The transition from home to preschool is a big milestone for both kids and parents. It can be both exciting and scary, as it marks the beginning of a new chapter. It’s one step closer to bigger adventures, new challenges, and exciting opportunities for learning and discovery as children are prepared for the academic years ahead.
As parents, we play a vital role when it comes to helping our children become ready for school. Our kids depend on us to be their advocates in all aspects of life, including their education. By providing them with adequate learning opportunities at home, we can help our little ones as they embark on this new journey.
Here are some helpful learning tips you can use to help your child prepare for his or her academic journey.
Children benefit from predictability, just like adults. Consistency and routine help children feel safe and secure in their environment. Be sure to establish routines with your little one. In the evenings, implement a bedtime routine that includes things like a bath after dinner, and reading his or her favorite story before going to sleep. During the day, you can incorporate structure by starting each day with breakfast, having some playtime, then serving your child lunch, and so on.
Getting in a routine will help your child acclimate to following a schedule each day. This will benefit your child academically, and will also help him or her be better prepared for this exciting next step.
Engage your child in conversation
Practicing language skills is a vital part of each child’s preschool preparation and overall development. Make sure your child has plenty of opportunities to practice his or her language and communication skills by having lots of conversations. Encourage children to talk about the activities they did at school, or ask them to describe the things they see. Get on the floor with your little one and discuss the games you play or the toys he or she is using. Ask your kids questions while sharing a snack or during a car ride.
More importantly, allow your child to talk without interruption. Show your little one that you’re interested in maintaining eye contact and paying full attention while he or she is speaking.
Encourage unstructured play
Independent play is one of the best ways to foster creativity, problem-solving, and autonomy in young kids. The more opportunities that children are given to play on their own without direct supervision or parental feedback, the more they will progress in these areas.
In order for children to make the most of their independent play, make sure they have a variety of toys and materials for exploration, arts and crafts, and constructing their own play so they can tap on their imagination and creativity.
Promote play that supports learning
Aside from allowing children adequate time for independent play, there are also various activities that support learning in children.
For example, playing “pretend” is a type of play that encourages children to make use of their imagination. Sensory play, on the other hand, stimulates a child’s senses. For this type of play, your child can play with play dough, fingerpaint, play on the sand table, and so on.
Reduce screen time
As we know, too much screen time can be detrimental to a child’s learning and development. It is your role as a parent to curb the amount of time your child spends on electronics. Screen time should be used strategically and productively. Even if certain electronics aid in your child’s education and learning, screen time should be limited to no more than one hour per day for kids ages two to five years old.
Learning to be independent helps children develop important life skills they will need as they learn and grow. There are some skills in particular that youngsters should begin to master as they prepare to attend preschool. As children learn to do more things for themselves without direct adult intervention, they will become more confident. This will enable them to enter preschool more readily.
You can slowly help your child develop increased independence by starting out with small tasks. Show young children how to take off their coats, or put on their own socks and shoes. If they ask for assistance, be ready to help but avoid doing everything for them entirely.
Transitioning to preschool can be both exciting and nerve-wracking for many families. Equip your child with the skills he or she will need in order to be ready for school with the help of these tips!
Here at Cornerstone Learning Center, we make learning a fun and exciting journey for kids. Learn more about our programs and curriculum by visiting our website.