Preschool is usually a child’s first exposure to education outside of home. Children’s ability to adjust in this environment is highly dependent on how prepared they are for it. Some kids may start earlier than others and if you know which signs to look for, it’ll be much easier for you to decide if enrolling your child now or later is better.
Want to know when your child is ready for preschool? Check out these signs to help you decide.
#1 Your child can be left alone
Going to preschool will require your little one to be left in a classroom filled with other kids and a teacher. Do you think your child will be able to handle this new routine? Some kids may exhibit separation anxiety when dad or mum isn’t present. If they are independent enough to not see you for a couple of hours and be perfectly fine, then perhaps they’re ready.
#2 They can express themselves
Some kids enter preschool despite not being able to express themselves yet and this may be a challenge. Expressing doesn’t necessarily mean they should be able to state their needs or feelings in complete sentences. They just need to be able to speak up even without mum or dad. For example, they should tell an adult when they need to use the toilet or when they’re not feeling well. Being able to express will make it easier for them to interact with other kids and adults.
#3 They’re at the right age
Preschool in Singapore is often offered to kids aged three to six years old. Once your child hits six, they may have to move on to the next level. Entering your child in preschool when they’re younger than three may have some consequences: they may not be as independent and expressive, may fear being left alone, or may not be as comfortable.
#4 Your child knows the basics
Has your child been potty trained? Can they eat alone or wash their hands? Can they utter words with clear context? These are all important factors before exposing your child to external education. Not only will it protect them when they’re in school, it also takes away the burden of taking care of an unprepared child from other people, such as their teachers.
#5 They’re willing to participate in group activities
Preschool education is a mix of learning and play with other kids. Knowing how to participate in group activities or interacting with kids of the same age is an indicator that they may be ready for preschool.
#6 They have fully functional motor skills
Kids who have developmental delays in their motor skills may find it hard to cope with preschool. Play and interactive learning are central to preschool classroom education. If your child cannot hold a pen or still has a hard time moving about, you might want to reconsider preschool for a later time when they’re more capable to move on their own.