We all want our children to have the best possible education, starting with preschool. Yet carefully selecting their first school is only one of the ways that parents can support their kids academically. Teru Clavel, a fellow parent and the author of the book World Class: One Mother’s Journey Halfway Around the Globe in Search of the Best Education for Her Children, offers 9 wise tips for preparing your child for preschool.
#1: Enroll your kids in an academic preschool if you do not plan to supplement academics at home. (For tips on supplementing at home, see Chapter 5 in WORLD CLASS.)
#2: Look for ways to support your child’s learning (academic, social, emotional) at home and at school.
#3: Read. Read. Read. All the time to your child. From an actual paper book. And discuss, even when you think she can’t yet. Make eye contact, and use expression.
#4: Make free time for creative and unstructured play.
#5: Look for free preschool spots in your district well in advance of your child’s start date.
#6: Seek out enrichment activities through local libraries, museums, community centers, concert halls, religious organizations, and so on, many of them free and open to the public.
#7: Form or join a parent support network for all the latest and greatest gossip, finds, and tips. You may find a group for your school on Facebook, but plan in-person meet-ups rather than relying on online posts. You’ll learn insider scoops that people would never post in public. Introduce yourself to familiar-looking parents and expand your network to share issues and build resources.
#8: Learn about the elementary kindergarten curriculum in your district. What skills and activities can you practice with your child at home to help her smoothly transition into kindergarten? For example, how familiar should she be with the alphabet? How high is she expected to count?
#9: Stay on top of the curricular pipeline and learning expectations from kindergarten (and through high school!). Ask teachers on day one for the curriculum for the year, and ask how it’s followed or modified. Ask how children are assessed, which textbooks and resources will be used, and how you can support the learning at home.
Learn how to ensure your child is thriving in elementary school, being challenged in middle school, and much more in WORLD CLASS by Teru Clavel.
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Excerpted from World Class by Teru Clavel. Copyright © 2019 by the author. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.