This time of year is full of contradictions – for both you and your child. Your child feels excitement about a new school year (and possibly even a new school) while also feeling some apprehension about what that all means. You are excited for this next step in your child’s life while also feeling some sadness that he or she is growing up so fast. Let me reassure you, it’s okay. You can own those feelings with pride – and the knowledge that the rest of your child’s life will be filled with those moments of mixed emotions. Our job, however, is to hopefully make your child’s start in preschool and Discovery Days as easy, stress-free and fun as possible – for your child and for you! Here are some thoughts about ways to support that transition.
This article gives some wonderful concrete steps to do as you prepare for the upcoming year. (Simply click on the photo for the link.) Specifically we encourage you to:
- Plan to come to your child’s class visitation time. This will be a great time to meet the teachers as well as a few children in the class and to enjoy playing in the space together. Here is the visitation days.
- Practice going to school during your play over the next few days.
- Visit our playground. You are welcome to enjoy the playground in the evenings and weekends. We just ask that you please re-cover the sandbox and leave on their respective sides of the fence. This will help your child feel more comfortable being here.
- Talk positively. Even though you may have those mixed feelings be sure and speak about preschool positively. You can listen to your child’s uncertainty and let her know it is okay to feel that way but also reassure her that you know the staff here will keep her safe and show her some new and fun things to do. This is the reason we delay the extra programs that extend the days so children can head home after just the 2 1/5 hours which really go by very quickly.
Another helpful skill you can be practicing at home is self-dressing, at least the things that are age appropriate. With a group of children it may take a while for a teacher to get to your child to help put on his or her shoes, pull up pants in the bathroom, etc. A child will feel so much more pride if he can do it “all by himself!” Here is a link to a blog post with age appropriate skills regarding dressing him or herself.
Another tip about clothing – give your child options that are easy to manipulate. Zippers, belts, tight leggings . . . those all offer more opportunities for frustration as a child tries to manage things independently.
We are busy getting things ready:
Last week we got all the tile floors waxed and buffed.
Yesterday all the staff were in for our CPR and First Aid training. (Shoot, I forgot to get a picture when all the dummies were strewn around the commons area. It is quite a sight!)
And today, um, well, as you can see, the classrooms aren’t ready yet. We had all the carpets cleaned this morning!
Tomorrow our lead teachers are back to begin their curriculum planning and our Preschool board meets in the evening.
Thursday we have our all-staff meeting. Following that, believe me, the teachers hit the ground running with all the preparations to ready the room, the shelves, the files and the plans for the day we finally greet you and your precious child. Trust me, we will take good care of him or her this school year.
We can’t wait. See you soon!