Would you enroll your child in a preschool program which is predominantly outside all school year?
Yes- although my youngest is in her last year of preschool- so I would have loved the opportunity
Would you enroll them as an alternative to a regular preschool or as a supplement in addition to their regular preschool?
Either option- I'd prefer something 3 days a week for preschool but we've also done supplemental programs at places that met just once a week.
Often parent child programs met once a week, first year of preschool (age 3) was 1 or 2 days and 2nd year of preschool was 3-5 days- so there are lots of options.
Would you want/expect "academics" to a part of this program (reading, math skills, etc.)?
I would not. I would expect that learning opportunities were facilitated thru some of the activities. Most opportunities would be spur of the moment or instigated by things the children is used ot. Free play and nature's opportunities being the best place to free learn and get plenty of free play and facilitated socialization.
How many days a week would you be interested in (3-5 years old)? How many hours?
3-4 yrs 2 days 3-4 hours
4-5 yrs 3 - 4 days 4-5 hours
or 1 day a week
This is slightly longer than many of the programs we've done, but I do like the option of lunch with the group- especially if I'm driving a ways for the program. I also love the idea of the preschools making snacks and/or lunches together- but that's a whole other element
Would you prefer to enroll for a whole year or have the option of only signing up by semester?
If it was a new program- probably per semester.
If your child is in half day kindergarten, would you be interested in this as an afternoon program for them?
Maybe once a week- but not every day
What would in expect in the way of access to shelter and bathrooms?
Hmm, if the plan would be to be outside and there are spaces for learning outside I'd just expect something for bathroom breaks and inclement days- and it could be pretty basic- unglamorous- even just a shelter w/o electric heat, although some form of reassurance for safety (cell phone, backup site phone) would probably be important.
I guess peeing in the woods is problematic--- wonder what the outdoor schools in other countries do? With the way preschoolers are, this seems a bit challenging to plan for, especially if you want to maintain a teacher ratio where kids are not left with just one adult-- so you'd need 4 teachers if you don't want to trek the whole group to the bathrooms when someone forgets they needed to go.
What would you expect to be the lowest temperature in which children are allowed to remain outside?
Temperature isn't as important to me as things like wind and rain. It can be challenging to figure out the right clothing for the weather- because you really do have to dress appropriately, so I'd expect some hand holding and education of parents would have to happen.
I'm not sure how it works..., I believe the schools use some mandated temp??
What percentage of outdoor time vs. indoor time would be ideal for you? (i.e. 75% of time outside, 25% inside, etc.)
I'd save the indoor time for days with inclement weather. 50-50 to 75-25 sounds fine. Things that would concern me would be shade, mosquitos/ticks.
Any other concerns/opinions/ideas?
I can think of one person on the Cape who did a program based on Waldrindergarten, but I only know others who attended- wish I had been able to, it sounded lovely.
lmk if you want more info.