A child has to be socially, emotionally, physically, and cognitively ready to participate in structured, daily, routine education with other groups of children. Though the age is 2 and a half, it is not a magical number for your children to be at preschool. Talk to your partner, caregiver, child’s doctor etc and mutually decide it.
Is your child independent?
He needs to have certain skills which he needs before going to school. He needs to be potty trained, he needs to wash his hand, and eat his lunch without any assistance.
Has he spent time away from you?
If your child is being cared for by babysitter or relative, then he has a habit of being away from you. In that case, he will adjust at pre-school. But if he has no opportunities like this, then, it will be difficult to adjust him. Initially, you can drop him to preschool for an hour or two and finally, you can increase the short doses. For example half a day and then a full day.
Can he work on projects on his own?
Preschool involves various arts and crafts projects to be done which requires concentration and ability. If he can do it with ease on his own, then it’s the best time for you to send your child to preschool. If he draws at home and gets engrossed in solving puzzles on his own, it is the right time really.
If he needs help at everything, then it’s not the time. Without too much hand-holding from you, he should be engrossed in solo play for more than half-an-hour. You can be engrossed in cleaning dishes and your child preoccupies himself with creatures’ clay, that’s how it goes.
Is he participating in group activities?
Many preschool activities require all children to play together which is difficult for a child of age 3 as they are active explorers on their own and do not want to gel up. For eg. Teacher says its circle time, a game where all the children learn together, listen to stories and sing songs. If your child is not used to it, then you can take him to the local library. When he does all the chores by himself, according to his age, he is entitled to be in preschool.
Does he keep a regular schedule?
Preschools have this predictable routine: circle time, play time, snack, playground, and then lunch. There is a set schedule which one adheres to when in pre-school. So, make your child habitual to a regular schedule like his meals time, play time and then bedtime (bath and books). So, this way his day be standardized and a regular timetable can be followed.
Does he have much physical stamina?
Does he need nap-times or morning snooze while doing all the chores that a preschool requires? For example, there are art projects to do, field trips to take and playgrounds to have games with. So, decide is he ready to be this busy or does he need more time? Make him/her sleep well on time. And start by sending him for a half day programme and then, increase the length of his day in short doses.
Why do you want him to send to preschool?
What your goals are to send your child to preschool. Do you need time for yourself or you need daycare for your child? Estimate the need and put him in preschool accordingly. Are you worried if you don’t send your child to pre-school he won’t be ready for kindergarten? What is that you want? You can spend an amazing time with your loved one and see him prospering in kindergarten. It is found out that if they’re cared for by someone who is genuinely concerned about their well-being and development then there is no need for preschool but they need age-appropriate activities to grow. If he seems ready to broaden social horizons and interact with other children, then it’s the perfect time to start school in all terms. Actually, if it seems that he wants to explore and learn all new things and there is not enough stimulation at home or daycare you can put him in preschool. This is the right time and you can choose by seeing your loved one’s activities at home. Is he independent? Is he catching up? Is he improving? Is he growing? Is he making progress? All this lead you to take a decision regarding his admission to preschool.
Does he understand what a teacher says? Would he be able to judge what the teacher says? Would he be able to do homework on time? Would he able to gel with the other children? Does he have required physical stamina to stay at school without nap-times? After assessing all these needs, you can go for a right decision to sending your child to preschool.