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Is Your Child Ready For Preschool

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Is Your Child Ready For Preschool?

Many parents enroll their children in preschool programs without considering whether or not their child is really ready for preschool. Many parents are eager to give their child a head start in the race to educational success so children are starting preschool at younger ages. However, enrolling your child too early in preschool can cause long-term problems with your child's education rather than giving the head start you intended.

How can you judge whether or not your child is ready for preschool? Take a look at three key areas: physical development, social development, and emotional development.

You should also look at the program itself. For example, some programs are specifically geared to a young age group and are less about formal education and more about play and social experience. Some programs have very limited time periods (only a few hours a week) and are intended to introduce young children very gently to the educational experience. However, the standard preschool program is generally geared toward children ages 3 and 4 in preparation for kindergarten. Just because your child falls within the correct age group does not mean your child is ready for preschool. Forcing a child who is not ready physically, socially, or emotionally into a formal school setting could set the child up for failure, which could then result in a life-long problem with school.

Physically your child should be able to attend to most personal hygiene issues independently or under supervision. This means the child should be potty trained as well as able to clean up afterward (including unfastening and fastening clothing). Your child should also be able to feed herself with little or no supervision.

The child should also be able to focus on a task, such as coloring, as well as listen attentively, to a story or conversation, for longer than a few minutes.

Another important physical development issue is whether or not your child is able to maintain the school schedule. Will the snack and meal breaks meet your child's nutritional needs? Will he be able to stay awake until it is time to leave or take a nap?

Preschool is often a time and place when children learn a great deal about friendship and social interactions, but if a child isn't ready for this level of social activity it can be tough on the child, class, and family. Children should have some experience playing with their peers, learning to share and take turns, and working out their differences before attending preschool. Children should also have some experience taking direction from adults who are not their primary caregivers. For example, a child who has only been in the care of a select few relatives may have difficulty adjusting to the care of a strange new adult.

Emotional development is another key consideration when determining if a child is ready for preschool. Is your child ready for the separation from home and parent or previous day care provider? How does your child adjust to new places and people?

If you think your child is not ready in one or more of these important areas then you should put off starting preschool. It may be that in a few months time your child will have leaped past those hurdles and be ready to start. You can also work with your child on the areas you feel need work, such as personal care or social interaction. Many programs also allow you to ease your child into the program with only a few hours a week gradually stepping up to full participation.

Remember, young children grow and develop at a tremendous pace so simply giving your child some time to grow into a program is much better than forcing the issue. In later years your child won't feel the impact of those "missed" months on their education but a positive preschool experience will have a lasting effect on self esteem and learning.

Starting your child's preschool experience when they are ready, willing, and able is the best way to set your child on the road to educational success.
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BONUS : Is Your Family Really Benefiting When You Work At Home?

You’ve beaten the obstacles and found a way to work at home, whether by finding a job or starting a home business. But is your work getting in the way of time with your family? It may be time to make sure you are finding balance between working at home and your family.

Let’s take a look at some easy things you can do to ensure that you are spending time with your family.

1. Make time for play. Family activities are a great way to relax away from work. It can be as simple as taking a walk or going to the park, or it could be a full day excursion to a museum, amusement part or beach. You don’t have to leave the house, of course. You could play games, make cookies or do other fun activities around the house. The point is to simply have fun as a family and have time to talk to each other.

One way to start is to plan a family night. Tell everyone they have to be home on a particular evening each week and do things as a family. Even if you just rent a movie to watch together, it’s something you’re doing together.

If you’re married, make sure you plan a regular date night with your spouse. Frequency may depend on how old your children are and how often you can get babysitting, but it is important for your marriage to have time as a couple.

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to have fun with your family. Just make time for fun.

2. Be there for your children’s activities. If your children are involved in sports, acting, singing or other activities, make sure you are there for all the games, performances or other important events. It will help your children to know that they are very important to you.

3. Set rules and enforce them. If your children understand when they can interrupt your work you will be able to get more done in less time, giving you more time for your family.

Of course, you need to be consistent. If kids get away with breaking the rules some of the time, they will test the rules often. Consistency will save you time in the long run, even if you aren’t sure you want to spare the time at a particular moment.

4. Pay attention to what kind of attention each child needs. Every child is different. Some demand attention while others are so quiet it’s easy to forget that they need you too. Make sure you spend time with each child as an individual.

5. When the kids come home from school, take some time to talk about their day. They will appreciate your interest. You should also make sure they understand their homework and start it at whatever time they do best at finishing it. Some do best starting homework immediately on getting home, while others do better if they can play for a while first. Be aware of your child’s needs.

6. If your work is something the children can help with, let them be involved. If not, you can still at least talk to them about what you do. This sets a good example for your children by helping them to know what working is really about.

It’s easy to get buried in the needs of your work when you work at home. A little bit of planning can go a long way toward making working at home a wonderful experience for all. Your family is why you decided to work at home, so don’t let your time with them get put aside.

"La Méthode en 10 Jours pour en Finir avec les Crises"
de Daniel LAMBERT

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