Parent's Point of View

Advice for New Preschool Moms from TGS Moms

|

One of the biggest decisions new parents may make is choosing a preschool for their child or children. Whether it’s a newborn or toddler, parents want to have the peace of mind that they’re not only doing the best thing for their child, but they also want to make sure the preschool in which they are enrolling is the best choice for the whole family. 

The Gardner School takes pride in being an academically-focused preschool, offering a safe and secure environment, with four-year degreed teachers. Even more, The Gardner School’s programs are designed to encourage an emerging sense of self in preschoolers, all the while nurturing intellectual growth, exploration, and socialization. And, while we hope our word is enough to make the decision an easy one, there’s nothing like words of wisdom from our current parents. We sought out the advice from some of The Gardner School’s current mothers, and here’s our list of tips for moms—and dads—new to preschool. 

Morning Drop-Off

“When you drop off your child, and they are crying nonstop, you might feel guilty and horrible. It's common and will pass! The TGS staff can handle it and will comfort your precious child.” 

“Don't try to sneak out of the room at drop-off. It can leave your child feeling abandoned. Instead, create a routine that you stick with at drop off each day.”

“There will be tears at drop-off in the beginning—theirs and yours! That's totally normal. The faster you can say goodbye and exit, the faster you and your little one will calm down and start having fun!”

Schedule & Routine

“Set expectations. Learn your child's classroom schedule, and give them the time that you will be there to pick them up. For example, ‘I will pick you up during outside play time.’ Then, they aren't left wondering when you'll be back to get them.”

“Take a look at your little one's calendar each week, so that you can remind them of the fun things they will be doing that day on the way to school. It gets them excited and reduces those drop-off tears!”

“Children will be put on a routine to help them know what to expect and to feel safe. They thrive in this kind of environment. Matching routines at home similar to those at school is a great way to keep that system going.”

Communication

“Communicate with your teachers. Give them a ‘heads up’ about when your child had a bad night’s sleep, didn’t eat breakfast, has a parent going out of town, etc. This helps teachers understand the child’s feelings or actions and can help them offer love while you are gone.”

“Be proactive! Check in with your little one's teachers every few weeks to see where they are struggling or if they are really loving something, so that you can encourage the same learning at home.”

“Ask questions. The PreciouStatus app is great for knowing your child’s daily activities, but make sure to have personal interaction with teachers to know your child’s assessments, learning styles or issues, or things that the school helps identify now to help your child be their best academically and socially.”

Tricks of the Trade

“Let your child take a favorite blanket and/or snuggle toy for nap time. Having familiar things from home helps a child experience comfort in a new environment.”

“Label everything!”

“Take a photo at the start of each school year and again on the last day, so that you can really see just how much your little one has grown!”

“Bring a cup of water or milk to pick-up, and give your little one time to have a drink, relax, and decompress on the way home. By dinner, he or she will be ready to talk your ear off about their day!”

“Keep a small container in your car with essentials, including extra toys in case you forget to restock the diaper bag or need an item on the go. We use face and hand wipes constantly!”

“Bring extra clothes. In preschool, the kids are exploring different materials, paints, dirt, and other great sensory materials.”

Beyond the Classroom

“Plan something fun and special on the first few weekends of starting preschool, so you get extra quality bonding time with your child. Make cookies, go to the zoo, or head to their favorite playground. This will give them a chance to tell you some of what they've been learning.”
 
“Take some of your little one's school artwork to hang in your office for a sweet reminder of how much fun he or she is having all day at preschool. The handprint art is my favorite!”

“If possible, try to attend class parties and school events. It's important to get to know all the kids in your child's class, plus it makes your child feel special.”

“If you appreciate your teachers, let them know. When you go out of your way to give the teachers kudos for the work they do, it really means the world to them. Love your teachers, because they truly love your children.”

To learn more about whether your child is ready for preschool, here are some additional tips. Click here to schedule a tour at The Gardner School closest to you or request more information.