Is my child ready for preschool? This is probably one of the most stressful questions parents of three year olds face.
Wondering how their child will handle being away from them for an extended period of time, if they’ll be able to open their lunchbox without help and if they’ll be brave enough to ask for help if they need it, are the kind of questions that keep many mothers up late into the night.
If you are worried about what is expected of preschoolers or how to tell if your child is ready for preschool, here are a few signs of preschool readiness to judge by.
1. Ability to be Independent
Children who are ready for preschool have some level of independence. Easily translated? He can put on his shoes and coat by himself, pick up his own mess at playtime and wash his hands without assistance. Since most preschools require children to be potty trained, you’ll want to be sure that he can also use the toilet independently.
2. Ability to Separate
Children who are ready for preschool can separate from you calmly. While of course there will be an adjustment period and your child may cry or fuss the first few times you leave him, for the most part, preschoolers should be able to separate with ease and be able to tolerate time away from you.
3. Ability to Engage in Group Activities
Children who are ready for preschool are comfortable participating in group activities. In preschool children do lots of things together. They spend time sharing in circle time, singing in music time and taking part in other group activities like listening to a book or making an art project. Playgroups and mommy and me classes can help prepare children for group activity success.
4. Ability to Adhere to Routine
Children who are ready for preschool can successfully follow a routine. Many preschools follow a fairly structured schedule. From free-time to circle time, snack time to outside time to lunch, nap time and more play time, preschoolers are expected to be able to adhere to the daily schedule.
5. Ability to Make it Through the Day
Children who are ready for preschool can survive an emotionally, socially and physically demanding day. Whether you choose a half-day or full-day, two-day or three-day program may depend on just how much preschool your child can take.
While all children develop differently and only you and your child’s preschool teacher or director can make the decision if your child is ready for school, understanding the general expectations of preschoolers can help you make the right decision.
Are there other abilities you think are signs of preschool readiness? How did you decide if your child was ready for preschool? Share your experiences below.