How can I help prepare my kid?
Set up playdates with future classmates so he'll feel more comfortable socializing with other kids and being apart from you. Do storytime at the library or take a toddler class to get him used to classroom behavior, like focusing on a teacher, taking turns, and sharing. Your child will feel confident and independent if you teach him to be self-sufficient -- i.e., eating by himself, putting on his own jacket. Finally, boost your child's cognitive skills by pointing out letters, numbers, shapes, and colors, and by read?ing books to build up his vocabulary.
Originally published in the February 2011 issue of Parents magazine.