When it comes to choosing a preschool for a child who is three or four years of age, it can be a stressful situation. On one hand, getting kids socialized and used to a classroom setting is necessary so that they are prepared and confident preschoolers when they go to kindergarten.
Having a curriculum that is stimulating enough that it holds their attention without being too advanced for little ones needs to be factored in as well. And when these things, in conjunction with a positive daily attitude of children is found, parents can be assured that their child's preschool is meeting their needs.
The initial reaction from young children when they enter preschool can vary. Some are excited to start their educational process. Others may be afraid to be away from their parents. Most will fall somewhere in between. This is why it can take some time to get an accurate read on how kids are doing in preschool. But when a great place is found where kids are able to build a bond with their teachers, have fun in preschool, and get a clear understanding of what is expected of them in a classroom setting, something special has been found. And parents should be happy their kids get to experience it.
Here is how to know if your child's preschool is meeting their needs.
Discuss Strengths And Weaknesses Of Preschooler With Director
No one knows a preschooler better that their parents do. As such, they know what their children's strengths and weaknesses are. Things that are important to take into consideration when choosing a preschool. And topics of discussion that should be had with the director of the school to help determine if a preschool is a good fit for kids.
According to Chesapeake Family Life, it is never a good idea to enroll kids in preschool before questions are asked of those who work there. And because there is "no limit" on the number of questions that can be asked, parents should take their time and start early when looking for a preschool to ensure any concerns they have are addressed. Specifically when it comes to the strengths and weaknesses of their children.
Some questions to ask, per the publication include:
- Asking about educational philosophy
- Finding out what the turnover rate is
- Discussing what the training of teachers is
- Determining what the discipline entails
- If there is ongoing assessment of children's progress
By asking these questions, parents will get a good feel for the philosophy of the school and whether it will help or hinder the areas where kids are strong and where they have some work to do before entering kindergarten.
Visit The School
Part of attending preschool is making kids feel comfortable away from their parents in an educational setting. To see just how comfortable kids are, parents should visit the school before enrolling their kids. What is seen will be a good indicator if the preschool is a good fit for kids or not.
According to All Saints' Episcopal Day School, the signs of a good preschool that parents can witness from a visit include:
- There are educated and attentive teachers
- The learning environment is safe and nurturing
- Learning opportunities that are age-appropriate
- Good communication between parents and teachers
- Encouragement of each child's unique learning style
Because parents can spend up to 30 minutes observing a classroom, they will be able to see just how teachers operate, how good they are with the kids, and how kids respond. Important things to consider when determining if a preschool is a right fit for kids.
Structure Of Classroom
When kids attend preschool, there needs to be a good mix of structure and flexibility in the classroom. Things that can help to mitigate the stress that children feel who are attending preschool.
According to Edutopia, signs that preschools are structured for the success of kids include:
- Ways to handle separation anxiety are in place
- Time is managed properly
- There is routine in the classroom
- Free play is part of the education
- Sharing with others is taught and expected
- Lesson plan are flexible to accommodate all learners
If parents discover this with a preschool, it is likely going to be a good fit for their kids. But is something that will only be known after little ones attend, their stress levels are taken into account, and how they are progressing in the classroom setting that will let parents know for sure that the preschool chosen is completely fitting children's needs.