Are you excited and nervous for your big kid to finally enter Pre-K!? As a momma of two and former preschool teacher I completely get it! There are big feelings associated with this important day for mom and child. With a few tips, I know your family will have a smooth transition as your child enters Pre-K. Here are 5 tips for success for your Pre-K bound kiddo.
1. Adjust your schedule a few weeks prior to beginning school
If it’s your child’s first time in school, make some changes NOW to prepare for your new schedule and morning routine. Prepare your mindset and his by winding down in the evening a little earlier each night. Move up bedtime to account for an earlier wakeup time. Share with him what the morning routine before school will look like. You can even practice it before the big day!
2. Arrive to school on time
Often times, preschool teachers allow children to have the first 10 minutes to explore and get comfortable with their new environment. Children who arrive to school on time have the opportunity to play and socialize before structured activities begin. Being on time is especially important for your child’s first week of school and is essential throughout the year.
3. Don’t hang around too long during drop off
Leaving your son or daughter for the first time in school is NOT easy! Finding an engaging toy or helping your child meet a new friend can make things a little easier when it’s time for you to leave. Try not to hang around for more then 10 minutes even if your child is upset. Say goodbye and let them know you’ll be back to pick them up after lunch or after nap (depending on his schedule). Once you leave, your child will settle down. Teachers have many learning and play opportunities awaiting. Your child’s teacher will help comfort your little one if he is still upset. Lastly, if you’re concerned, ask the director to check on your child after a half hour to see how he’s doing and to let you know.
4. Trust your child’s teachers
As I mentioned above the teachers will be there to comfort your child if he is missing you. Pre-K teachers have the background, knowledge, and a passion for teaching young learners. Your child is safe and will be loved in his new environment!
5. Discuss the topic before the big day
Introduce the idea of going to Pre-K by reading stories, having conversations, and “playing school”. “On the Way to Kindergarten,” by Virginia Kroll is an excellent book about finally being ready to go to school. See if your child has specific questions about going to school that you can address. Share some activities that he may participate in. “Playing school” is a fun way to introduce going to Pre-K such as pretending it’s story time, music time, or lunch time with friends.
Hang in there mama!
Sending your child to school for the first time isn’t easy! But, wait until you see all the wonderful knowledge he will bring home and the friendships he will acquire.
P.S. Need some lunch ideas?
Prepare lunch 2-3 days at a time since it can be time consuming. Have your child test different lunch items prior to school beginning. Keep in mind the school will not heat your child’s food and many schools are peanut free. Lastly, give him choices between two lunch items. If he is involved in choosing what to eat hopefully your efforts will be worthwhile.