Preschool is a time of transition for many children. Between separation anxiety, making new friends and getting used to a new routine, it may be difficult to get a good sense of whether or not your preschool of choice is a good match for your child. Pay close attention to your child’s moods, his interest in school and his enthusiasm in attending. Does he wake up and look forward to going to preschool? Or does he balk or get a tummy ache? After the first couple of months, you will have a better sense regarding whether your preschool is the best match for your child.
Observe your child during class if he seems to have difficulty adjusting. Try to get a sense of whether he is bored or frustrated by the activities. Or, is it possible that the teacher is expecting too much? You know your child best, and not every school is an appropriate match for each child. If expectations seem appropriate, contact the director to discuss your concerns. After you have a better understanding of the philosophy used, you’ll be better equipped to make an informed decision.
The preschool years are meant to instill a love of learning in children. Social skills and learning through play should be the main focus in preschool. The first couple of weeks may be difficult for your preschooler, as she tearfully separates from you each morning and tries to adjust to a whole new routine. After the first few weeks, most kids enjoy going to preschool. It’s important that his preschool teaches the skills he needs — and in developmentally important and engaging ways. The idea is to meet children where they are and help them learn, according to their particular learning styles. If your child’s preschool fails to do this, your child may show disinterest and begin to give you a hard time when you drop her off in the morning.
Look at the environment in the school. Are the kids playing and socializing? Preschoolers should be moving around in an organized and safe fashion. Preschool is a place to learn how to get along with their peers, how to share and communicate with one another. If you find your child is letting off way too much steam when he comes home from preschool, it could be that he is required to sit for longer periods of time than is developmentally appropriate. It’s important to engage preschoolers through all five senses. It is impossible to do this if they are required to sit still for most of class.
Engaging the Senses
Preschoolers need to mold soft clay, paint, splash and play in the water, run around in the fresh outdoors, color, cut and glue. These activities and more are necessary for both large and fine motor skills. They develop skills like listening, empathy, sharing, taking turns and helping each other. Interaction between the students and their teachers as well as between the students themselves is a good barometer when judging whether or not a preschool is the right match for your child. The students should be happy, engaged and the classroom under control at all times. If they’re not happy — or if your child isn’t happy, then perhaps the school is not a good fit for your child.