The realization that your first child is old enough to start attending an early childhood education program may fill you with mixed emotions. Naturally, you want to see your child begin to learn skills that lay the foundation for their future education such as being able to identify letters. Yet, you may also be apprehensive about how your family will adjust to the new routine. As your child's first day of preschool draws near, you can use these tips to help everyone prepare.
Start Talking About What to Expect
Your oldest child might not have any experience with what happens in an early childhood classroom. Alternatively, they may have some ideas of what their day will be like if they have been in child care before. Either way, you want to begin talking to them now about what it will be like when they go to their new learning program. Share a few things about their schedule such as whether or not they will take naps or eat in the classroom or a cafeteria. Try to provide your child with as many details as you can to help them fully understand what to expect. You can also tell their younger siblings about what they can expect each day such as going with you to drop their older sibling off at their learning center.
Role Play Common Preschool Situations
There are many common situations that arise in an early childhood classroom that you can practice with your child at home. For instance, you can role play saying goodbye at drop off and saying hello when you pick them up. If your child's siblings are old enough to talk, then they can also participate in these practice sessions so that they feel comfortable with leaving their big brother or sister in their new classroom.
Practice the New Schedule Ahead of Time
One of the biggest changes that your family may face is a new daily schedule at home. For instance, your child may need to go to bed earlier so that they are well rested and ready to learn during the weekdays. If possible, begin practicing the new routine a week or two before school starts. This gives you a chance to make minor adjustments such as changing your younger children's nap time if it interferes with the pick up time or waking up slightly earlier to make sure that everyone has time to finish their breakfast.
For more information, reach out to companies like Kidstown Drop-In Child Care Center.