Are you a parent of a 3 or 4-year-old who might be ready for preschool? Let’s see if it’s time to enroll!
A good friend recently asked about PRO’s and CON’s of sending her daughter to early preschool. Our oldest son was enrolled in early preschool at the age of 3. So here’s why we did send our oldest to preschool early, and why we didn’t send our middle child at age 3:
PRO’s: (Reasons why we chose to try early preschool)
- Language was developed for the age
- Able to follow simple instructions
- Potty trained with almost no accidents
- Excited to go to school (ran to class)
- Loved to be read to and color
- Wanted an outlet for making friends
- Admired the teacher (probable teacher crush)
- Had a newborn baby brother that kept us busy
- Always came home with cute crafts and stories to tell
- Cost was only $10/day for 3 half days/week
Con’s: (Reasons why we chose not to enroll yet)
- Had a hard time sitting still and focusing on activities
- Just started potty training that summer (deadline for registration was soon after)
- Needed more one-on-one time to work with him various development areas
- Wasn’t begging us to go to school like he is this year
So the point of the Pro’s and Con’s list is to show you that some kids are ready to go to early preschool. Some, just simply need time and a little more work with mom and dad.
And on top of that I’m hearing more and more from teachers saying that waiting another year is better on the kids. Schools even have beginner Kindergarten classes to transition kids into the appropriate grade.
Now, after opting not to send our middle child to early preschool, I don’t regret it. Why? He now can follow instructions better, loves to help with chores, he brings me books to read, he is learning how to spell his name, and he is begging me to go to preschool! And not to mention, I am glad I was able to have an extra year at home with him. Our middle child is beyond brilliant, he just needed some time!
Here’s what you can do to prepare your child for preschool and help him/her through the year!
- Let your child pick out books at the library/store to bring home
- Read 5-10 books/day or 20+ minutes/day
- Read books about colors, shapes, counting, the alphabet, seasons, 12 months of the year, holidays, emotions, animals, manners, nursery rhymes, other rhyming books…
- Ask about feelings or daily highlights to start the conversation
- Show your attention when your child is speaking, ask for the same back
- Use simple directions and explanations (sometimes sneak a big/new word in)
- Teach your child not to interupt by following these steps: #1 Have her place her hand on your waist #2 Silently place your hand on her shoulder when you acknowledge her #3 Wrap up your conversation in a timely manner to answer her
- Sing the ABC’s when when the kids are brushing teeth, going potty, or in the car
- Have a various forms of the alphabet on hand (fridge magnets, wooden puzzle, foam mat, bath letters…)
- Read alphabet books (We have Eric Carle’s “ABC”)
- Does he know his full proper name when called on?
- Point out her name when you see it printed, typed, or written
- Have him trace/spell first name
Strengthen pencil grip:
- Practice threading large beads and cheerios
- Make drawing a daily activity (animals, people, home…)
- Get out the playdough and practice rolling snakes, balls, and flatening…
- Count with M&M’s, gummy bears, or fruit snacks
- Count steps, pennies, bubbles…
- Read a cute counting book like “Ten Little Ladybugs”
- Play “I Spy” colors
- Also use those M&M’s for quizing on colors (it get’s their attention)
- Quiz your kids at throughout the day- “What color is this ball?”
- Point out visable shapes like a square block, or circular wheels
- Draw simple shapes and quiz her
- Have various wooden puzzles, Mega Blocks/Lego Duplos, and building sets available
Opposittes with senses:
- Use visuals to describe a big elephant or a tiny bug
- Use items in your house to compare touch and appearance (soft/hard, smooth/bumpy, dark/light, hot/cold…)
- Also compare taste, smell, sound
- Try a basic craft or science experiment a couple times a week
- Make a simple recipe together in the kitchen
- Play “Simon Says” or other directions games/songs
- When your child is struggling with emotion, acknowledge his/her feelings, and help them to reason logically (“You must be frustrated. I will show you how to do it this time, and you can try again later.”)
- Watch a movie/read a book and discuss the character’s emotions, why the character feels that way, and what was done to resolve it.
- Try an awards sticker chart for dressing self, going potty, washing hands, sharing, helping with chores, and keeping hands to themselves.
- Make sure to be emotionally available to your kids whenever they need you, forgive mistakes, and apologize in any wrongdoings. Be a good role-model above all else.
Now, lot’s of things on this list won’t be mastered right away. But these are some ways you can help your child prepare for preschool and through the school year.
By Kindergarten, there are over 70 things you child will need to know for screening. It’s tough stuff for 5 and 6 year-old’s, but starting off at home is so important.
I’m not a teacher, but as a Mom of Kindergartener, I know they do work hard! It is not their sole responsibility to help your child succeed. It’s thier job to work with us parents to help our kids. So let’s make the early learning experience fun!
So do you think your child is ready for preschool? Or do you need to give more time and work with them on the basics?
Here is your free Letter “A” printable with instructions. More printables are coming soon!