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Questions to Ask When Exploring Pre-Kindergarten Programs

Part 3 of a 4 Part Series

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We know that starting school can be a daunting experience for young students, but we also recognize that the same is true for parents when they start looking at schools for their child(ren). Deciding to take the leap and join an early education program like Pre-Kindergarten can be overwhelming – this is the first step in your child’s educational journey and there are plenty of questions that arise as you start the search!

With 20+ years of experience helping families explore their school options, we wanted to share a few questions that many of our parents asked when they were exploring their options, and the answers that helped them decide. 

How Do I Prepare My Child For Pre-K?

While Pre-Kindergarten is the beginning of formal education for the students that enter it, there are criteria that many programs look for students to have before or by the time they join the program. While we no longer require student assessments for Pre-K at The Oaks Academy, we do suggest that parents take steps to make sure that their child is ready for Pre-K when they start in the fall. Some key things to look for include self-care, social-emotional, and academic knowledge, as well as language and fine motor skills and behavioral readiness.

In addition to these readiness guidelines, we also suggest gently introducing practical learning to children in a home setting as your child approaches the new year. This can be as simple as having them practice writing and counting without even knowing it – like allowing them time to draw and sketch and then having them write their name on these pieces when finished.

What If My Child Isn’t Ready for Pre-K?

The year between exploring programs and attending them is a long one. It is possible that as students start the school year, teachers and parents recognize that they do not meet the levels of readiness for the program. In the event that your child isn’t ready to start Pre-Kindergarten – it is okay! Studies have shown that children who take another year to gain that developmental maturity needed for Pre-K perform at a higher rate academically than ever could have been attained if things were rushed. We encourage you to have a conversation with your student’s teacher and determine the best course of action for your child individually.

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Have Questions?

Change is always challenging, especially when it may effect your children. Please share any questions or comments you have using the form below, or by emailing me directly at ahart@theoaksacademy.org.

I’ll respond to your inquiry directly and as quickly as I can.