Preschool is an exciting time in your child’s life. As parents and teachers, we want to make this experience a positive one that is as socially and educationally engaging as possible.

Here at TicTacTeach we’ve seen nearly everything that can happen in a preschool and want you to know these 7 things about your preschool child:

  1. Do Not Compare Your Child to Other Children

Please do not compare your child to other children with comments like, “Bob can do it, why can’t you?”

This is detrimental to your child’s confidence and does not help them develop resilience.

Just like you, your child has strengths and weaknesses. You don’t like it when you are compared to someone else so please don’t do the same to your child. Children learn at different paces. There are no set rules for achievements, only guidelines.

Children are incredibly observant and will pick up on signs if you are disappointed by their achievements.

Expect and embrace differences. It’s what makes the world interesting.

  1. School Readiness Starts from Day One

We are always working towards school readiness.

School readiness is a fluid journey and starts at day one of preschool, when your child learns to separate from you happily.

School Readiness is not a set checklist that a child must achieve before they are deemed ‘ready’.

It’s a process and we’re always working on it.

We know the end goal of a successful preschool year is a smooth transition to kindergarten. It is incorporated into every interaction we have with your child and every lesson plan we create.

Talk to your child’s teacher throughout the year so that a team approach can be taken for this journey. Your teacher will have formed an opinion as to whether your child is ready to start kindergarten. There is no shame in doing another year of preschool. Indeed, I believe this is often the best decision you can make on your child’s behalf.

  1. Playing is Learning for Your Child

If you think your child is playing a lot at preschool, you’re right! Everything we do at preschool has a developmental outcome in mind and playing is the way we achieve this. Your child is learning essential life skills through play: communication skills, how to share, resilience and gross motor skills, to name a few.

We have written a free eBook on my 50 favorite educational games to play with preschool children if you would like to development an understanding of how this works in practice.

I love to put this poem up in my classroom, as I think it captures everything we need to say about playing.

Just Playing

(Original Author Unknown)

When I’m building in the block room,

Please don’t say I’m “Just Playing.” For, you see, I’m learning as I play. About balance, I may be an architect someday.

When I’m getting all dressed up,

Setting the table, caring for the babies,

Don’t get the idea I’m “Just Playing.”

I may be a mother or a father someday.

When you see me up to my elbows in paint,

Or standing at an easel, or moulding and shaping clay,

Please don’t let me hear you say, “He is Just Playing.”

For, you see, I’m learning as I play.

I just might be a teacher someday.

When you see me engrossed in a puzzle or some “playing” at my school,

Please don’t feel the time is wasted in “play.”

For you see, I’m learning as I play.

I’m learning to solve problems and concentrate.

I may be in business someday.

When you see me cooking or tasting foods,

Please don’t think that because I enjoy it, it is “Just Play.”

I’m learning to follow directions and see the differences.

I may be a cook someday.

When you see me learning to skip, hop, run, and move my body,

Please don’t say I’m “Just Playing.”

For, you see, I’m learning as I play.

I’m learning how my body works. I may be a doctor, nurse, or athlete someday.

When you ask me what I’ve done at school today,

And I say, “I just played.” Please don’t misunderstand me.

For, you see, I’m learning as I play.

I’m learning to enjoy and be successful in my work

I’m preparing for tomorrow.

Today, I am a child and my work is play.

  1. Your Child Might Have a Different Side at Preschool

Your child might behave differently at preschool than they do at home. Quite often, children are very caring towards their friends at preschool but this is sometimes not a side that parents see at home. This can cause angst for you as a parent but just remember, it’s quite normal for adults to have a home and ‘public’ persona too.

This is a good thing, as your child is demonstrating awareness of what behavior is appropriate in social situations. This will set them in good stead for life.

  1. A Change in Behavior Isn’t a Bad Thing

A change in behaviour is often due to something different or new in your child’s life. It doesn’t mean that your child is now ’bad’. Have you moved house? Is there a new sibling on the way? Is Grandma sick?

As parents and educators, we need to help your child learn how to handle change, understanding that change can be positive and develop resilience.

  1. It’s OK if Your Child Doesn’t Eat All of Their Lunch

If your child’s lunchbox returns home half full, this is ok. While we always encourage our preschool children to try, they are not going to starve as a result of not eating all of their lunch. Perspective is important!

However, there are many things that you can do to make it more likely that your child will eat their lunch. The most important one is, if you know that your child doesn’t like a particular food, then please do not pack it for preschool. We want preschool to leave lifelong good memories. It’s also unhelpful to knowingly make the preschool teachers the ‘bad guys,’ forcing your child to eat food they really dislike.

  1. Rest Time at Preschool is Different to Rest Time at Home

Rest time is often provided in the first part of the preschool year.

Even if your child doesn’t need rest time at home, please allow them to have a short rest at preschool.

Preschool is constantly go-go-go with constant sensory and social experiences. Children need the time to revitalize – it’s important they rest, not necessarily to sleep.

 

The most important thing you can do is to establish a good relationship with your child’s teacher. We all want the best for your child and are dedicated to working together to make sure they have a great year.