Monday, February 6, 2012
Scientists estimate that 50% of a child's brain capacity is formed by age 5. That's why experts recommend exposing your child to numerous opportunities for playing, learning, communicating, and problem-solving. We feel that it is important for him to have the social interaction with other children and I feel that he learns more from others than he can ever learn from my husband or I. We had heard that children might get bored when they get to kindergarten because they've already learned almost everything that is supposed to be taught in kindergarten. There have been many people that have also reassured me otherwise. If your child has already learned the things that they are being taught, then your child has the opportunity to concentrate on other things, such as a foreign language, science, sports, etc.
Now on how to choose the best preschool for your child...Every parent has different things that are important for them when it comes to choosing the right preschool for their child. The best thing that I have learned is to first do the research on different schools online. See what other parents are saying about the schools and also look up the different citations each school has gotten from the State. This is the State of Texas Link for Child Care Licensing Citations. You must keep in mind that no school is going to be perfect, therefore you need to have some things that you are ok with seeing on these reviews and State citation list. For example, when I see certain state regulations like things not being properly labeled or put in the proper location...those sort of things are things that I can be ok with...but when I saw that there was a 2 year old left behind in the classroom while the rest of the class is outside playing, that's when I decided that isn't a good school for my son. When my son was 2 years old, he didn't talk a whole lot, so things like were important to me.
After you've done your online research, you can narrow down your list and start visiting the schools that still made your list. The best thing in my opinion is to be able to sit in on the classrooms that your child might potentially be attending one day. Before you go visit these schools, I like to make a list of things that are important to you. I make a table to compare the schools easily. It'll make it easy for you to choose the right school.
Here are some of the things that are important to me (in no particular order) :
1) Fees...this includes registration fees, any and all fees
2) Overall Classroom dynamic....with this I mean, I don't like classes where the kids are running wild and the teachers have no control of the class
3) Discipline....I personally want discipline in a class....I want the teacher to be able to put the children in "time out" per se.
4) Healthy food.....I want only healthy items given to the children for snacks and for lunch...I personally do not like schools that give cookies and juice on a daily basis
5) Extra Curricular Activities.....I want my son to be in extra curricular activities, such as soccer, sports, computer class, spanish class, etc.
6) Student to Teacher Ratio.....I want there to be a low Student to Teacher Ratio and this is how you know how much one on one learning experience your child will get....There are quite a bit of schools that say there are 2 teachers in this classroom and so many students....but you need to find out if both or only one of those teachers is a certified teacher....that makes a big difference!
7) Curriculum....you need to pay attention to their curriculum....are the children really learning something....for instance, I know that my son has learned how to sit quietly during circle time and he has also learned during his weekly show & tell's and he has learned the National Anthem and the Star Spangled Banner and he has learned how to Garden with the School garden they have and he has learned a whole bunch of other things with their weekly lesson plan topics. I also like for him to have art time and story time and outside playtime.
8) Safety and Cleanliness....I want to make sure that my child is safe there....that no one can just go in and take him out...and I definitely want him to be in a clean place
9) Credentials....make sure that the school is accredited....NAEYC is one of the best accreditations
Keep in mind that there is NO perfect school, so choose what's going to be best for you and your child.