Afternoon Preschool. Isn't That Nap Time?

With Preschool less than 3 weeks away, many parents feel that signing up for afternoon classes might conflict with naps. Of course, there is no predicting what your growing child's nap schedule will be then, but for those of you considering an afternoon class for your 4-5 year old, we have found some tips from other parents that might be useful to you.

"I went through the same dilemma last year when my daughter was 3 1/2. We ended up going with the afternoon slot and thank goodness. Right around the time summer was ending, she dropped her naps. She was also a champion sleeper...still is, but does not nap at all. I was pregnant at the time we accepted our afternoon slot. I thought that it would be easier for me to get out of the house later with a newborn child. We have a calm morning at home most days. Other mornings we take classes before school. When my daughter gets home from school she is hungry and tired. We eat an early dinner and she gets to bed by 8. She is up by 7:30 or 8 in the morning. The afternoons are short and sweet! I would say, don't worry about it too much. Your child will adapt and so will you!

Take the spot:

"My advice (especially with #2 coming in June) is to take the spot! Mornings are tough to get out to school anyway with a newborn (I've done this twice now). Your daughter will either have dropped her nap or likely be ok with a super mellow afternoon post-school.

Your child will adjust naturally:

"I went through this when my daughter was 2 years 3 months, napped at 12:30, and got into a school that met 12:40-2:10, a 20 minute walk away. ALL preschool directors say don't worry, your child will drop her nap naturally, it will be an easy transition. I moved hers to 10:30 am (a bit ridiculous, but she did it - and we had a #2 who took his first nap then, so it was convenient), woke her up at noon and she snacked in lieu of lunch in her stroller on the way there. It was not ideal, but she loved school so we decided it was worth it. She will be 4 in May and she still sleeps an hour and a half a day, which we love - both for her state of mind, and because it means she goes to sleep later, which lets my husband see her at night.

Sleep schedules can be resilient to change:

"My daughter is 2 1/2 and has been in a 2 afternoon a week program since September. I was also very nervous about the change in naps. We only had 2 days to contend with not 4.. but I will share our experience. At the beginning of the school year, we told our daughter that she had school so she had to nap earlier on school days. She loved school so much that IT WORKED!!! Nights before school, we put her to bed 30 minutes earlier (7pm) and woke her (naturally) around 6am just be opening the door. Our school is very close to our house, but we would be put her down at 10am and she would sleep until 11:45am. We would wake her, feed her.. and be out the door by 12:15. It was chaotic at first, but manageable. 6 months later it still works, but sleeps more like and hour and 1/2. Also, we became less crazy about bedtime the night before. It now seems like habit. This is only my first child, so I only know what I know.. but it seems at about 3 1/2 kids start giving up their naps. So maybe you'll just have to endure a schedule change for the 1st semester.

Life in Christ Preschool offers a afternoon class that uses a play-based curriculum to ready children for all day Kindergarten.

The best way to understand a play-based curriculum is through examples. In our classroom, we have a rich environment full of many opportunities for children to explore, for children to put their hands on things. For example, a child might spend class time playing water; pouring water, measuring water, pouring it through a funnel, splashing, swirling, and exploring what water is all about; which after all, is a very important part of our world. We introduce numbers, letters, colors and shapes, and create ways to write them, play games with them, use ice or water or paint to practice them. We move. We dance. We sing. We read.

Our Butterfly Class meets Mon- Thursday from 12:30-3:00pm. For more information please click here.

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