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Sending Your Baby to Preschool

The first time I watched my eldest walk down the stairs to the neighborhood preschool my heart squeezed so hard it hurt. I was definitely more nervous than he was.
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Is it almost time to send your baby to preschool? Nervous about it all? Don’t be!

In my opinion, preschool is about socializing with other children, learning a few things, and starting a love of the learning process. You don’t want to burn out a kid before they even make it out of elementary school. That’s why I always preferred small, neighborhood schools for the first year of school to the larger academic programs at the fancy private preschools.

preschool graduate

You know your child best. If she’s a social bug who can’t get enough learning, maybe she’ll do better at a big preschool. If you have a shy little guy who is sensitive, maybe he’ll do best at a neighborhood school. If your baby can’t bear to be parted from you and you don’t want to part from her, maybe preschool just isn’t for you this year. Don’t feel pressure to school your child if you don’t think she’s ready.

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How to Make Going to Preschool Easier:

  • Let them pick their outfit on their first day
  • Tour the school with your child
  • Help them memorize the teacher’s name
  • Walk in together on the first day or two, but say goodbye
  • Do NOT sneak out, it can leave them feeling abandoned
  • Assure your child that you will be back in an hour (or two)
  • Encourage them to make a friend
  • Ask them specific questions about what they did (“Did you paint?)
  • If parents bring snacks, have your little person help pick it
  • Ask the school about show-and-tell, most have them
  • Have your child demonstrate what they learned to another family member
  • Be on time to pick them up!
  • Some kids need time after school to decompress, let them!

The first time I watched my eldest walk down the stairs to the neighborhood preschool my heart squeezed so hard it hurt. I was definitely more nervous than he was. He loved the lessons and learned to write his name. They also had songs, dances, crafts and play time. It was the perfect balance of learning and fun.One of my children went to a big, fancy preschool with a matching price tag for his first year. Although the program was flashily extensive (History, Science, Music, Cooking, etc., etc.,) deep down I knew it was too academic. When the school wanted me to come in for parent-teacher conferences, I skipped. Parent-teacher conference for a three-year-old? Give me a break. I’m happy as long as he isn’t hitting people and can share his toys. We found him a smaller school for his second year of preschool and we’re all happier.

Preschool is the time when your child can start figuring out who she is outside of your identity. Most children love to explore the world in a safe environment. A child who is excited to go to school, brings home projects and crafts, talks about kids they’ve met, are all signs that preschool is working for them.

What are your preschool tips?



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