Children grow really fast and pretty soon you find yourself looking for a preschool instead of changing diapers. While this may seem pretty straightforward and especially if there is a wide selection to choose from in your neighborhood, it is a bit of a task.
A four or five-year old is at a point where they are beginning to put into practice what they have been seeing and they want to experiment with a lot of things. It is therefore very important that the institution you settle for will help your child grow into themselves and their abilities. What should you look at?
- Educational philosophy
Preschools are different with regard to the philosophy they follow. Some Schools prefer to drill their students so that they can be able to repeat the right things while others focus on allowing the child to discover themselves. Find out what the school offers and try as much as possible to understand it so that you make an informed decision.
Many people associate learning with doing something formal. Children however learn during play. It is actually their form of learning so for toddlers to effectively learn something, play has to be incorporated into the curriculum. What is the school’s view on play? How often have they slotted play in the daily schedule?
It doesn’t necessarily mean running around and scraping one’s knees. It could be using water paint and their fingers to make paintings or rolling Play-Doh in their hands to make shapes. This strengthens their motor skills as well as exposes them to different colors.
- What’s on the menu?
Children eat about five small meals a day. This is important for their growth and health. Some schools offer meals and snacks for their students for various reasons. If your choice of school does offer food, find out what the children will be having on a daily basis. Make sure that it is balanced and let the school know about any allergies that your child may have.
- A little snooze time
Growing children need to take a break after a hard day’s work of learning and painting. It is important that they take a nap at some point during the day. Ask the school whether that is in their schedule and how long the nap lasts because more than two hours of napping can interfere with sleep at night. Some schools ask parents to carry a pillow or blanket for their children so find out if that would be required of you.
Kids will be kids and will sometimes do their own bidding, even when they know it’s wrong. How does the school handle such situations? Is there a time-out, a cane, a talk, and tongue-lashing? Some parents complain when they find out that their children received a certain punishment yet they hadn’t checked with the school beforehand to determine what is considered ‘acceptable punishment’ by the school administration.
The education journey starts from a very far-off place and the right foundation sets the pace for the future. Choose preschools wisely and take advice from those that have been there before. You should of course ascertain the validity of the claims, whether good or bad, so as to have credible information.
Be sure to begin your search early especially if you live in a very competitive area or if many are eyeing the same school. This will make it easier even though it will seem to take longer. Do your research well so as to avoid disappointments along the way. With time as you observe the changes in your growing toddler, you will realize that it was all worth fussing over.