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Preschool-the school where children get ready for their time in schools and make friends. It sucks yet it’s exciting because now, being a mom, I am looking forward to seeing my child’s next chapter unfold, but I also want to keep her small as long as I can. It sounds weird, but I think all of us feel that way at some point. I knew it was coming and I knew, when homeschooling her, that there will come a time where she asks about going to school and making friends. Well, it is happening this year, I have registered my daughter in preschool and she will be starting this year. She is so excited and has been asking every day if she is going to school. I thought I prepared myself, but my heart is overloading with mixed emotions.
However, even though she is going to preschool this year, I am still homeschooling her as much as I can, so that I know that she is prepared for anything that comes her way in school. I have been working with my mom, her pediatrician, and a website to come up with 5 ways that could help my child or any child get prepared.
- Help them write the correct way. I have heard both from her pediatrician and my mom (who is a kindergarten teacher) that there is a correct way to write and it is better from them to learn it now than later. The correct way is to have your index finger on top of the pencil while your middle finger and ring finger are on the sides of the pencil. There is a grip holder that you can buy and place it on the pencil to help. Unfortunately, my daughter has been writing the wrong way and I have been trying to correct it. It is difficult, but we are getting there.
- Make helping fine motor skills fun. There are plenty of worksheets and games that help with fine motor skills, but do you make them fun? How do you make it fun? My daughter loves to have fun, so I have to get creative sometimes. When I have worked on those fine motor skills, I had fun with this maze worksheet from Education.com. One of the ways that I made this different, but fun, was that I set up this maze with some of her toys. So, I made it into a real maze that both me and my daughter had to use both the sheet and our eyes to find the treasure. Here is the maze worksheet, you can download here: kindergarten_maze_crawlies Want to see more worksheets? Be sure to check out Education.com for more learning fun.
- Put your acting skills to the test. When I talked with her pediatrician, she told me something interesting that I never thought about. She told me that to help my daughter learn about the world around her such as the light switch, chores, or how to shut the TV off, I would need to act out the action. For example, if we need to turn the light on or off, I need to get her attention, then role play where I am making it fun learning how to switch the lights. Or I could simply ask her to look for the switch that can make the molten lava go away. Simple and fun. (this is where Dungeons and Dragons can be helpful haha)
- Help with children learning about themselves. Once again, I never thought about this until her pediatrician said it. They told me that she needs to know enough about herself, other children, and strangers. For example, she told me that my daughter needs to know both her first and last name (which she knows her first name), a difference between girls and boys, treat others kindly, and if she sees another adult that she doesn’t know, alert a teacher or alert us (her parents). I have been really trying hard with this and showing her the parts of the body.
- Get children prepared for school days. My husband and I went to our first parent orientation for our daughter’s school. I mean, I still can’t believe how fast these years went leading up to our child going to school. Anyways, the principal was saying that we need to start getting them prepared for school, which means they need to dress themselves, be able to go potty by themselves, and get used to no nap time. My jaw dropped with this guys and gals, like really? No nap time! Well, they are really wanting to get them prepared. So, I thought okay…I can dig this and I have started with getting her prepared. She could mostly do all of those things, but we are nudging her along to complete her independence. Today is the first day of no naps, so I don’t know how I will feel about that….no, I know I will miss them dearly, but we got this. I also role played with this area with acting out how to put on our shirts and shorts/pants. Then, I kept reassuring her that she was a big girl and she could go potty and put her clothes on by herself.
With all of these tips, I feel a little bit better on making sure that my child is prepared for school. I still have mixed emotions and I am sure that I will be that mom ugly crying when she is walking away and into her classroom. Is it weird that I am already picturing this, but with college?? And they let parents come to eat lunch with their children, so my husband jokingly said, “I can already see that you are going to be there every day for lunch.” My response…noooo…I will not be there every day, but I am thinking of going there every once in a while.
Now, it is time to me to get prepared myself for the first day of school. It will be hard, but once again, we got this. Well, I hope you enjoyed reading and I hope that these tips can help. Feel free to download the maze worksheet and have fun! As always, I hope you have a great weekend and I will see you in the next post!