It’s likely you understand the importance of obtaining a high-quality education, and that this foundation starts in preschool. In fact, 60% of at-risk children were found to be more likely to not attend college if they didn’t get a high-quality education in preschool first. Academic preschool programs are now in session. It can be tough for both children and parents to adjust to this new way of life, but experienced teachers and a welcoming environment can make things go more smoothly—and if you know these preschool educator secrets, you’ll be in a better position to embrace these changes head-on.
Preschool teachers want parents to know that…
- The transition might take longer than you think
When your child begins preschool, you may be worried about how they’ll react to being away from you. But the truth is that the separation can be just as hard on you as it is on your child. It might be the first time you’ve been apart for any lengthy period, after all. Each child has different needs, but it’s never a good idea to drop them off and leave while their back is turned. It’s best to give them a hug and reassure them that you will be back to pick them up after a fun day at preschool and leave as soon as possible. Have patience and realize it may take many days or even several weeks for your child to get used to their new routine. Soon enough, they’ll give up the teary goodbyes and look forward to their favorite preschool education activities—but don’t expect it to happen overnight.
- Structure and routine are essential
When you care for your child at home, you might have some kind of loose routine, but it’s probably nowhere near as structured as what your child will experience in preschool. When your child knows what to expect on a daily basis, they’ll be in a better position to pay attention, learn, and play. It’s also the best way to ensure your child takes a nap every day. Giving them time to unwind prior to sleep is extremely important, as is creating an atmosphere that’s conducive to rest. Children are typically less likely to act out if their schedule is relatively similar every day; disruptions in their routine can result in disruptive behavior.
- Play is just as important as traditional classroom time
Requirements for preschool vary from place to place. It is important that the preschool you choose has an academic focus. That said, traditional classroom learning isn’t the only important aspect of preschool. Play can be just as important as planned lessons. Yes, academics do play an important role in preschool, as this time is critical for neural development and will set a child up to receive a high-quality education throughout his or her life. Children learn a lot through playing, discovering, exploring, and socializing with their peers as well. Don’t discount the concept of playtime and how much children need it in their routines.
Every preschool is different (as is every child), but these three concepts are pretty universal. They can help you pick a great preschool program and make sure that both you and your child get the most out of the experience. If you’re ever in doubt about your child’s transition or their routine at school, consult these expert tips.