Your child’s transition to preschool is a major change. They’ve either spent most of their life among family or in a daycare center that has become a secondary home, so making the leap to a new environment can be intimidating. If your child is transitioning to Montessori preschool in Agoura Hills, you can help ease their transition in the days leading up to it with a multi-step approach.
Take your child to their preschool ahead of time
The first day of preschool is a mystery to your child and could cause anticipatory anxiety, especially if they’ve never been away from home for extended time. Your child doesn’t know what to expect and might imagine scenarios that deepen their anxiety.
An easy way to help your child feel better about the approaching change is to bring them to the school before the first day. A preliminary visit can be an exciting adventure without the expectation of staying for long, and is also helpful when transitioning to Montessori kindergarten or another school. Your child can gradually acclimate to the new environment and, if possible, meet teachers and future classmates.
Set daily routines to build expectations
Incorporate routines a week or two before school starts to help your child adjust. Anxiety often stems from the uncertainty and newness of change, which is eliminated with routines. For a basic routine, have your child set out a wardrobe for the next day, and go to bed and wake at specific times. You might take them on a practice run by having them act as though they are really going to school. This puts them in the mindset without the anxiety of following through the first time.
Reschedule your child’s naps
If your child takes multiple naps during the late morning or early afternoon, they might need to phase a few out before preschool. Your child should be able to stay awake until approximately 12:30 p.m., and they should be able to stay awake for the rest of the school day after naptime. In the week before the first day, push out nap time by a small interval until they’re napping at what normally would be nap time at school.
Build preschool skills ahead of time
Download a preschool readiness checklist and help your child run through it. The checklist should include actions like expressing their emotions, speaking clearly enough to be understood, and using the restroom mostly unassisted, unless they are toilet training, with which we will assist at school. All of these skills will be developed during class, but it’s helpful to have a basic foundation to navigate the first weeks of preschool.
Montessori School of Agoura — Your local Montessori preschool
Montessori School of Agoura was founded in 1979 to inspire lifelong learning in children ages 2 through 6 years old. Our child-led curriculum develops independence and confidence in children from their first class. Contact us to learn more about our Montessori preschool and kindergarten programs in Agoura Hills.