Is your child ready for preschool? How do you know? According to the National Education Goals Panel, here are some signs of preschool readiness that you can be on the lookout for in your child.
1. Self-regulation and impulse control
In order to be considered ready for preschool, your child needs to be able to self-regulate and control their impulses. If they are going to be attending school with other kids, your child needs to be able to restrain “aggressive or disruptive behaviors,” the National Education Goals Panel says. While a teacher can foster gentleness and composure in a child, it isn’t their job to teach the child these skills. The best place to learn self-control is at home with parents and siblings.
2. How to pay attention
Before your child is ready for preschool, they need to also be able to listen and pay attention. Teachers give out a lot of instructions throughout the day in the classroom, at the playground, and even while crossing the street. If you want to prepare your child for preschool, teach them to pay attention to simple instructions and respect authority.
3. Knowledge of the basics
The purpose of school is to teach your child how to read, work math problems, etc. so there is no need to teach your child all of these things before they enroll. That being said, they should know the basics of their ABC’s and 123’s, so that they aren’t totally lost when they enter the classroom. It can also be helpful if they know how to hold a writing utensil correctly and are able to answer basic comprehension questions about a story that has just been read to them.
4. How to take turns
As you prepare your child for preschool, it’s important to also teach them how to take turns with their peers. Whether your child is waiting in line for their turn to use the slide or sharing a box of crayons with another child, they need to be able to patiently wait their turn and be able to allow other children to take a turn as well.
“Time to go inside.”
“Let’s go clean up and get ready for lunch.”
“Gather around for our read-aloud time.”
These are just some of the instructions a teacher might give to her preschoolers. A child who is ready for preschool follows a teacher’s instructions with little to no arguing or incident. Following an adult’s leadership is an incredibly important skill, both for success in school and in life.
6. Emotional awareness
Another skill your child will need for preschool, according to the National Education Goals Panel is emotional awareness. While no preschool teacher expects your child to be able to do this perfectly, being able to communicate how they are feeling or what they need as well as identify with the way others are feeling are skills your child needs to have a grasp of before they attend preschool. With your gentle coaching in day-to-day situations, your child can learn how to be self-aware and mindful of others.
7. Enthusiasm for learning and curiosity
Last but not least, another skill that can indicate your child is ready for preschool is a general enthusiasm for learning and curiosity about the world around them. A child who demonstrates a desire to learn new things will find greater success in school than a child who doesn’t have that drive. If you want to foster this skill in your child, take them places where they can learn new things, such as the library or a museum.