It's hard for me to believe that I am actually writing about my baby and preschool in the same sentence let alone that in less than 4 weeks he will be starting for the first time.
This is my first experience as a parent of sending a child to preschool, I must admit that I am not sure whether I am happy or sad about it or even a mix of the two. He's not yet 3 - yes he will be a week today but this will make him one of the youngest in his class when he starts by a long way compared to some of them especially the ones that are 4 at the start of September.
Being so young makes me nervous, as a teacher I know all about summer born babies and boys in particular and this is why I'm trying my best to prepare him for starting preschool.
Over the next few weeks I'm going to be posting some of the ways that we are working on preparing him for preschool and I guess to some extent the ways that I'm preparing myself and T for him being gone during the day.
Here's what we are doing to start off with:
- Reading about nursery, preschool and starting school as well as talking about the emotions of the children, the activities that he will be doing whilst there and about some of the new words that he will meet whilst there. I will be sharing our favourite book at the moment in more details with you on Monday and some of the activities that we have been doing based up on it as well as a special offer for UK and US readers of Rainy Day Mum. From Child's Play International Ltd in the New Experiences Series there are lots on new experiences and one of them is starting nursery as well as starting school, new baby etc...
- We will be walking to preschool every day so a couple of times we have gone for a walk and gone the way to preschool so he gets used to the route and what we will see on the way. We have also looked at the preschool from the outside when it's been in session and seen the fun that the children are having
- Talking about his teachers - he will have a key worker who I have been telling J about. The preschool has a website with pictures of the staff on and we've been looking at her picture and naming her as well as explaining what a teacher does.
- We've arranged a settling session - well the preschool have arranged it for us. The week before he starts I will go in with him for a morning so that I can be with him for his first session and go with him to the different activities and see what it's like. The preschool has also arranged a home visit for us so that they can find out about him from us in our own environment - from speaking to friends I understand that this isn't normal but it's wonderful for J. It won't be his teacher coming but two of the support workers in the classroom. One will get to spend time playing with him and seeing what he likes and the other talking to me about him and what he can currently do and needs support with.
- Involving him in decisions related to preschool - we're lucky our supply list for preschool consists of wellies and water proof gear so when we have been shopping I have been saying to him "Would you like these for preschool". As he is rapidly growing out of most of his current size clothes when we've been buying new t-shirts, trousers and sweaters we've been talking about how he can wear them for preschool.
I think it's all helping - he's been telling us for a few weeks now "I'm off to preschool in September, it's going to be so much fun".
So would you have any other advice to add to a first time Mum sending her child to preschool for the first time?