The start of the school year may bring mixed emotions for both children and parents. While this can be an exciting time that many kids look forward to, other kids may dread the arrival of the back-to-school season. Unfortunately, some children don’t experience a smooth transition into preschool. Many of them experience challenges, difficulties, and separation anxiety. Their routines, physical environment, and activities change. If they’re not adequately prepared for this transition, some may even end up hating going to school. This is why parents need to help to facilitate their little ones’ readiness for school.
A school is a wonderful place where a tremendous amount of learning takes place. You can help your little one fall in love with learning and attending preschool, and support their school readiness, by following these tips!
1. Play games that enhance self-regulation and concentration skills
One of the things that are critical to a child’s success during their early years is the ability to focus and pay attention. This is something that parents can help foster at home by playing fun games that encourage the development of these skills.
One of the games you can play at home is the classic “Red Light, Green Light”. You can also modify the game and create your version to add more variety. Try adding more colors, for instance, and tell your child what actions each color cue requires. If red is for stop, green is gone, then orange could mean take one step forward and blue means one step backward. This is just one of the many games you can play with your little one as he or she learns how to concentrate and follow instructions. Don’t hesitate to explore even more and make some tweaks to make activities like this more exciting.
2. Set their expectations
Another strategy that’s important to implement at home is setting your little one’s expectations about life at school. Take time to talk to young children and explain to them the things they can expect when school begins. Tell them all about the fun things and activities they will experience and the exciting new things they will learn. It’s important to also mention some of the things they will need to learn to do on their own since parents can’t be with them inside the classroom.
Help your child learn important self-care tasks such as getting dressed, putting on and taking off their socks and shoes, unwrapping their lunch, and using the bathroom. Be sure to teach these skills during the weeks before school begins.
3. Foster social skills
Good quality child care centers focus on developing a child’s academic skills in addition to vital emotional and social growth and development. Because your children will be with other kids at their preschool, it’s important to prepare them for the new environment by fostering their social skills early on.
Consider arranging playdates so your little one can practice social interactions. Bring your child to places where he or she can interact with new children, such as parks. This is an excellent way to reduce shyness and increase young children’s confidence in creating friendships with other kids, which is extremely helpful as soon as they start school.
4. Create a reading culture
Reading is one of the critical foundations of learning. Reading helps build children’s communication skills and develop their language and literacy skills.
To increase your child’s school readiness, be sure to create a culture of reading at home. Help your little one develop a lifelong love for reading by making reading together a habit not only before bedtime but every chance you get. Encourage your little one’s participation during the activity, and ask questions as you go through the story together. It’s also a good idea to surround them with books and other interesting reading materials.
5. Foster emotional skills
Your child’s emotional skills will help determine how well he or she will adjust to the new school environment. As your child’s emotional skills develop, they will help your little one deal with challenging situations, especially ones he or she will face for the first time. Make sure young children are ready by helping them label and understand the reasons behind their emotions. Discuss these feelings, and make sure they don’t feel they’re being blamed for the negative feelings they feel. Explain that for us to experience various emotions in different situations. It’s also important for children to know and understand how to respond to their emotions appropriately.
The earlier we start preparing our kids for school, the easier the transition will be and the more likely your child is to achieve success both in school and life in general. Follow these tips to help support and increase your child’s school readiness. Send your child to the best-quality childcare center. Visit Imagine Nation Learning Center for more information.