Part of having a positive first school experience is being ready for school. This may mean having practice separating from caregivers, or having important self-help skills, like feeding or dressing. Below are guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control to help inform parents of what is expected behavior based on your child's age.
Does your child have any English? Knowing a second language is a gift. To help your child transition to school we suggest incorporating some key English words and phrases into your daily conversation BEFORE they start school. State the desired task in your native language and then repeat the word in English.
For example, say: "Es la hora de cenar" and then repeat the same phrase in English "Its dinner time". Get books that teach English. We recommend "Richard Scary's Best Word Book Ever". Read them together every night.
Here are some important phrases to have:
- I'm hungry
- I'm tired
- I'm thirsty
- I need help
- I need to use the bathroom
- I have a dirty diaper
- I miss my mom/dad
- It's clean up time
- It's snack time
- It's time to go home.
- It's time to listen
Over 60% of Lilliput Students Speak a Second Language.
• Give your child an opportunity to visit the school and meet the teachers prior to attending.
• When your child visits, if they cling and do not explore the room, you will need to visit several times.
• Use the playground when school is not in session to give your child something to look forward to.
• Give your child the opportunity to be with other care givers, like a grandparent or babysitter from time to time.
• Watch on You Tube: “Daniel Tiger Goes to School” and read books about school so your child will know what to expect.
• If your child is breast feeding, they must learn to accept milk from a bottle or cup prior to school. Most children transition from a bottle to a cup by 1 year.
• Your child should be able to eat finger foods by themselves (6-8 months) and soon use a fork and spoon.Practice this at home.
• Before coming to school, your child should respond to their name, and look towards you when their name is called.
• Your child should give eye contact when spoken to or when speaking.
• If doing the full day program, children should be able to fall asleep without a bottle or a breast. ( DEEC does not allow us to give a bottle at nap time)
• The child should be able to follow one step directions.
• The child should be able to make his/her needs known either through gestures, sign language or words.
• All children should be able to self soothe. Toddlers Included
Is Your Toddler Ready?
Is Your Preschooler Ready?
Children in our preschool program, ( 2 years 9 months and up ) should be able to do the following things before coming to school:
• Children should be off the sippy cup, bottle and the breast at nap time
• Not all children age three are ready to potty train, that is not a problem. When you are ready let us know, and we will work with you. By 4 most children are potty trained.
• Children who are potty trained should be able to wipe themselves.
• Children should be able to express themselves in a way an unfamiliar adult can understand
• Children should be able to recognize their own belonging
• Children should respond when their name is called or when spoken to. Teach your child to look at the person they are talking to or to look at the speaker
• Children should be able to separate from caregiver without anxiety (this is a work in progress and we will help you)
• Encourage independence. Instead of helping them, talk them through everyday tasks, like getting dressed, brushing their teeth, picking up their toys.
• Children age three and up should be able to wash their hands.
• Children should be able to attend to an activity for 5-10 minutes without help.
• Children should be taking one afternoon nap.
• All children should be able to self soothe.
• Children should be able to follow one step directions
•Eat by themselves using a spoon or fork
- Visit the school before open house so your child can see what children do at school.
- Read books to your child about the first day of school.
- Make it a priority to come to the open house.
- Cut out the teacher’s pictures from our web site and put them where you and your child can become familiar with them.
- Our half day summer enrichment program is a great place to start. Call for openings.
Making The Transition Easy:
If this is your child’s first time at Lilliput or away from home without you, you may be able to use the following ideas to help make the separation a little easier.
• Prepare your child for separation by talking about school. Start now and talk about the fun things like painting, using play dough, building with blocks, etc. Talk about making new friends and answer any questions your child may have.
• Children should not be asked to cope with sudden and long separations before they have learned that parents who go away do, indeed, return.
• Prior to attending, take your child to a story hour, join a play group, or do an activity where you may leave your child with another adult.
• Use babysitters.
• If your child clings or becomes upset, hold and comfort them until they are calm and show interest in the activity. Firmly say, “Good-by! Have a good time. I’ll see you in a little while” and leave quickly.
• Leaving should be done deliberately and with your child’s knowledge. Do not to sneak out as this can cause anxiety and more stress with separation.
• During May, June or July, spend time at Lilliput with your child if you have not yet done so. Talk about the fun things they did, and about the fact that you were the only parent there. Use our playground during afterschool hours so your child will have something to look forward to.
• Remind them that parents stay home or go to work when children go to school.
• Your child will stop crying sooner than you think. Feel free to call after you have left to check in and see how your child is doing. We are happy to look in on them, speak with the teacher and let you know how they are doing.
Separating From Caregivers:
Is Your Child Ready For School?
Does Your Child Have Special Needs?
If your child has special needs, Lilliput will enroll your child if we can provide your child with services they require for optimal development. We want your child to be successful in the least restrictive environment while being safe and furthering their development in all domains.
We do not employ a speech therapist, occupational therapist, physical therapist or behavioral therapist. With that in mind, your child may be better served in a program that has these professionals available daily for your child. Your insurance may suggest sending one of theses professionals here. Please reach out to our director to work out coordination of care.