A key stage in your journey as a parent, is the moment when your child goes to pre-school for the first time. We know all the conflicting emotions you are going through – How will my child manage? Will my child settle in? What if my child doesn’t like the preschool? What if my child doesn’t make friends? Will my child get hurt? Will my child cry too much? Will my child be taken care of? Will my child be left alone? What about food? Will my child be fed? Will my child eat on his own, without being coaxed?
We strongly believe that if a child is carefully prepared, it helps the settling process to a great extent.
How can you prepare your child and yourself for Preschool?
As a parent, it is important to recognize that separation anxiety can sometimes cause problems. We have come up with some simple and effective ways to give wings to your desire of giving your child a good start to schooling, of entering into the world of education, of enrolling her/him into a good preschool in order to start early with acquiring skills and information – academic and social while also allowing them to ease into the “real world”. We assure you that these will clip your anxieties!
Irrespective of whether your kids have previously been a part of a playgroup or this is their first experience of schooling, giving them a dress rehearsal is a good start. Before your kids start, they will be invited to come along for a visit and attend an orientation session. It allows them to become familiar with the new surroundings and they get to know the staff and the facilities. We encourage parents to remain with their kids at any time to help them settle in.
It helps them to talk about things that they liked in the preschool. For eg: when you come along with the kids for settling phase, observe the child and understand things that she/ he has liked. Eg., seeing the child smiling while looking at the alphabet blocks, you can then conclude that the child will enjoy playing with the colourful blocks when he or she goes to preschool. You can talk to the child positively about the sorts of activities they will be engaging in during their settling time. Our staff has a vast experience in helping children settle into the pre-school setting. If you have concerns, discuss these with our staff members.
It will also be of help if you can prepare for few hours of separation during the preschool hours by making the child attend a holiday camp or any other short duration programs in this preschool premise or elsewhere. This will give your child the experience of staying away from you for a few hours before starting the preschool sessions. These activities will help the child as well as the parents deal with the separation anxieties.
There are various ways in which you can settle your child at home, in preparation for pre-school. Given below is the list of a few books with a brief of each:
|Spot, the dog, and his father walk to school together and are greeted by a kind bear teacher and friendly animals: a hippo, monkey, crocodile and turtle. At first, Spot is anxious because he doesn’t know how to sing, but as the day progresses, he participates in a variety of fun activities. These create such a great day that he attempts to delay returning home. Upon pickup time, he and his classmates tell their respective animal parents that school was great! The purpose of this book is to build positive feelings about school, and it is recommended for a younger toddler.|
|Angus, the lovable answer Dog, is there as a guide to answer your child’s questions about preschool. By responding to questions like “What’s preschool?” and “What will my classroom look like?” Angus will give your child the basic information he needs to understand what to expect on his first day.|
|Anne Rockwell illustrates a day at preschool in vivid, soft-edged color as a little boy describes the day. “My Preschool” covers the less uplifting but realistic moments, such as children crying for their moms and arguing over toys, as well as the happier events such as sharing in a circle, playing at the sand table, visiting with the music teacher and of course, partaking in snack time. This book portrays preschool as a place of comfort and excitement, a depiction that will help you and your child when those days begin.|
|Best-selling author Neil Gaiman, known for creating darker literature for adults and adolescents, writes about Chu, the adorable but sneezy panda, who is heading off for his first day of school. With beautiful, inviting illustrations, “Chu’s First Day of School” deals with the universal experience of starting school, including the parents helping their young panda relax. This book’s sophisticated diction and syntax make it an engrossing read for your child.|
|There is an entire cottage industry of “animals going to animal school” books. At the preschool age, kids can find the silliness of a cat going to cat school; a thrill. In Rob Scotton’s picture book, a worried Splat is calmed by a parent. There’s some mischief at school, but in the end Splat learns that school will be just fine. Splat learns about interacting with peers and teachers, as the teacher covers topics ranging from self-esteem to nature. “Splat the Cat” is a fun read, full of puns and jokes that will have your child laughing away any nervousness while he learns the routines that are part of a preschool.|
|“Maisy Goes to Preschool” emphasizes the kid-friendly activities found in preschool. This being a lift-the-flap book, its pages are highly interactive and engaging for young readers and parents alike. Read this playful book with your little one, and he will associate positive playful feelings with preschool.|
|“The Kissing Hand” is a classic tale about the separation anxiety of both parent and child. Since its publication in 1993, it has become a classic of the going-to-school genre. It even has coping strategies for parents. Because of the book’s long sentences, parents may need to read it to their children, though the illustrations and story captivate children all over the world. It is a wonderful yet scary time watching your little one gain independence. Any of the books on this list will help you and your child embrace the change as it comes, and build an even stronger bond together through your shared reading time.|