Watching your two-year old running around, curious, inquisitive, trying to know everything happening around and mimic some of it, you’re probably asking yourself, “Where did all the time go? How can my child already be old enough for his first day of nursery?”
Starting school is crucial step for both you and your child. Nursery school admissions can be an exasperating experience for both you and your child. There are ways to prepare yourself and your child to make the process go smoothly. Here are few tips for you and your family to prepare for nursery time:
Preparing your toddler and yourself for nursery education:
- Start preparing your child by talking to them about the life changing event of starting school. Encourage your son or daughter to get excited with the idea of making new friends and playing with them
- Enroll your child to a play school or a day care, so you both get used to staying away for a short period of time
- Starting pre-school is once-in-a-lifetime occasion, hence, go shopping with your child and let your child pick out an extra special outfit and new bag for the big day
- Prepare a small album or a collage with family pictures for your child so they can keep it in their bag and look at it when they feel lonely or scared
- There will always be some parents who have started the research on nursery way back. So, you should not be disheartened if your child does not make the first shortlist
- We all try to be best for our children and that is what is important. Trying to be a super mom or dad who can fulfil every demand of their child is good but not better than spending few hours with your child every day and tell him you are available for him even when he goes to school
Factors that will help you select pre-school for your toddler:
Visiting a range of preschools is the key to understand your options. You will want to know whether the school philosophy and routine are in sync with your family culture. There are a few factors you should be considering while shortlisting nursery schools for your loved one:
- While some schools focus entirely on academics, other schools focus on creative learning, also called as play and learn. It should be all about ensuring your child has a positive first experience, rather than pushing them too hard early on
- Distance of pre-school from your home is a critical point to consider. If both parents are working, it may be more convenient to have your child at a nursery close to your work place.
- Most of the schools have transportation included in the package, still it is worth checking this explicitly, especially when both parents are working and can’t go for pick-up and drop-off.
- Safe Outdoor space – It is very important for kids to get out in the fresh air and daylight.
- Understand the typical daily routine of the school – whether there is time for sleep/ rest in the school, does the school provides meals, whether the school gives homework, etc.
- Student Teacher ratio – Personal attention is very important during the initial phase of a child. So it is essential to know how many students will be there in each class
For more details, please read article:- Choosing a School is not a Child’s Game
Preparing for the school interviews:
Many schools want to interview children during the application process to find out whether child is ready to enter school and don’t give much weightage to parents’ background. While, many others want to know parent’s financial situation to gauge whether a family will be able to support the child financially, how a child is brought up and, how much time will be given by working parents in child’s development. Interview process is again an experience which will be a great learning too for both you and your child. Pre-school interviews are designed to assess key child’s ability to:
- Follow simple instructions
- Answer questions
- Recognize alphabets, number and shapes
- Solve simple puzzles
- Recite poem or rhymes
Although, play schools will help you take care of most of the above, help your child by asking him or her open-ended questions like pre-school interviews:
- What is your name
- When is your birthday
- How many brothers and sisters you have
- Recognize the color/ shapes/ animals
- Recite your favorite poem
- Do you have a pet
- What is this person’s profession
This is a stressful journey and you may be uneasy right now when you think about it, but it will get easier when you trust yourself and your child. Keep calm and sit back; let your child speak for himself. You will see a difference! Good luck!