Friday, July 3, 2009

Anna started preschool in February and goes for 2 mornings a week. After the first couple of weeks of hysterical crying, she adapted to the new situation, and we were very pleased with how happy she appeared to be. She was in the class of 3-5 year olds, and she likes older kids. The program seemed challenging enough, since they were doing a lot of art projects, and Anna had a good exposure to all the new art materials that we deemed too messy for our house.

However, things have changed recently. Her favorite school friends graduated and the new kids are all Anna’s age and younger. The school is small, and it appears that they have one teacher too many for the number of students. As a result, two teachers are now “sharing’ a bigger class, and Anna has her old teacher one of her days and another teacher on the other day. For the past two weeks she cried again when my husband dropped her off (but was perfectly happy when he picked her up). What I don’t really like about the school is almost total absence of books in the room. I thought that it was temporary, while school is growing, but nothing really changed in the last 5 months. Their short story time is mostly based on repetitive songs, and here comes my biggest gripe – they actually let the kids watch TV! We already brought it up twice, and we were told that it only happens for 20 minutes between lunch and afternoon program. However, every day my husband comes to pick our daughter up, the children are stuck in front of TV. Interestingly, ours usually prefers to play with puzzles during this time, but I still think that it doesn’t reflect well on her school.

We were planning to keep Anna in this preschool at least until she is 4 and possibly move to a more “structured” preschool for the last year before school. However, now I have doubts. On one hand, two mornings a week really don’t make a lot of difference. Most of her “preschool education” occurs at home. Our goals for the school were socialization, following the rules and learning some independence. They are still being met. On another hand, I look at some books about well equipped preschools, with dramatic corners and class pets, and feel that maybe our daughter would be better off in one. We even have one not that far away, but… it’s also huge. I think we are going to wait and see how she does in July. If I still have doubts, we might look at a couple more preschools for her fall program.

Anna started preschool in February and goes for 2 mornings a week. After the first couple of weeks of hysterical crying, she adapted to the new situation, and we were very pleased with how happy she appeared to be. She was in the class of 3-5 year olds, and she likes older kids. The program seemed challenging enough, since they were doing a lot of art projects, and Anna had a good exposure to all the new art materials that we deemed too messy for our house.

However, things have changed recently. Her favorite school friends graduated and the new kids are all Anna’s age and younger. The school is small, and it appears that they have one teacher too many for the number of students. As a result, two teachers are now “sharing’ a bigger class, and Anna has her old teacher one of her days and another teacher on the other day. For the past two weeks she cried again when my husband dropped her off (but was perfectly happy when he picked her up). What I don’t really like about the school is almost total absence of books in the room. I thought that it was temporary, while school is growing, but nothing really changed in the last 5 months. Their short story time is mostly based on repetitive songs, and here comes my biggest gripe – they actually let the kids watch TV! We already brought it up twice, and we were told that it only happens for 20 minutes between lunch and afternoon program. However, every day my husband comes to pick our daughter up, the children are stuck in front of TV. Interestingly, ours usually prefers to play with puzzles during this time, but I still think that it doesn’t reflect well on her school.

We were planning to keep Anna in this preschool at least until she is 4 and possibly move to a more “structured” preschool for the last year before school. However, now I have doubts. On one hand, two mornings a week really don’t make a lot of difference. Most of her “preschool education” occurs at home. Our goals for the school were socialization, following the rules and learning some independence. They are still being met. On another hand, I look at some books about well equipped preschools, with dramatic corners and class pets, and feel that maybe our daughter would be better off in one. We even have one not that far away, but… it’s also huge. I think we are going to wait and see how she does in July. If I still have doubts, we might look at a couple more preschools for her fall program.

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