Is it time for your little one to embark on the great adventure of learning? Starting preschool is an exciting time for the entire family. In a period of rapid growth and development, your child will benefit immensely from a structured learning environment and extended time with peers.
Preschool is an introduction to formal education and lays foundations for success in kindergarten. During this time, the preschool teacher is one of your closest allies – an active partner in your child’s development and learning.
Before the first day rolls around, here are a few questions you can ask to better understand your school, your teacher, and the experience your student will have:
- How is a typical day structured?
This question provides insight into the daily schedule and helps you understand how the teacher makes the most of each day. Three- and four-year-old students benefit from a mix of learning and play, with adequate “refueling” breaks like snack and naptime. Understanding how the day is structured will help you know what to expect in the coming year, and how you can best prepare your student.
- How will my student be learning core subjects?
Every preschool teacher has to provide a highly engaging balance of structured instruction and individual discovery time for students. Interactive learning centers are a great way to let students explore on their own and in groups through hands-on activities. Ask about how your teacher supplements teaching in core areas like language, math, science, and history with hands-on activities.
- What is your educational background?
Preschool educators come from diverse backgrounds. Typically, they are early childhood experts, who are also certified in specialized areas of child development. But perhaps they also majored in music, and can help your student learn basic notes throughout the year. Asking about the teacher’s experience provides extra insight into his or her teaching style, and helps you understand how they can best help your child.
- How is play integrated in the classroom?
Playtime is a vital component of early education. Ask your teacher how he or she keeps students active throughout the day. You may also want to ask about outdoor playtime as well, as studies show this stimulates the young mind as well as the body.
- How can parents be involved in the classroom?
Ask the teacher about the various ways in which parents may participate in the learning experience. Your teacher might encourage drop-ins or prefer pre-planned events for parent participation. You should also ask about tracking your student’s progress through parent-teacher conferences or email checkins.
- When does naptime take place?
Napping is important for young learners, but not every preschool provides a designed time for your little one to catch some zzz’s. Ask your teacher about his or her position on this subject. Understanding what kind of rest your child will get during the day can help you better plan sleep schedules at home.
- How will I be able to track my student’s academic progress?
While preschool grading systems can vary, it is important that parents know what to expect for tracking progress. Ask the teacher how achievement is conveyed, whether it be through report cards, an online portal, or through one-on-one communication with parents. Mark your calendar for these milestones, and be prepared to ask any questions you may have.
Learn More About Preschool at IRCS
Located in Pinellas County, the private preschool at Indian Rocks Christian School provides an exciting environment for young learners. If you are interested in learning more about how our preschool teachers get students ready for kindergarten, we encourage you to download our lookbook now.