Remember your first day of work and how apprehensive you felt? You had to adjust to a new environment, new people, and new rules.
Now imagine having to do that at a very young age. No wonder starting preschool is such an overwhelming experience for many young kids – as well as their parents.
The good news is, schools are there to help both of you with this big transition. One of the most important things you can do before your toddler starts school is to visit the centre beforehand.
At Mindchamps Preschool, for instance, teachers arrange an orientation session
for parent and child. They go through the centre’s routines and activities, and find out about your kid’s routine at home, says Elaine Chia, its senior director of Education (Early Childhood). “If your child needs more time to ease into an unfamiliar environment, we encourage her to visit the preschool a few times with
you and your spouse before she starts.”
She will have to get used to new naptimes, mealtimes, and perhaps even new types of food. During the orientation session, find
out when she will be doing various activities, and help her adjust by implementing them at home.
For instance, some children eat only porridge at home, notes Yvonne Tan, senior principal at Learning Vision @ NCS (National Skin Centre). So, the centre invites children to taste its meals during orientation.
“We share with parents the healthy menus that will be served in school, and encourage them to let their kid try different types of food at home, such as spaghetti, rice, and cut-up veggies and meat – everything except mashed food – before starting school.”
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