If you are planning to enrol your baby in a school then you have to know what is the right age for your baby to join preschool/school. Most of the parents enroll their children in preschool at the age of two or two and half years. But it is not necessary that your child is mentally prepared at this age. Some parents want to make their kids familiar with the social environment so they enroll their kid in a reputed preschool at an early age. Here we are going to discuss some important factors that will help you get an idea when your baby is ready for the school.
Is your child fairly independent?
Preschool requires children to have certain basic skills. Most preschools will want your child to be potty-trained, for example. Your child should also be able to take care of some other basic needs, like washing his hands, eating his lunch without assistance, and maybe sleeping alone.
Is your child shy?
Shyness is one of the most common problems faced by preschool babies. As your baby gets acquainted with the environment and the people, the shyness will slowly get eliminated. Here are some ways that can help you in overcoming shyness.
A child learns a lot from his parents. So parents should be ideal example for his child. They try to imitate the response of their parents towards social activities and behave the same in their future.
Introduce your preschooler with your friends or relatives. Ask him to greet the strangers in a humble way. Always be ready to help people in need.
Most of the babies are afraid of teachers. In such situations, take him to the teacher and interact in a friendly way. Make him realize that there is nothing to get afraid of the teacher. Teachers are also like parents for preschoolers. Teachers should also react positively and tell them that they are available for every problem and playing with them.
Has the child spent time away from you?
If your child has been cared for by a babysitter or a relative, he’ll be better prepared to separate from you when he’s at preschool. If your child hasn’t had many opportunities to be away from you, you might want to schedule some — a weekend with grandma, for example, or a day with your sister and her kids. But even if you can’t work out your separation issues up front, don’t worry too much. Many children leave Mom or Dad for the first time to go to preschool and they do just fine.
The trick is to help your child adjust in short doses. Many preschools will allow you to drop off your child for an hour or two during his first few days there. As your child gets used to his new environment, let him gradually work up to a full day.
Can the child work on projects on his own?
Preschool usually involves lots of arts and crafts projects that require concentration and the ability to focus on an individual task.
There are a lots of ways that can help you to create a school like environment at your home. Bring lots of story books and comic books at your home. Make sure you have some books that are informative, some inspirational and some visually interesting too. You could also get some educational CD’s and games, available in the market.
Participate in play activities with your baby. Child should not feel any study burden at this young age. Make learning as fun for the child.
Is the child ready to participate in group activities?
Many preschool activities require that all the children in a class participate at the same time. These interactions give children a chance to play and learn together, but also require them to sit still, listen to stories, and sing songs. This can be very difficult for kids under 3 who are naturally active explorers and not always developmentally ready to play with other children.
If your child isn’t used to group activities, you can start introducing them. Try and give your child an amicable environment by inviting friends and relatives often to socialize with your baby.
Can the child keep a regular schedule?
Preschools usually follow a predictable routine: play time, snack, playground etc. There’s a good reason for this. Children tend to feel most comfortable and in control when the same things happen at the same time each day.
So if your child doesn’t keep to a schedule and each day is different from the last, it can help to standardize his days a bit before he starts preschool. Start by offering meals on a regular timetable. You could also plan to visit the park each afternoon or set — and stick to — a bedtime ritual (bath, then books, and bed).
Does the child has the physical stamina for school?
Whether it’s a half-day or full-day schedule, preschool keeps kids busy. There are activities to be done, field trips to take, and playgrounds to explore. Does your child thrive on activities like this, or does he have trouble moving from one thing to the next without getting cranky?
You can work toward building his stamina by making sure he gets a good night’s sleep. If you have some flexibility in your schedule, you might also want to start him off in a half-day program to ease him into the hustle and bustle of preschool life, and gradually increase the length of his school day as he gets more comfortable.
The minimum age for preschool/nursery admissions have been specified by various states and UTs. For Chandigarh schools, the minimum age for Pre-Nurserry is three years and that for nursery is four years as on 31 Mar 2017. Most of the schools keep a minimum age of six years for admission to class 1.
With a bit of preparation at home, the child can be made comfortable to join and adjust to the school environment as well as enjoy it. Communicating with the child and providing varied stimuli would make the child eager for learning and having fun.