Preparing for Preschool



My only child is about to embark on her first school experience and I’m both excited and anxious about the change this will bring to our lives. You see, over the last two and a half years we’ve slowly and carefully constructed and created a routine. I happen to thrive on routine and lists…I don’t know about you, but I get great satisfaction out of scratching something off a piece of paper. Every day is not the same, but there’s a familiar flow to things. The mornings are reserved for errands and play time, followed by lunch and a little down time, then stories and nap, followed by snack, and play time before dinner and bedtime routine. The daily predictability has been great for not only my daughter but for myself too. Again, it’s not for every one, but it works for us 🙂 Alas, life moves on and forward and we must learn to go with the changes. Well, looks like we’re about to begin a new routine and here’s what I’m doing to help us both transition.

1. Setting the alarm

I use to sleep until my daughter woke me up with a cheerful “mommy” between 7 and 8. Not anymore though. Now, I set my alarm for 7 A.M. sharp so I have time to get myself ready before waking up my baby girl at 7:30.


2. Set clothes out the night before – for both of us

Not having to think about what to wear has shaved off some time in the morning. Plus, my daughter is a little more willing to get dressed when she’s still groggy from sleep.



3. Preparing a breakfast menu for the week

Since we will no longer have the time to luxuriate over what to eat the morning of – I plan her breakfast meals in advance so that I don’t waste precious time trying to figure that out when I’m only running on half a cup of coffee and a hard departure time. If I’m feeling like a real uber achiever then I may even plan her lunches alongside her breakfasts since my little one comes home for lunch 🙂



4. Daily school drive-bys the week before school starts

It takes my daughter a little time to get use to something, someone, or somewhere new, so I thought by driving to school every morning and letting her become familiar with the route and seeing the school well in advance may help her feel more comfortable.


5. Delaying lunch and naptime

It’s only by thirty minutes, but now it reflects the school schedule and release time.


6Role Playing

I take everyday play moments and transfer them into a classroom setting. For example, my daughter and I will be coloring and I’ll say “let’s pretend we’re in school and you want to use my crayon, what would you do?” This shows me she either a) knows what to do and how to ask or b) that I need to model it for her and let her practice. We also talk about what to say if someone is doing something she doesn’t like and again I give her opportunities to practice.


7. Reading books about preschool

Some of her favorites (and quite frankly mine) are “The Night before Preschool” by Natasha Wing, “D.W.’s guide to preschool” by Marc Brown, and “Preschool day hooray” by Linda Leopold Strauss. We’ve been reading them daily which leads us to…



8. Talking about preschool

I talk to her about it when we go on our daily drive by, we discuss it during and after I read her the stories, and just whenever there’s an applicable moment.

Every family, parent and child is different when it comes to preparing for school. Some of these ideas came from family or friends, others I read about and a few I came up with myself, in any case they work for us and are helping us adjust to this new chapter that lies ahead.

 I hope that your children, regardless what grade, are having a fantastic start to the school year. If you’d like to share any additional tips or ideas for prepping for (pre) school I’d love to hear about them.

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Stephanie Cullum
Hey y’all! My name is Stephanie, a stay-at-home mommy, former teacher, Gemini, lover of books, quirky shoes, jeans (I own like twenty of them), coffee, travel and good food…oh and I’m also a wife and mother to my one and only daughter – she’s two and cute as a button! I’m half American and half German, born in Argentina, and grew up in Germany, Hong Kong and Singapore before moving to Dallas to go to college (go SMU). Needless to say I’m not a native to the Rio Grande Valley, but my husband is. He enticed me down here with the promise of good Mexican food, beaches, and close proximity to a foreign country – so here we are six years later and I couldn’t be happier calling the RGV home!


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