Parents send their children to preschool for different reasons. For some it’s a form of child care. Others do it to help their children learn valuable social skills and grow accustomed to the school environment before heading off to kindergarten. Whatever the reason it’s important that your kids receive as much benefit as possible from the early learning experience and here are a few tips that may help you help them do just that.
Don’t Leave Preschool at School
It’s often hard to juggle kids and career and not every parent has the time they wish they had to sit down with their kids and review their day. But if you can find the time to talk to your child about their school day it can go a long way toward making sure the lessons learned stay learned. It can also help clear up any confusion your child might have about something they were taught or even something they witnessed or experienced. So ask your child:
- What did you read today?
- What games did you play?
- Did you sing any songs?
- Did you write anything?
- Did you have fun with the other kids?
If there were any problems or issues large or small that came up during the day getting your child to talk about them is important. It will help them put things into perspective, avoid future confusion and eliminate any negative feelings that may be growing like mushrooms in the dark.
The Importance of Positive Reinforcement
Among the many things kids learn in day care situations are how to make choices, be responsible and cultivate social skills. Reinforce those lessons in the real world when you go out with your child.
- Take Your Child With You When You Run Errands – Let them see the choices you face and show them that making choices is an important part of your everyday life.
- Reinforce Ideas About Responsibility – If your child is being taught the importance of cleaning up after themselves in preschool but this concept is not being stressed at home the child will naturally take the road of least resistance and ignore their teachers.
- Be Considerate When You Drive – If your child is in the car and you spend all your time leaning on the horn and cursing other drivers anything your child learned in preschool about the need to get along with others will vanish into thin air. So be a courteous driver: let that person have the lane, stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk, pull over when you hear a siren.
There is virtually no way for your child to effectively assess their own early learning experience and draw conclusions about what is working and what isn’t. If you want them to get the most from their preschool years it’s up to you to see that it happens. By talking to your child about their experiences and reinforcing what they’re learning on a daily basis you can go a long way toward ensuring those lessons stay with them.