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  • How To Help your Preschooler Choose a Playgroup for Himself

    Homeschooling mom and contributor Tina Santiago-Rodriguez gives a few tips to help your child learn the basics of making friends.
    by Teachermama Tina Rodriguez .
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    3.    Offer your child choices.
    Show your child brochures, pictures and websites, if any, of certain playgroups or playschools that you think she might enjoy attending. Talk to her about what she can do there, the new friends that she can meet, the “teachers” or “Ates/Kuyas”  that will be helping her out. Give her the opportunity to voice out her preferences as well, even if she is still young. Let her tell you what she likes or dislikes about the different playgroups that you have shown to her, and tell her that what is important is that she will enjoy the experience of going to playgroup.

    Once your child has selected playgroups, make a list of the top five or three groups and schedule a visit to each of them. This will further help your kid choose which playgroup she likes the most.

    4.    Take your child to a “tour” of the playgroup venue.
    Whether your child will be having his playgroup in an actual playschool or just at a neighbor’s place, it would be best to let him go around the venue to familiarize himself with the surroundings. If you are planning to enrol him in a real playschool, ask the school director or staff to take you on a tour of the place. If possible, let your kid explore the area and interact with the teachers and staff present.

    When you get home, get some feedback from him about the venue by asking questions like “What did you like and did not like about the place?”, “How did you find the teachers there?”, etc. Usually you will have a gut feel, so allow your parenting instincts to kick in. If you have doubts about the competency of the staff or safety of the equipment at any particular playgroup, it is best NOT to enrol your child there, even if he seems to like it there. Remember, you must always make his safety and well-being top priority.
     
    5.    Join trial classes or sessions.
    Most playgroups held in formal settings give children the opportunity to participate in trial sessions or classes for free, to give them and their parents a glimpse of what goes on during playgroup/playschool time. This would be a great time to observe your child to see if she is enjoying the activities, or is bored by them.

    You may also find it useful to assess if the games and activities done are appropriate for your child’s age, abilities and temperament. For example, if your child is athletic, then having her join a playgroup that is into sports will be appropriate.

    Needless to say, if your kid thoroughly enjoyed herself at the trial session, this is a good indicator.

    Take time to help your kids choose the best playgroup for them.  Joining a playgroup will be beneficial for your child, and it is a decision parents should be involved in.

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    Photo from sxc.hu

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