Updated: Oct 17, 2018
While your little ones are becoming much more mobile, inquisitive and social; it might be time to start thinking about Preschool. The decision varies and it is very personal. However, most moms I speak with agree they feel their little ones are ready and they themselves are ready to take on the new tasks of finding the right fit for such a precious time of our lives. If you are on that phase, here are a few things you should start thinking about, here are our top 5!
#1 Transition. If we talk to a child therapist about transition and separation anxiety we will get all the academic and professional info, as a mom who has been there and done that - I can tell you that we do play a big role in the anxiety our kids might feel. Much of the anxiety around separation can be eliminated if you, the mom, are calm and confident in your decisions. Every preschool differs in regards to their separation/transition policy so I would highly encourage you to ask what their philosophy is in regards to the topic.
#2 Socialization. I speak to moms of little ones every single day and one of their main motivations to start their babies into preschool is the “baby is getting bored with me” feeling and need other babies to play with. Moving from parallel play to more interaction is a normal part of their development. I like to encourage moms and dads as well, to participate with their little ones in a Parent & Me class which will ease the process prior to Preschool. This is also a great way for you to test-drive a Preschool’s earliest programming. I can tell you a number of great preschools in Brickell which have mommy & me free programs and work great to get your babies adjusted into preschool.
#3 Family Values. I definitely encourage you to have that conversation with your significant other if you have not had it yet. Share your views and approaches to motivation, rewards, discipline and conflict resolution. Whichever Preschool you choose should have a similar value system to yours. If the home and school environments are closely paralleled, your little ones won’t receive confusing mixed messages.
#4 Philosophies. Montessori, Play-Based, and Reggio-Emilia are just a few of the buzz-words out there in the world of Preschools. We encourage you to do research and or attend one of our Preschool Forum or Workshops about the various approaches to learning. Knowing the similarities and differences before touring any schools will help you immensely in making a decision as to which preschool will be the best fit for your family.
#5 Location. Let’s face it; Miami traffic is not that happy anymore and sitting in it does not increase our quality of life. That being said, dropping off and picking up from Preschool will add a whole new dimension to your lifestyle. Begin to consider whether a Preschool close to home or work is more convenient given the ebb & flow of traffic at different times of the day.
Once you consider the above 5 items, you will be well prepared to begin the search for the right Preschool and the application process. Your next steps may be to pick up a copy of the Miami Schools Guide and attend our upcoming Forum March 14, from 6 to 8 pm at Brickell City Center. RSVP now!