How Can I Get My Child Ready for Preschool?
As soon as your young child can spend some time away from you without
crumbling, she may be ready for the social whirl of preschool. Some are ready at 2
or 3, most by 4. What kids need most in preparation for preschool is self-
confidence, according to Mary Susan Miller, Ph.D., author of The School Book. A
longtime parent educator, Miller suggests you do the following before sending your
little one off to preschool:
Get her used to staying with a baby-sitter or a grandparent for a few hours at
a time so she'll realize that when you go away, you always return.
Take her to visit the preschool you're considering, in order to familiarize her
with the surroundings and the teacher.
Let her know she can take any transitional object she prefers to school with
her, whether a blanket or a special toy.
Arrange a play-date with another child who is going to start preschool at the
same time as yours. Her familiar face may come in handy on the first day of
Get her to school on time so she'll feel part of the group, and always pick her
up on time so she won't be left alone with the teacher at the end of the day.
What's My Child's Style?
Jason likes to dash around the living room before he starts his math homework. He
also works out some of his work problems by zipping from one end of the room to
the other to explore the parameters of the question. Jason is a bodily-kinesthetic
It would be a mistake to force someone who operates the way Jason does to
confine himself to a workbook. Every child uses a combination of learning styles. By
recognizing how your child learns, you can help him or her achieve educational
Researcher Howard Gardner at Harvard University described his theory of multiple
intelligences in Frames of Mind. According to Gardner, we need to understand at
least seven basic intelligences if we are to make sense of how the mind processes
The seven learning styles, or kinds of intelligence, are:
The child who is good with language learns best by saying, hearing and seeing
words. Provide plenty of books and engage your child in lots of discussion. Most
schools reward linguistic intelligence more than any other.
Logical, math-minded kids seek abstract patterns and enjoy logic puzzles, science
materials and anything with which they can experiment.
Those with spatial intelligence have a good sense of direction and learn best
through images and pictures. Films, construction kits and art activities are helpful in
When this learning style predominates, the child likes to use her body and work with
her hands. The favored learning opportunities include creative movement, hands-on
activities, sports and drama.
Some children can learn anything if it's sung. If your child shows musical aptitude,
take advantage of it by a variety of musical experiences.
Other kids learn best by teaching and leading others. Be sure they have access
to school clubs and organizations where they can use these special skills.
Those with insight into themselves often learn best when they are allowed to
develop their own learning materials and teach themselves.
Self-esteem is crucial to learning, and successful learning breeds more self-esteem.
Therefore, if you want to grow a happy learner, seek school programs and teachers
that value your child's personal style.
Chase Ranch Montessori School
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