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While the school year is coming to a close for the majority of parents, there are many more who are getting their little ones enrolled in preschool for the 2012-2013 school year. For those of you who are enrolling your first child in preschool, you are probably experiencing various levels of fear, anxiety and excitement all at once. I know, because I’m right there with you!
The school district where we live is one of the best respected school districts in the area. Since preschool isn’t a requirement, there are only 40 spots available, making it a first-come, first-serve program. So, enrollment was set to start at 5p.m. and people start lining up at 4 a.m.! Yes, you can mark my husband and I as one of the crazies out there. Our philosophy was, “if you can’t beat them, join them.” That was yesterday…today, I’m happy to say that our son has an official spot in the school’s pre-k program.
That being said, I’m now getting excited, nervous and anxious about school starting next year. These feelings have left me scrambling for more information about how I can make sure my son is ready for preschool. Here is what I’ve found:
· Using the Restroom – By the time children enter preschool, they should be potty trained. However, this doesn’t mean they won’t ever have an accident. Before school starts, work with your child about using the bathroom. Make sure your child understands that (s)he needs to tell an adult when (s)he feels the urge to go. Also, this summer is a great time to start teaching your child how to manage his/her clothing when using the restroom. For instance, if your daughter wears a lot of girl dresses, skirts and/or leggings in addition to the normal pants, you might help her get used to undressing/dressing herself over the summer during potty breaks.
· Making Introductions Easier – For many kids, preschool is the first chance they get to work on their social skills with other kids their age (on a day-to-day basis). This can make the first few days, weeks or months of school nerve-wracking for them. So, help ease this stressor by teaching your child how to introduce himself/herself to others. Start by talking about introductions at home and then when you’re out and about, help your child introduce himself/herself to others. Then, when school starts, making new friends will be easier.
· Dining Etiquette – Eating at school can be a whole new experience for kids who haven’t ever been in a group setting like this before. Help ease their discomfort by working diligently at home with them over the summer. Teach them how to properly hold their utensils and if you will be packing lunches, teach them how to open and close containers without spilling the contents.