This is the time to register for Kindergarten and Preschool. I'm sure most of you are already on the ball and have done this already. Because there are so many choices now, the decision can be hard. Do I put my child in the closest public school, a charter school, private school, or do I want to home school? My personal thought is you really should visit the schools in your area and weigh your options. Ask if you can see a kindergarten class and also visit a 3rd or 4th grade class to get an idea of the education at that school. Ultimately you should choose the school that is best for you and your child.
I believe preschool is so important. Which is probably why I enjoy teaching it so much. To have a set time to work on reading, writing, numbers, and letters helps your child get ready for Kindergarten. Preschool can be such a fun time! To have the opportunity to play and learn with other children their own age without mom and dad right there is very helpful for their social development. It also is important for them to learn to listen and learn from a teacher. The best preschools are going to fill up fast so looking now for preschool is better then in the summer when many already have full classes.
Here are some questions you may want to ask a potential preschool.
What is their Daily Activities like?
You want to hear them list a variety of things they do. Preschools needs to have a variety of experiences that teach a child with all of their senses. When a child can see, hear, touch, feel, taste something the brain connections it creates will help a child better learn and remember something.
Where do they hold preschool?
Do they teach only in one area of the room or do they do activities outside, inside, in the kitchen, on the floor, on a chair. Again having a variety of places they can experience with give your child the best learning atmosphere.
Do they have free time where they can choose their own activity to play?
Free time is crucial for children to have a time to have independent creative play. This shouldn't be all a preschool does for sure but at least 15-30 minutes of free time or some may call it recess is very beneficial.
How many teachers do they have per student?
If your child doesn't have any 1:1 time in preschool they may not get the help they need. I think a good ratio is not more than 1 teacher for 10 students. I like to have in my preschool only 8 students and this seems to work for me but I'm sure in other cases someone might be able to work with more.
Can my child and I come visit your school?
I encourage all my prospective students and parents to come at least once to see how our school is run. This will give you a good idea of your teachers personality and style of teaching. This will help you know if your child will thrive in this school.
What if you can't afford to send your child to preschool? There are other options available so that everyone can participate in preschool. Start with Head Start and see if you qualify. Find your closest Head Start program by clicking here. (If this doesn't work for you, do a google search for Head Start and then your city) If you don't qualify you may need to get creative and do your own preschool. Find other mom's in your neighborhood in your same situations and set up your own neighborhood preschool. You can rotate homes so your child gets an experience learning from someone other then mom. You can also it yourself. You will need to be very motivated to do it the same time and day each week. Decide what you will teach and write it down on a calendar. You can get lots of fun ideas online. If you are structured and motivated enough this can also be a good option for you.