It was a big transition moving from a day care oriented class to a pre-school classroom, for me.
My son, on the other hand, adjusted just fine, taking his traditional three days to adapt and move on. Moving to pre-school meant leaving behind the small class where the teachers had the time to welcome you each day and brag to you about how wonderful your child was that day. I have to admit I liked that, I liked that A LOT. At pre-school, kids are here, there and everywhere. At some point they all come together and have a structured day, but it’s busier and less warm and cozy, which again was a hard transition, for me.
In an effort to help you with the transition, here are some tips that I have learned at Pre-School:
1) You are going to have to learn the rules. Oh yes there are rules at pre-school that you just might not have at home. Good rules like no running, screaming, or throwing toys. We had to learn a lot of rules and grow up a bit. No running in the house, yep now Tommy tells us we need to use our walking feet- he seems to like rules.
2) You have to play nice and ask questions. You can’t grab, or push to get your way. You have to ask your friend if you can give them a hug. Now at home he might say, “mama can I give you a hug.” UM YES. I’ve learned that not everyone likes to be hugged spontaneously.
3) You have to speak up to get attention. With 23 other kids and 23+ other parents wanting your attention the teacher’s time is limited. If something is really important you have to speak up and figure out a way to make them listen. Maybe that means waking up early and going in a few minutes earlier, before the drop off rush, or asking for a time to talk or phone them or using some kind of journal.
4) You have to Let go and let things be. One of the hardest lessons to learn in life. Yes, your son might stay in his swimsuit all day (ugh) or he might come home with a pull-up on (double ugh) but in the big scheme of things is it worth the argument? You have to decide this for yourself, I am still learning.
5) You have to label everything. Everything! In a classroom of 8 you assume — and you’re probably right — that everyone knows the blue knit blanket with swirls is your sons, well in a classroom of 24 if it’s not labeled you can bet it will get lost. Once again Label Everything! Here’s a link to my giveaway for Loveable Labels.
6) You should send more food. Even if your child eats a sandwich and an apple everyday at home she/he might eat more at pre-school. All the running around and watching of other kids eat might make them extra hungry. Throw in a cheese stick and granola bar and you won’t be told your kid is hungry and you’re not bringing in enough food.
7) You might meet Bullies. I hate to even think about this but yes even at 3-5 years old there are bullies. I learned this the hard way- my husband saw my son get pushed by a bully kid. It’s already time to start helping your kids deal with this not so fun part of life.
8) You’re not suppose to yell at the Bully kids. After he saw our son get pushed my husband yelled at the bully kid and made him cry. We learned that is not allowed and you are suppose to tell the teacher because that’s what the kids are told to do (can’t help but being proud of my husband though).
9) You will be amazed at how much they learn!
10) You will be amazed at how much they grow!
Pre-School is an amazing place. Your little one becomes a kid who is learning and growing up right before your eyes. I was shocked when I realized my son could count to 10 in Japanese and that he knew all his nursery rhymes. He also knows how to play well with other kids, share and clean-up (when we sing the clean-up song).
I hope these tips help in your transition to the pre-school room from home or day care. It might take you a little bit longer, but I am sure your kids will do just fine.