Categorized | Education, Starting Preschool

How to Know If Your Child Is Ready For Preschool

Once your toddler hits the age of 3, he can now start going to preschool. But, it does not necessarily mean he is ready for this new phase in his life. Deciding whether your toddler should attend preschool is an important matter. His readiness to attend preschool relies on how well he is progressing.

For toddlers, preschool serves as the stepping stone to discover and learn new things. It is where they can grow skills and nurture their talents. However, your toddler needs to be emotionally, mentally, physically and socially competent to help him actively participate in the structured educational program of the school. Here are some questions to help you gauge if your toddler is ready for preschool.

Question # 1: Is he used to spending time away from you?

Attachment is the number one issue when it comes to sending toddlers to preschool. If your child has been cared by a nanny, a babysitter or has spent some time away from you in the past, then most likely he is ready for school. But if your toddler is with you most of the time, it is best to start introducing the idea of being separated from you by holding a sleepover in his grandparents’ house over the weekend. Or you may start enrolling him in a daycare center where he can socialize with other toddlers. The key here is to make small adjustments to give him time to feel comfortable and secure when you are away.

Question # 2: Can he understand and follow simple instructions?

During his preschool years, your toddler is expected to follow simple rules and directions (e.g. picking up the trash inside the classroom, arranging books, etc.). If you think he is still having a hard time, train him at home. Give him the responsibility of putting the plates in the sink, putting dirty laundry inside the hamper or let him pick up his scattered toys.

Question # 3: Is he comfortable around other people?

If your toddler is used to having playmates or loves participating in group activities, then he will not have any difficulty interacting with other people. Enroll him in a play group or invite your neighbors’ kids over to your house. The more your toddler is used to having people around him the easier he can adapt and socialize with his peers.

Question # 4: Can he do things on his own?

Preschool requires your toddler to be independent. Learning basic skills like hand washing after drawing and eating on his own are a must. Also, he must be able to focus and concentrate on his work especially during activities that require your toddler’s full attention. He needs to solve things on his own. Leave him for an hour and let him entertain himself. In this way, he learns how to play solo and the need to ask for help with everything is minimized.

 Question # 5: Can he recognize the alphabet and numbers?

Knowing the basics will make it easier for your toddler to master and improve his language, reading and writing. You can do simple learning activities at home by using flashcards, jigsaw puzzles and coloring books to help him familiarize fundamental lessons.

Question # 6: Is he potty trained?

It is important your toddler is potty trained before he enters preschool since most schools require potty training. If he has strongly mastered it, then he is good to go. However, if he is not yet ready, do not force him. Putting him under too much pressure will only make the situation worse.

Question # 7: Does he have a fixed schedule?

Toddlers thrive on routine. Most preschools follow the same practices of toddlers. If he is used to having a regular schedule (e.g. playtime, lunch, nap time, snack time and outdoor play) then he is ready to start preschool.

Question # 8: Is he physically fit?

Enrolling him in a preschool means a lot of rigorous activities will take place. Check your toddler’s health condition. He needs stamina to help him get through the day. If he has health issues, then it is best to keep him at home for now to reduce his chances of acquiring infections.

Starting preschool depends on how ready your toddler is. If he is fully prepared and comfortable with the idea, then it is best to let him start. But, if he is not yet ready, never rush him. Instead, train your toddler to help him get ready for the next school year.

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