Wednesday, September 30, 2009
There are so many options for preschool. I thought I would tell you about some I've tried and have checked into. You may know of others that you prefer. Please share and let me know. I've got a 3 year old that I'm looking to start preschool next fall. You may think-why worry about it now? Some preschools have long waiting lists so it is time to at least start thinking. Preschool can be expensive, but I've found that there is affordable and free options as well.
1. Your local university or college may be a good place to look. We have an amazing preschool. The toys, materials, and playground equipment is just awesome. You have to register for this particular one basically at birth to get in. We had our oldest enrolled here for a year. He loved it. The teachers were great, they did parent teacher conferences and I could tell they loved all those kids. They had a unstructured learning discovery philosophy which I think was really neat but some children don't do as well in this environment. Knowing your child's learning style could be helpful in determining what preschool would be the most beneficial.
2. One year I joined a neighborhood preschool where four or five mothers rotated having the school at our homes. This is a very affordable way and you can really tailor it to what you want the children to learn. We chose to focus on one letter per week. This gave us a focus but also allowed for creativity and for each parent to do what they do best, (i.e. music, arts and crafts, reading). The group put together a preschool kit that traveled from house to house with things like paper, scissors, crayons, paints, music activities, and a calendar to do the date and weather.
3. I just heard of a new preschool option which is for Utah children. It's called Utah UPSTART. It is a free on-line program for any 4 and 5 year olds that are not in kindergarten. You musts commit to spend 15 minutes a day on the program 5 days a week. Pre-registration for next year has begun. (I just signed up today!) Everything is done on-line from what I could tell. Check it out here.
4. There is a free preschool every week at the Family Information and Resources Center in Logan. This is very open to anyone 3-5 years old. A parent must attend with the child. They also have a free lending library which is really fun. For more information on that click here. You may have something like this in your area. It's worth checking into.
5. The last idea is to just do it on your own. Your public library has a wealth of information that can help you tailor a preschool for your child. You can do your own field trips that your child will like. I really like the Ready! Set! School! resource that will help with lesson plans. There is also so much available online. Coloring pages, handwriting worksheets and much more. If you choose this option you may want to have regular play dates where your child gets to interact with children her/his age to get socially ready for school.