In many ways, one of the most important things your child will be learning during their time in preschool is how to think and act independently. Learning how to think and act independently can be a big task for many children, and it is a very important developmental milestone. Preschool is designed to help your child learn how to be independent and confident in tackling tasks and situations on their own with appropriate supervision. One of the best ways you can support your child's preschool teacher is to make sure that you are promoting age-appropriate independence at home as well.
#1 Set High Expectations For Your Child
Your child will meet the expectations that you set for them. If you discover that your child is taking on tasks at school that they are not doing at home, such as pouring water into their water cup, or cleaning up their toys, you need to raise your expectations for your child. Children often meet the expectations that are put on them, so if they know they are not expected to take care of things on their own at home, that is what will happen. Look at what your child is capable of doing at school, and evaluate if there are ways you can raise your expectation of your child at home. Be sure to provide your child with instructions and support.
#2 Allow Your Child To Do Things For Themselves
It can be tempting to help your child with tasks when you know the task will go much quicker if you take care of it yourself or help them with it. For example, your child may get their jacket on faster if you hold it and help them put their arms into it. However, this doesn't allow your child the opportunity to put on their jacket on their own.
A good way to judge this is to ask your child if they want to do it on their own or if they want your help. When you help your child, make sure you are not doing it for them, but providing them with guided assistance that you gradually taper off. Allow your child to try things for themselves, even if it takes a little longer to get the task done.
#3 Let Your Child's Work Stand
Finally, when your child does something for themselves, let their work stand on its own. Resist the very common urge to go back over what your child has done and improve or fix their work.
For example, if your child cleans up spilled water, don't go back and wipe the area down again. Or if your child cleans up their room, don't go back and reorganize the room the way you envision the space. Let the things that your child does stand, and if they need to do something differently, guide and help them. Going back and "fixing" things can reinforce to your child that their efforts were wrong, and can be really discouraging.
One of the best ways to support your child's education during their preschool years is by helping to promote the same kind of age-appropriate independence in your home that your child is learning at school. Talk to your child's teacher to find more specific ways to support your child's development of their independence. Companies like Prep Company Tutorial Schools can give you more information.