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What Preschool Teachers Want Your Kids to Know

Here’s how to get him ready for the first day of school


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Tell Them You’re Coming Back

Teachers will certainly talk your kids through this when they get to school, but it’s important for them to hear it from you first, says Kim O’Reilly, director of Trinity Preschool in Mamora. Help mitigate a meltdown by having the conversation in advance.

Practice Focus

It’s very normal for kids at this age to behave like “butterflies” and flit from one activity to another, but anything you can do to practice focus is good, says Kelly Goula, lower school director for Morrestown Friends School in Morrestown. Try having your child work on a project (arts and crafts, a puzzle, blocks) for a bit and setting a timer for a few minutes longer than you think he can stay on task.   Try to keep him engaged until the timer goes off.

Take Turns Talking

“People get really hung up on skills like sharing and being able to use the potty, but it’s important to get a child in the habit of having a back and forth conversation in an equal way,” says Alexandra Figueras-Daniel, research coordinator at the National Institute of Early Educational Research at Rutgers University in New Brunswick. Help them practice pausing after they say something and waiting for the other person to speak.

Learn Basic Tasks

Teaching kids how to put on shoes, blow their nose, and wash their hands somewhat on their own is beneficial. “The more independent they are, the easier it will be for the teacher,” says Goula.

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