Q. How do I know when my child is ready for preschool? Is there a certain age when we should sign my daughter up or is it more about her social and intelligence levels?
A. An entire book could be written on this topic, but let me break it down simply. Consider your community. If you live in a city were one must go to private elementary school then preschool is needed. Where your child goes will depend on the philosophy you like and the hours you are interested in. If you live in a town where your child will attend the neighborhood public school then you have more freedom. You can consider how much exposure they will have to other children through parks or short classes. If you have the knowledge and patience to teach your child counting, sound recognition, science experiments and take them to the playground—then keeping your child home is a fantastic choice.
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Once you hand your child over to a school, someone else is influencing them so carefully choose that person. The right preschool will present itself and feel right to you. You should begin to observe when your child is a baby and think of starting him anytime from two to three-years-old. Look for short days where the teachers are well educated and enthusiastic. Look for a program you would love to take part in. If your child is ready they will be happy to explore for a few hours a day which will launch them well on their way to being independent.
— Lonna Corder
Parenting expert and Montessori school director, Lonna Corder has been doling out advice for 25 years as a teacher, parent/child consultant and on television. For more information, visit lonnacorder.com.
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