To put your child in pre-school you must ascertain whether he is ready for it or not. It is important for a child to be ready to handle the change in routine that going to pre-school requires. Usually, the age of children when they start pre-school is two and a half to three years. You can take advice from your child’s doctor, spouse, etc. and decide the correct time. Putting your child in pre-school at the right time is important, the following checklist may help you to decide whether your child is ready to start his journey of schooling.
Much depends on your child’s ability to express his needs or difficulties to others. You can help him to express himself from time to time. Teach your child to identify and name his feelings and problems which would help him and others deal with them.
Ability to do basic things by himself:
Before going to school, it is necessary for your child to be able to do some basic activities without help. He’ll have to manage some things on his own. For this purpose, he must be able to feed himself without help, drink water on his own, know when he needs to use the bathroom and be toilet trained, etc.
Comfort level even when away from parents :
A child needs to be able to maintain his cool even when away from parents, at least to an extent. Initially, your child may not be used to staying away from you and may cry on being away from you. But he will adjust eventually. At the onset, you may let your child stay in school for as much as s/he’s comfortable staying away from you, and then gradually, increase the time.
Able to get involved in activities by himself:
There are a number of activities done in preschool such as drawing, coloring, painting, craftwork, building with blocks, etc. for which it is important for your child to get involved and pay attention. S/He also needs the required skills to be able to engage in these activities, it’s the best time for you to send your child to preschool if he can do so at present. To facilitate this development, get some washable jumbo crayons and paper for your child to scribble on, you can buy some toy blocks so he can try his hand at making something with them, he may like to solve jigsaw puzzles. If he’s completely dependent on a caregiver for everything, then he may not be ready.
Following a routine:
When a child is in pre-school, there is a set routine which one follows. Help your little one get used to a regular schedule regarding play, food time and rest. It would help him adjust to following a routine even in school.
If your child needs frequent power naps he’ll need to keep up his energy level to be able to take part in all the activities which will be done once he’s in school. Endurance is an important requirement for your child to be able to study, engage in activities and play without dozing off in school. Your child’s stamina can be built up gradually day by day so that he can cope with pre-school.
After assessing all these, you can make your decision about when is the right time to put your child in pre-school. There’s no hurry in sending your child to pre-school. Moreover, your child may learn equally well if taught at home for now. However, if you feel that your child is not getting adequate stimulation to grow intellectually at home you may want to send him/her to preschool.