5 Tips for Choosing a Great Preschool

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PARENTING  |  7.16.15  |  by Terra Wellington

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As school is fast approaching, we thought we would give you some tips on what to look for when choosing a preschool.  And we talked with Mighty Scholars Preschool Founder and Owner Angela Yap to give parents pointers on what makes a great preschool choice, how to know if your child is ready for preschool, and the key things to look for when you’re making a preschool visit.  We’ve also broken it down into an easy checklist with info that you can print out.

 Let’s get going to preschool! 

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What makes a great preschool choice?

Its important to know how your child may learn best.  Since each child has an individual learning style, parents are able to look at various preschools, with a classroom and teaching set-up, that would provide their child with the right educational fit. 

Some children learn best through visual activities. Many of those activities may include recognizing and reading numbers and letters. Other children may learn best through listening to stories, music or instructions, as auditory learners. Kinesthetic learners learn best through activities that include being physically active, or manipulation of objects, such as drawing and building.

Its also valuable to know the child-to-teacher ratio and how much one-on-one learning is expected to be provided for your child. 

What are the different types of preschools?

Montessori preschools provide sensory learning and allow the child to be self-led through their studies, with the teacher as a guide.

Play Schools offer a wide range of set-ups, that provide children toys that mimic real world activities and careers, allowing children to use their imagination through play.

Many preschools offer teaching through centers, where children move from area to area, and each table has a learning theme associated with the activities available.

Many home-based preschools offer group learning, with a wide range of ages in one classroom, usually ages 3 through 5.

Parent Co-op schools, are usually run by both parents and teachers. Parents activity participate in the classroom, assisting in class projects and doing the activities along side their children.

Lastly, there are preschools who provide a classroom with a more structured, traditional set-up, similar to what children will be a part of in kindergarten and elementary school. Most, if not all, subjects are covered, and students have individual desks for learning.

“In our hectic world, many parents don’t have the time to sit down with each of their children, to teach them basics, before sending them to kindergarten.” — Angela Yap, Owner and Founder of  Mighty Scholars Preschool

When are children ready for preschool?

Readiness for preschool depends on your child’s development, not on their age. Is your child emotionally, socially, cognitively and physically ready to participate in a structured classroom environment with other children? 

Many young children may struggle with separation issues, and may find separation from their parents to be a wall in attending preschool. If your child has had the opportunity to be cared for by a non-family member, away from parents, they have a greater chance of quickly overcoming any separation anxiety they might be presented with when starting preschool.

Independence with common basic self-care skills, is usually a requirement to attend a preschool. Children are required to be potty-trained, pull upland down their own pants to go potty, wash their hands, follow simple commands and eat without assistance.

Is preschool needed?

In our hectic world, many parents don’t have the time to sit down with each of their children, to teach them basics, before sending them to kindergarten.

Preschool education also helps children develop both problem solving and social skills. 

With the changes in national education standards, requiring much more at an earlier age, preschool can possibly help to alleviate some of the pressure that children face as they enter kindergarten and elementary school. It can also help boost a child’s academic confidence. 

What should a parent look for when visiting a preschool?

Make a list of questions you may have and the individual things you want to look at or observe while you are there.

First and foremost, your first impression of the classroom and teacher, should be key as to whether that school would be the best fit for your child. Is the classroom organized and clean? What primarily are the decorations on the classroom walls? Are they educational or more for decorative purposes?

Is a sample of the curriculum available for you to look through? If your child is with you, does the teacher engage with your child? What does the discipline plan encompass?

If you are visiting during class time, observe the children and how the class is managed. Finally, how much learning time is there, compared to play time and what are the goals and objectives for learning?

Former Elementary School Teacher and Barton Tutor Angela Yap runs a 10-month, home-based preschool called Mighty Scholars Preschool at her home in the East Mesa area of Arizona.  It is a small-group-sized environment with a comprehensive learning curriculum based on traditional and Montessori-inspired methods.  

Download your
“Choose a Great Preschool Checklist

How to choose a great preschool checklist

 How did you find a great preschool?

Let us know in the comments below 

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2015-08-24T13:18:50+00:00