Voluntary Prekindergarten (VPK), like the name suggests, is a program that is offered to 4-year-olds to prepare them socially and academically for starting kindergarten the following year. At Providence Children’s Academy, we offer a VPK program that is designed to shape your child’s mind, and give them the learning, thinking and social skills that is sure to make them successful for kindergarten and the rest of their schooling careers. While parents understand that VPK is there to prepare their child for the inevitability of kindergarten, parents often don’t know how to prepare their child for it.
With nearly 80% of Floridian 4-year-olds attending VPK, the benefits are obvious. Children who have attended VPK have shown a smoother transition into kindergarten, being more familiar with the classroom and peer environment. Additionally, the focus on literacy allows children in kindergarten to learn faster due to the age-appropriate brain stimulation they were exposed to during their time in VPK. At Providence Children’s Academy, we have an excellent VPK program that focuses on early literacy, with quality education and a low teacher-to-student ratio.
Tips For VPK Prep
As a parent, you are probably both extremely proud that your child will be starting VPK, but also a little bit anxious as this is the first time they will be exposed to this type of environment and you just want them to be safe and cared for. In order to help both you and your child gain the most of their VPK experience, we have compiled a few tips and tricks to help you and your child prepare for VPK.
Encourage Your Child’s Self-Help Skills
It is important that before your child starts VPK that you encourage self-help actions and qualities in them. This includes teaching your child how to dress and undress themselves, how to do up buttons and to put on their shoes. These are all things that are part of basic organizational skills that make their time in VPK easier. Other basics that help to improve social, emotional and academic skills include knowing how to properly put away toys when they are done being used and carrying other objects properly. This will help to allow your child to feel independent and makes the separation process easier.
Work on Toilet Etiquette
Going to the bathroom on their own can be something that causes a child a great amount of distress, especially if they feel that they aren’t ready for that. This can lead to some unfortunate incidences, like wetting themselves, which leads to embarrassment and social anxiety. This can be avoided by teaching your child proper toilet etiquette from young. Things that are included in this are ensuring that your child can distinguish between a male and female toilet, how to use the toilet, flushing the toilet and washing their hands afterwards. Make sure your child knows the proper way to ask how to go to the bathroom so that they can get used to asking for permission when they are at VPK.
It is important to enhance and build your child’s socials skills before they reach VPK. Social interactions with new people can be stressful for some children and can lead to temper tantrums, crying and sulking. It is important to try and teach your child how to handle difficult social situations with self-control. Additionally, teaching children polite manners like how to share with other, how to say “please” and “thank you” and not to take over other kids is an essential part for preparing your child for what is to come.
Basic Literacy and Writing Skills
While the one of the main purposes of VPK, kindergarten and the rest of school is to enhance the literacy and academic intelligence of child, it is essential to start with these things at home. Reading to your child and teaching them the basics of the alphabet, counting, recognizing shape and colors and can hold a pencil and scissors. This allows the learning process to go by much smoother.
If you are interested in enrolling your child in VPK, or would like more information whether it is suitable for your little one, contact us at Providence Children’s Academy today!