire swing.”

If you pass school in your daily lives, point it out. “That’s were Meredith is going to school!”
Read up on preschool. There’s a lot of great children’s literature about going to school. Some of my favorites: D.W.’s Guide to Preschool by Marc Brown (Arthur Books), We Love Preschool by Tim Warnes, Preschool to the Rescue by Judy Sierra, Little School by Beth Norling, and Little Bunny’s Preschool Countdown by Maribeth Boelts.

Start a routine. Just like school-agers, preschoolers need a schedule. Getting up, getting dressed, breakfast, out the door. Even if it’s just to run errands. You may want to make a picture chart to hang in your preschooler’s bedroom of your routine. Also helpful, the hanging “Days of the Week” shelves where you can store clothes for everyday and that stuffed dinosaur your child will need on Wednesday during “D” week.

On the first day of school, have a special breakfast. Resist the urge to cry.

As you’re driving to school on that first day, talk about all the fun your kiddo is going to have and tell them you’ll see them when school is over. Again, resist the urge to cry.

At school, take pictures, talk to the other moms and dads, hug and kiss your big kid one more time, and tell him you’ll be back soon and to have a great day. Don’t linger too long, especially if your child is crying. They’ll be ok, the teacher will make sure of that. Resist the urge to cry yourself.

Once you’re in the parking lot, let it out. Cry the whole way home, stopping at Starbucks on the way if necessary. My mom and a neighbor used to go to breakfast on the first day of school so they wouldn’t be home alone. They did this yearly until we were in college.

Pick up your preschooler and listen to them gush about all the fun they had and the friends they made. Ask questions and make them feel like they are a rock star. Have a special lunch or dinner to celebrate!