Preschool prep

With my daughter Olivia turning 3 recently I’ve been thinking a lot about school, and I have to admit, I think I need to do some more homework.

Her going to school has always been in the back (way back) of my mind, but now that this major life event is around the corner, I wonder if I’ve prepared her enough. Granted, I’m not one of those parents that’s on a seven-year waiting list to get her into the “top” preschools, and I haven’t hired a slew of tutors to cram lessons into her little head, but I am a concerned parent.

Olivia is quite smart for her age, and of course, I’m not just saying that because she’s my kid. I’ve been told this since she started talking (about a year and a half now). But is it enough to join other preschoolers?

She’s got the basics covered: alphabet, numbers, shapes, and colors. I’ve even taken a liking to some of the educational videos on Netflix. The Leap Frog series, for example, has great shows on phonics. They’re catchy, and we watch them together as she pronounces her letters and their sounds. It definitely makes learning the alphabet fun and much easier, no matter how silly the mnemonic device (Read: tired turkey, itchy iguana).

Just like everything else I’m curious about, I took to Google to figure out “how to prepare your child for preschool,” and I was surprised to learn that they actually do a lot, you know, for preschoolers. Some of the things children should have mastered, in addition to what I mentioned, are cutting, drawing, recognizing their name and, of course, socializing, or what I translate to mean “learning not to hit others.”

Olivia helps me cut my coupons, so I can cross that off my list. She can “read” her name and loves to draw already. As far as socializing, she’s as social as toddlers can get. Being nice all the time is another thing we’ll have to work on. On most days, she is sweet and polite but, like most toddlers (at least I’m kind of hoping), she has her not-so-nice moments. Just ask her little sister.

I’ve ordered some books for her, both in English and Spanish, so she could practice with both me and her nanny, and I’m looking forward to playing teacher with her. I’ve even ordered some fun workbooks for us to play with, which I’m sure she’ll love.

She has a beautiful, curious mind, and I hope that she never loses that. What I’ll also have to look into soon — more for myself rather than Olivia — is “how to cope with your first child going to school.”