Sending a child to preschool may seem like an obvious choice to many, but others are not sure if it is the right choice for their child and family. Whether it is financial constraints or dissatisfaction with the options, preschool may not be the best for everyone.
When deciding whether to send your child to preschool or not, there is much more to consider than his/her academic skills. While yes, preschool is designed to prepare your toddler for the expectations of kindergarten; the structure of a school day, the social skills, and growing comfortable with being away from home all contribute to a child’s successful transition into kindergarten.
We offer you some ideas to consider in choosing how to prepare your child for a smooth transition into kindergarten.
Academic Preparation for Kindergarten
In a previous story Is My Child Ready for Kindergarten? we outlined the academic and general information your child should know before kindergarten. From being able to use the potty on their own, counting from 1-20, and more, we recommend you use our list as a guide for preparing your child with the right information and tools for kindergarten. If they fall short of any of those things, make a realistic decision as to whether you can get them up to speed at home, or if you need a professional to step in (in a preschool or tutoring setting).
Social Preparation for Kindergarten
Besides for childcare during working hours, one of the most common reasons for parents to enroll their child in preschool is for the social interactions and school atmosphere. With a strong emphasis on early childhood development, most local families have no problem getting their child up to speed academically. Where they may fall short is finding enough social situations to build their preschooler’s social skills. If opportunities for play dates with friends are not frequent, school may be necessary to fill the gap. By choosing preschool for at least a year before kindergarten, you can feel confident that your child will learn these skills through play and the daily structure of school.
Let’s be honest here. At the ages of three and four, children have a ton of energy and are ready to go. With a preschool setting, they will have a day full of opportunities to expend energy and play with friends. Often in a home setting, they may not have enough options with children their age. The age-appropriate play at school is great for their development.
While we would never presume to know anyone’s specific situation, we hope this quick guide helps you make the right decision for your little gal or guy. We wish for everyone a smooth (as smooth as possible) transition to kindergarten. Please give us a call if you have any questions. 704-845-0561