Find Out About Appropriate Preschool Age And Gauge Preschool Readiness.
Preschool is a critical developmental milestone in any child’s life. It marks the beginning of their formal education and therefore is their first step towards independence. The experience of sending your child to preschool can be emotionally taxing unless you choose the right preschool for them. The first step, however, is ensuring they’re ready to be sent to preschool and age is not the only factor involved.
Here are some pointers to help you gauge if your preschool aged child is ready for the ride!
1. Understanding Factors
Preschools generally start taking children in while they’re still toddlers, at age 2 and a half years. However, turning 2 and a half years old does not mean your child will necessarily be ready for preschool. The right age to start preschool is determined more by where your child stands in terms of physical and mental development. Read on to understand the various factors you can monitor to gauge preschool readiness.
2. Staying Away From You
A visit to your nearest preschool will show you the difficulties created by sending your child to preschool before they’re ready. You’ll find some children crying for their mothers, and others who cry because they see and hear crying. It’s a stressful situation for your child to be in when they have to spend time away from you. Make sure that the first day of preschool is not the first time they do this. Sending your child to preschool only because they’re of preschool age can create unnecessary complications.
3. Keeping A Schedule
Young children don’t handle fundamental lifestyle changes as easily as adults do. If your child does what he/she wants whenever he/she wants, they’re not prepared for preschool. Joining a good preschool will mean that they have to sleep, eat and live by a fixed schedule. Sometimes even when children are of the right preschool age, they are unable to adapt to such a lifestyle. Make sure that is not the case with your child by starting them out on a preschool routine well before you expect them to join. Help them transition and get accustomed to this new lifestyle before looking for preschool admissions. If they manage this well, they’re ready to start preschool.
4. Social Behaviour
By two years of age, children normally develop toddlers’ social and communication skills. This means they seek some people out and actively avoid others, showing a preference for a certain type of company. You should monitor your child’s behaviour during playtime with friends and see how they react to peer pressure. Your child is only prepared for preschool if they’re showing signs of getting along with their peers and coping well.
Preschool stress is a pretty intense prospect for kids, even if they’re of the average preschool age of 2 and a half years. Their restless minds make them consume a lot of energy just trying to cope up. Being out of energy in the middle of a day at the preschool can make them incredibly cranky and irritable. So, you have to make sure their little bodies have the stamina it takes to be at preschool.
It’s unfair to both your child as well as the preschool staff if you send them there even when they’re highly dependant on you. It is normal and acceptable if your child is heavily dependant on you or a nanny even at preschool age. But it is not okay for you to suddenly change the scenario and have them depend on a total stranger. Make sure they become fairly independent or self-dependant before sending kids to preschool.
7. Why Preschool?
I saved the best for the last - this doesn’t involve your preschooler at all. This point is all about you. It’s strongly recommended that you think long and hard about the reason why you want to send your kid to preschool. If you find that you are 100% honest about the answer to that and are satisfied with your answer, go ahead and start seeking preschool admissions.