Preparing for Preschool
Peanut is going to be the only one of our clan to attend preschool. It wasn’t an easy decision for me to make since I work at home, but I decided that since Peanut was the youngest member of our family, on both sides, some socialization with kids his own age is just what he needs.
Since preschool or even kindergarten can be a big step for little guys and girls, I’ve been working with Peanut to get him ready for the big adjustment. To you and me, two or three mornings a week may not seem like a big deal, especially when those mornings are only two and a half hours each, but for some kids, it can be a huge deal and a major adjustment.
For us, getting Peanut ready for preschool is a fun event. It’s an adventure and because he has older siblings going to school, this is something he wants to do. I’ve listed some of the fun (and non stressful) things we’re doing to get ready for school:
Manners matter to kids and to teachers. By now Peanut is using some manners; “please” and “you’re welcome” seem to be his favorite. Along with his manners though we are also trying to work on patience; since he’s the youngest, there’s not a lot of waiting in his life. All he needs to do is show a bit of irritation and someone (usually his sister) jumps to his rescue. So we’ve worked on waiting his turn for the bathroom or waiting until someone is finished with a task to get what he wants (like a turn on the computer or a drink). It’s all about sharing and being courteous. We already work on this at home but it still bears mentioning because for some kids, waiting their turn can be difficult and in a classroom, everyone will have to take turns and share.
Reading about school has been a great way for us to introduce the idea of going off to school to Peanut. He likes to hear the stories and I can relate what might happen in real life to what we read in the stories. For instance, if a character is sad or scared, we can talk about these feelings and what we can do to move past it – plus, we talk about how the main character gets over their fear or sadness. Reading is a big deal at our house to begin with so Peanut just relates these stories to regular story time at home.
Bebe is a great big sister and loves to play pretend with Peanut. This summer they’ve had pretend school. At pretend school, Bebe is the teacher and of course Peanut is her student. They color, sing songs, read stories and do the things she remembers doing when she first started school. For kids Peanut's age, playing pretend IS learning. It’s one way for him to simulate what might happen to him during a normal school day and feel comfortable because… well, Bebe is the teacher!
For some kids though, there’s nothing like the real thing to make it all come together. As I receive information on the preschools that I’m interested in, I’m also scheduling time to walk through them. Once I find one that I think is a good fit for Peanut, he will also see the school for himself. This is an important step. It’s hard to imagine what school might be like if you can’t see it, touch it or smell it. Some kids really need that interaction before school actually begins AND teachers recommend that your child come with you to see the school too.
Once I have Peanut totally prepared for the school experience the next step will be to prepare me!