Preschool readiness-what does it mean?

As we finish the school year, we spend a lot of time meeting new families and assessing children. But what does it mean to be ready for preschool?

First of all, at least in our school, age is less important than you would think. We don't believe that all two year old's need to be together, or that a four year old is automatically ready to be a pre-K. So while we take age into consideration, maturity is more important.

A child that is ready to start a journey with us will be able to follow simple directions most of the time. These include being willing to be redirected. So while we hear our share of "no!" and "I don't want to!", we expect a certain amount of cooperation. Our children also learn from the beginning how to manage their own works and area. They can be given a lesson on cleaning up messes, and then do it to the best of their abilities. Students will be asked to at least try to do for themselves.

Preschool doesn't have high chairs!

Your child will be served snack, and if they stay all day they will unpack and eat lunch. We cannot actively feed your child. By the time a child is well into toddlerhood, they should be able to feed themselves with reasonable success. Will it be messy sometimes? Sure, but messes means opportunity to clean up. So let your child feed themselves. Give them real cups to drink out of, no sippy cups. Every single student we have, even the two year old's, can do this.

Preschool is about exploration, not fashion.

We get dirty around here. Sand, dirt, bugs, and gardening are every day activities. So keep that in mind when getting school clothes. Make sure they are easy to manage(for your child), comfortable, and easy to clean.

Same idea goes into footwear.

Are those flowered lace up boots that your three year old loves adorable? Yes! Are they practical? No! It may not seem like a big deal to tie your child's shoes. But multiply that by 25, or 30! We'd have to hire a dedicated shoe teacher. Most of our students learn to tie their shoes in their pre-K or Kindergarten year. Until then their shoes should be comfortable, easy to remove and put on, and the correct size.

Beyond that, pay attention to what the school policies are regarding backpacks, lunch bags, lunch contents, extra clothes, tardy and absence policies. The more you know now, the smoother your foray into preschool will be. For you AND your child.