Is My Child Ready For Preschool?
5 Questions To Consider
If your child is somewhere around 3 or 4 years old, you may find yourself considering preschool—wondering, is my child ready to attend preschool? Researchers continue to uncover loads of evidence proving the benefits of enrolling your child in preschool. For instance, findings by the Carnegie Foundation state that children receive more out of their education every year of their life, if they simply attend preschool before starting kindergarten.
Preschool provides undeniable benefits, but understandably you don’t want to push your child out the door before they are ready. Preschool will help boost your child’s learning, confidence, and social skills, but only when they are ready for it. As a parent it’s normal, and in fact smart, to consider if your child is ready to be enrolled in preschool.
If you are debating between enrolling your child in preschool now and giving it some more time, read on. Here we provide 5 questions you can ask to help determine if your little one is ready for all of the benefits preschool provides.
5 Questions To Ask In Order To Help Determine If Your Child Is Ready For Preschool
Here are 5 important questions you can ask yourself when trying to decide if your child is preschool-ready or not.
1. How Are Your Child’s Social Skills?
The number one indicator your child is ready for preschool has to do with their social skills. Of course, not all children have very much exposure to other kids before starting preschool, but knowing how to act around other kids will make their experience more enjoyable and easier to get used to.
Related questions to further consider:
- How often is your child exposed to playtime with like-aged kids?
- How well do they get along with others?
- Do they share well?
- Does your child sympathize with and understand the feelings of their playmates?
2. How Well Does Your Child Separate From Mom & Dad?
If your child is okay with separating from mom and dad, and is able to go off and do their own thing without breaking down, this is a key sign they are ready for school.
By placing your child in preschool before they are ready you might cause them to feel stressed out about the situation, instead of excited about it. If your child expresses a lot of separation anxiety, it might be best to wait until they are a little older to start preschool.
Important to keep in mind, some children are ready for preschool and still feel anxious about separating from their parents. Prepare your child ahead of time for the fact you will be leaving them at school, but only for a short period of time. The number one thing is to be firm and fast in your departure, if you linger around or show signs of trepidation, you are only making it more difficult for the child.
If your child has difficulties with loud music, changing activities, or continually being around large groups of people, it might be best to start by enrolling them part-time in preschool, as opposed to all day. This allows them a chance to get used to the stimuli of preschool without becoming overwhelmed to the point they never want to return.
3. How well does your child follow instructions and listen?
Preschool involves a lot of listening, as children continually move from one activity to the next. Your child should be able to listen and follow instructions fairly well before being enrolled in preschool.
If your child knows how to listen, at least most of the time, they are going to enjoy their experience at school more. Plus, they will be a better student that causes fewer disruptions and has an easier time making friends. By teaching your child early on that they must listen and be respectful, you are helping prep them for success in preschool and all throughout life.
4. Does your child use markers, pens, or pencils to draw yet?
If your child’s fine motor skills are developed enough so that they are capable of using a writing utensil to draw, even if the drawings are nothing more than squiggles, this is another sign they are ready to start preschool. One of the huge things kids learn in preschool is how to write their name, the background ability to hold a pencil and draw squiggles helps set kids up for name-writing success, as well as many other artsy activities.
5. How Self-Sufficient is Your Child?
Is your child potty-trained?
Can they fasten their own zippers and buttons on their clothes?
If your child is able to eat, go to the bathroom, and independently take on simple activities, this is a key sign your kid is ready for preschool. While preschool teachers are always available to help, going off to preschool requires some form of independence. It’s beneficial if your child already has some self-care abilities, such as going to the bathroom on their own and being able to refasten their tiny-little shorts.
Is Your Child Ready For Preschool?
Preschool helps develop your child’s abilities further, including listening, social skills and independence too. Expecting your child to be perfect at all of these things before attending preschool can be a bit of a stretch.
A basic understanding of how to listen and get along with others is important, but children need years of learning and growing in order to become perfect little listeners, capable of getting along with almost anyone. After all, kids will be kids. So while these 5 questions provide a sound guideline to help determine when your child is ready for preschool, all of these skills will grow and improve throughout your child’s educational experience, preschool included.
It’s also important to make sure that you are ready to let your child go off to preschool. The best way to feel confident about this big step in parenting is to find a preschool location where you feel comfortable and trusting of the teachers and environment.
When your child is ready for preschool, ABC Learning is happy to help nurture all levels of your child’s learning and development.