Ready, set, school!

Published: Monday, July 29, 2013 at 12:12 PM.

Positive Words. “I like to use positive reinforcement to lead wondering students in the right direction. If I see a student off task, I praise a student that is engaged in the appropriate behavior. It is not long before all the students want to be engaging in the behavior that is being praised, “ shares Robin Vaughn, director of Santa Rosa Beach Community Church Preschool.

Teach Love and Kindness. Brenda Ousley, the Director at New Beginnings Preschool at Good News United Methodist Church, encourages parents to “work with their preschoolers on loving and respecting themselves, peers, and teachers” before school starts. As obvious as this advice sounds, it can be challenging to instill this lesson in young ones without the home consistently reinforcing the concept.

Foster Independence. “As educators, our goal is to help parents build a child’s confidence.  We encourage parents to promote independence by allowing children to perform any task that they are able,” explains Paine. “We coach parents to take the time necessary to allow a preschooler to learn to do things for themselves.  Children can dress themselves, set the table, fold laundry and even help make family decisions. The more children practice, the better they will be able to care for themselves with confidence.”

Maintain dialogue with teachers. “Keeping lines of communication open between the staff and families is a must do for all invested in the success of their child,” says Ousley.

Attendance matters. “My biggest piece of advice for preschool parents is to make sure their child attends school regularly. Every day is important because the child misses so much when absent,” says Kim Gillis, director of Early Head Start. “Children have to be ready to enter kindergarten and foster their life-long learning. The educational early years are extremely important.”

Kids see things differently. “Parents and teachers need to remember that children look at the world different from adults,” says Lisa Brooks, director of St. Rita Church Preschool. “While they are always learning, they may need to be picked up and helped along the way. That’s what preschool is all about.”

Never overdue a good thing. “Ages 2 to 4 years old have short attention spans. Keeping them moving, engaged, and active requires a well-prepared learning environment”, says the director of First Christian Preschool Karen Linder. “The classroom should allow for many types of learning experiences in short spans of time.”

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