Did you know that children who attend preschool are more likely to perform well in elementary school and to graduate from high school and college?
If you have a child who is close to three years old, chances are you’ve been wondering when is the right time to start preschool. It can be challenging to make this decision if you don’t know how to tell whether or not your child is ready for school.
Thankfully, there are several easy ways to find out whether or not your preschool age child is prepared to make their first steps into a classroom. Are you interested in finding out more? Read on and we’ll tell you what’s important to know.
Is Your Child Old Enough?
Most educators say that it’s a good time to send children to start preschool two years before they enter kindergarten. It’s common for learning programs to set a minimum preschool age range. Most preschools will accept children who are at least three years old and some will accept children who are as young as two.
It’s common for parents who have kids who have birthdays that are late in the year (after August 31st) to delay enrolling their youth into preschool for another year. The most common reason for this is that they want to make sure that their child will be eligible to enter kindergarten once they’re five years old.
The average age for preschool children who have birthdays late in the year is between four and six years old. The average age for children to enter preschool who have birthdays that are early in the year is between three and six years old.
Even if your child is old enough, you should make sure that you want to send your child to preschool before choosing to enroll them. Before making this important choice, there are many pros and cons of preschool you should be aware of.
Make Sure Your Child Is Potty Trained
Many schools make sure that children who enroll in their programs are potty trained. This is why you should teach your child this important school before you consider enrolling them in preschool.
It’s also a good idea to teach your child about self-care. This includes knowing how to put on their shoes, brush their teeth, wash their hands, and dress.
Teach Your Child About the Importance of Following Directions
Even though the rules are not usually strict in preschool, teachers will still expect that your child will be able to follow basic instructions. This is why your child should understand the importance of cleaning up after themselves, standing in line with her or his classmates, and following mealtime guidelines.
If you feel that it might be a problem for your child to complete these tasks, it’s a good idea to start giving your preschooler simple jobs to complete. This might include wiping off the dinner table after meals or feeding their pets in the morning.
It actually does not matter what kind of chore you assign to your child. The most important thing is to teach your child how to complete simple tasks every day.
Make Sure That You Can Understand Your Child’s Speech
If your child is three years old and doesn’t have perfect speech, don’t worry because this is normal. But you should make sure that it’s possible to understand what your child is trying to say before you choose to enroll them in preschool. It’s also important for your child to be able to understand what others are saying.
Before you choose to enroll your child into preschool make sure that they’re able to speak short sentences. They should also be able to tell basic stories and describe their experiences by using three to five-word sentences.
If your child has a problem with their speech, it’s a not reason to worry. All you need to do is get ahold of your pediatrician. Chances are they’ll be able to offer recommendations for speech therapists who can help them out.
Teach Your Preschool Age Child How to Handle Transitions
The majority of preschools have fixed schedules that they stick to. On a daily basis, for example, they might transition from morning mealtime to snack time.
A preschool-aged child should be capable of transitioning from one activity to the next. If you’re child struggles at making transitions, consider spending time to show them how to move from one activity to the next.
There are several simple things you can do to help them understand the importance of making transitions. The first thing you can do is start offering advance notice before making a transition with them at home.
You might consider saying to them “We’re going to go get the mail before having a snack.” By saying these simple things, your child will begin to learn how to switch between activities.
Find Out Whether Your Child Can Separate From You
If your child has already been in daycare, they’re probably used to separating from you. But for many children, it’s a new experience to be away from their parents. This is why you should help your child get used to being away from you if they’re not used to it.
You can do this by leaving your child with a member of your family for short time periods while you run errands. The goal of doing this is to show your child that they can trust you’re going to return.
Understand How to Tell if Your Child Is Ready for Preschool
If you’re wondering whether or not your preschool age child is ready for their first day of school there are several things you can do to find out. You should first know if they are old enough. It’s also important that your child is potty trained, can follow basic directions, and is okay with being away from you for short time periods.
If you’d like to know more about how to prepare your child for learning, consider checking out the Family section of our website.