Friday, February 13, 2009

Preschool Debate

Oh's crazy it's that time to start thinking about this for Noah, but he'll be three in June! Time really does fly. Registration opens up next week most places, and we're trying to think about where to register him. I worked at a preschool in high school that is using "best practice," or what I was taught best practice is from my bachlors in early childhood education. I would love for Noah to go there, the only hang up I have is that it's hard to get in (lottery) and it's about ten minutes away. Which isn't that bad, but that's 1/2 hour by the time we drive there, drop him off, and drive home. With preschool only being 2 1/2 it worth it? Also, they have a very constructivist philosophy, which I like, but I think there needs to be a little balance... Noah won't come home with the traditional (old school?) rainbow painting that is the same as every other kid in the class. He won't have his C page for "C" week. He won't have the cookie cutter (everyone does the same craft) projects that are associated with preschool. Will he still be learning? You bet! But does he need some of the other "old school" stuff? Yes!

I guess seeing as how I could be teaching his pre-school class, I could do that traditional stuff at home. I really do believe that children learn from exploring the world around them, and this school sets up the enviornment to encourage that exploration, but doesn't force kids into learning about C during C week, rather when they are ready and curious about it. For example, when we had a boy who was very interested in dinasours, the next day there were lots of dinasour books, dinasour dramatic play props, dinasour models, etc. It's very student centered. The ratos are also really good, there are always two pre-school teachers (one with a college degree in early childhood which is not required to teach or run a preschool) in the room, and then for 2 of the hours there are 5-7 additional trained highschoolers there (which is what I did in highschool). That's pretty good if you ask me!

Now, for the other option we're looking into (I'm going to observe next week) there is more of a traditional preschool that is literally 1/2 a mile from our house that my mom's friend teaches at. This one is a Christian pre-school, where the other is not. I can't judge too much yet since I have not personally been, but I have a friend who's son has gone there for two years. He's learned a lot, but it does sound very traditional, which doesn't have to be bad...just not best practice...and don't we want what's best for Noah? I'm already looking forward to the time I'll get to have with just Jacob since he's never had that time before...and maybe I'll get a workout in too:)

Atleast the problem is we have two good options...we're in a win, win situation. I'll keep you updated as we've made more of our decision.

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