7 Things to Help Prepare your Preschooler for a Successful School Year
August 23, 2021
This is it! The year that your most precious gift is going to start school for the first time. Even if they have been in a daycare situation this is a big SCHOOL! You have purchased their supplies and their first-day clothes. Moms and dads are preparing to take those first-day pictures. Here are 7 Things to Help Prepare your Preschooler for a Successful School Year.
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1. Start early to talk as a family about the changes to come.
Listen to your child’s concerns. Calm fears, present a positive attitude even when you are anxious.
2. Routine, routine, routine!
Plan a routine for bedtime and the morning. Put this routine into place and follow it daily. Routines are helpful for your child and also for you to start the year off right. An example of a bedtime routine could be a bath, storytime/snuggles, each night starting at 7 pm with the bed at 8 pm. Check out this Stay at Home Mom Routine Post for some good ideas!
3. Meeting the physical and emotional needs of your child.
Some examples are bedtime! A 7 to 8 hour day is a long time for the little ones. Sometimes even we would like to take a nap at work! Starting and keeping a regular bedtime each night will help with the morning schedule and support your child through the day.
Eating healthy foods. Fruits, veggies, and drinking water is a good place to start.
Emotionally kiddos need those hugs and snuggles but they really need to have you listen to them. A great example is when you pick up your child at the end of the day. Ask them how their day went and listen. It is hard because we ourselves are either still working or decompressing from our day. This time is when all of their thoughts and feelings are fresh in their minds.
Hug them goodbye in the morning. It is so important to them. Getting that hug starts the day positively. A missed hug sets their day back an hour as they worry over that missed hug. Hugs=Positive start.
It is amazing what your child is capable of doing at this age. Zipping coats, tying shoes, wiping their bottom, are all important independent skills that your child needs to know how to do before school.
While your child is using the restroom teach them how to wipe their bottom using toilet tissue with the front to back motion. Also using the right amount of toilet tissue. Be patient. This skill takes practice and patience on the parent’s part. There will be times kiddos will not be as successful, that is ok.
When winter comes it is important that your child can put on and zip their own coat or jacket. Ways to practice are by laying the coat on the floor and teaching your child to put the big tooth of the zipper into the pull side and use the toggle to pull it up. After success, move to practice with the coat or jacket on. Give praise/stickers for each success.
Tying lace shoes is a harder skill. Model how to tie shoes. Set time each day to practice this skill. Mirror the tying motion with your shoe and their shoe. Kiddos at this age have a huge sense of pride as this skill is mastered so definitely celebrate! If you are seeing that they are not ready, Velcro sneakers work just as well and create a feeling of independence for your child.
5.Lunch and snack time. Each day your child will need healthy lunch or snack for school.
They may purchase lunch through their school or bring it from home. Talk to your child about what are healthy choices. Whether they pack lunch or snack, go to the grocery store and discuss with them and pick out healthy choices together. This way you know your child is going to eat food to give them energy throughout the day. If they are buying school-provided lunches, look at the lunch calendar sent home each week with your child to determine which day your child chooses to eat school meals. Stay positive and flexible. There will probably be a learning curve for you and your child.
6. Practice fine motor skills.
What to look for are using crayons, play dough, small Legos. Any one of these activities helps improve muscle control in your child’s hands. You can purchase all of these items at Dollar Tree. Sit with them and play or allow for independent play. Learn all aboutFine Motor Skills and Ideas to Build those muscles before writing in this post.
7. It is so important to set up an atmosphere of kindness and respect for your child to follow in the classroom and at home.
Listening to the teacher and following rules. Sharing with new friends. Following directions in the classroom and school. They will learn many of these skills during the school year but to help start the year off well there are several books that you can purchase or locate at the community library to lay the groundwork. Some examples of books are: Open the Preschool Door, I Can Follow the Rules, Are You Listening, Jack? These books can be found on Amazon.
Your best resource as a parent is your child’s teacher. I encourage you to attend teacher meet and greet days in the classroom and back-to-school night for further information. Post any teacher support handouts on your fridge where they can be reviewed frequently. As teachers get to know your child they can let you know which skills that your child needs to work on. Each child learns skills at different times. The teacher is the person who can let you know which skills to work on and different strategies to help them improve with practice at home. Work together, be a team to build success in the school year! Want to hear some words of wisdom about this time straight from a teacher’s mouth Check out my Back to School Interview with a Preschool Teacher.
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