Choosing an ideal preschool for your child may take time as you decide on the key considerations. If you have enrolled your child in a preschool in Singapore, the next thing to do is to prepare for his/her first school adventure ahead!
Starting preschool can be daunting for many children as things are different from what they are used to at home. By exposing them to some basic life and learning skills, children can ease into the transition and adapt to changes better.
One of the best ways to prepare is by equipping children with some important life skills. What are some skills that should be taught to children before they go to school?
Important life skills to expose your child to before starting preschool
Able to say his/her own name
“What is your name?” will probably be a common question a preschooler needs to answer. Teachers will ask this, especially to a new student. It is also a way for children to learn how to introduce themselves to new faces like their classmates.
Knowing one’s name is a form of self-identity too, and this gives your child more confidence about who he is and sets the foundational knowledge about social interactions.
Encourage independence in daily routine
Self-care aids in nurturing independence and confidence in a child. At home, parents can encourage young children to learn to wear their own clothes, put on shoes and put their water bottles into their bag when preparing to head out. These may sound like simple tasks, but they help provide familiarity for starting school.
How to share with others
Just like there are various types of play that early learners undergo, toddlers learn how to share too. Sharing may not come naturally to 2- to 3-year-olds as they are still trying to grasp the concept of ownership and social interaction.
Parents can create opportunities for them to share their food within the family by demonstrating how. With other children, parents can instill the idea of taking turns in a social setting like at the playground or library. When children start playgroup onwards at the childcare centre, they will be able to relate to these life skills and apply them in their school environment too.
How to count
Although learning to count is part of the preschool curriculum in Singapore, introducing the counting concept gets your child familiar with numbers. Try simple counting with your child’s toys, books or even pasting stickers onto a book. Make it fun!
How to hold a pencil
Fine motor skills and the pincer grasp are fundamental developments that contribute towards a child’s finger strength. This helps with dexterity and writing too.
At home, parents can encourage children to hold different writing materials e.g. pencils, crayons, markers and colour pencils that are made for their shorter fingers. Doodling, colouring and scribbling are some ways to work those muscles. By kindergarten, they would be able to write legible letters, numbers and their own names with confidence.
Able to practice basic personal hygiene
Practicing personal hygiene is an important life skill to expose children to before starting preschool.
Part of self-care, independent tasks like wiping their own mouth with a tissue after eating, washing hands and flushing the toilet after use are some ways to teach children about looking after themselves and being considerate to others. These personal care habits can be nurtured at home, allowing your little one to embrace the right attitudes from home and out of the house too.
Able to sit down during mealtimes
In a playgroup setting and beyond, children have their meals together at the table while teachers assist or guide them.
If your child usually runs off at mealtimes, it’s time to start guiding him to sit and eat. That said, some children who have yet to start school may not be ready to sit and eat patiently. However, seeing their classmates listen and follow the routine in school may actually be a positive example for them to learn and do the same.
Learn to keep toys after playing
Do you usually clean up after your child when he/she is done playing? It may be quicker in getting the task done. However, doing so means he/she relies on someone else to pick up after him/her constantly. This takes away the opportunity for your child to take ownership and be responsible for their activity and/or things.
Start encouraging your child to keep and watch him/her show you how! Positive motivation and acknowledgement of simple achievements as such, can help inculcate a positive attitude and important life values. When they start preschool, they’ll know exactly what to do when teachers say, “It’s time to clean up!”
Transitioning from home to preschool with ease
Picking up important life skills transcends from home to school, which eventually stays with them as they grow. Transiting to a preschool can be a tear-free affair for the family.
Looking for a preschool in Singapore with a curriculum that focuses on holistic development? Find out about Little Footprints Preschool’s programme and how we prepare children with skills that are crucial for formal schooling.
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