Guest Post: Is you child ready for preschool?

Preschool.jpg

Today, I am pleased to have Carolyn
Stolper Friedman, a Chicago mom and the Executive Director of Smart
Love Preschool
as a guest author on Wee Windy City.

This is the time of year when many Chicago-area parents are making important decisions about how and where to kick off their child's education. As many of you know, the preschool application process here in Chicago can be an intense experience.

For those parents who are in the thick of the application process and wondering whether your little one is really ready for preschool, Carol has a few helpful insights to share.

How do you know when your child is ready for preschool?

Here
at Smart Love, we suggest the following guidelines for knowing whether
children are ready for preschool: they are comfortable separating from
parents for short periods of time (they are happy to go to a friend's
house to play, they like to go with a relative to the playground); they
usually enjoy being in the company of other children; they have chosen
to use the toilet; they can sit quietly and work on a project for
twenty minutes at a time; and they are generally willing to follow
directions. The goal is not to force your child into accepting
separation but to help him develop a positive attitude toward school.

The Smart Love philosophy, developed by nationally recognized experts
Martha Heineman Pieper, Ph.D and her husband William J. Pieper, M.D.,
emphasizes that it is important to respect your child's age-appropriate
behavior. If your child is demonstrating that they are not ready for
this adjustment, trust them.

We cannot emphasize too
much that how your child feels when he is in the classroom is much more
important than when he begins preschool. Because this will be your
child's first introduction to school, you want to do everything you can
to ensure that he will enjoy it. The true object of preschool is not to
teach your child specific facts (letters, numbers or colors), but to
teach him to like school and to feel happy and competent there.

If
your child doesn't seem ready to start preschool, we suggest that you
avoid forcing the issue. There are many enjoyable activities you can do
with your child to help stimulate their curiosity and joy for learning
before entering a classroom. Make the most of your time together and
visit museums, go together to music, pottery or gymnastic classes or
create your own classroom at home with art projects or other
activities.

By waiting until your child is ready for
preschool, he will view school positively and see that learning is fun.
His confidence and positive regard for school will carry through his
future years and all the academic learning to come. This will ensure
that he will grow up to be happy, secure and successful in life. This
is ultimately what all parents want for their child.

Carolyn
Stolper Friedman is a Chicago mom and the Executive Director of Smart
Love Preschool, a play-based preschool for children ages three, four
and five. For more information about Smart Love Preschool please visit www.smartlovepreschool.org.

On
January 20th and 27th from 9:30 until 10:30 a.m. and 7:00 until 8:00
p.m., the Smart Love Preschool (opening in spring 2010) will be holding
open houses for prospective families. Children are invited to attend
the morning open house and participate in activities to experience the
Smart Love approach.

To RSVP to the Open House or to learn more about the Smart Love
Preschool please call Carolyn Stolper Friedman at 773.665.8052 or email
her at carolyn.friedman@smartlovefamily.org.


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