preschool search is not going well - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 02-04-2004, 07:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, we're looking for a preschool and kindergarten where my ds can spend the next two years until he starts first grade at the wonderful elementary school his big brother attends. The fact that we need a preschool AND kindergarten, preferably under one roof, is severely limiting our search. I'm very discouraged. One place was great, but offered only full day kindergarten. Not right for us. A couple other places seemed more like daycare centers than preschools. Today we visited the last place on our list. We had high hopes which were quickly dashed as the director stood telling me how they strive first toward "character building" by helping children become aware of their sin natures and need for God (ACK! Leave my baby's character alone!) and secondly on academic excellence by ensuring that all kindergarteners are reading and writing by graduation. Sigh. Just not what our goals are at ALL.

Is there no place where little kids can go and play, and be respected, and learn some things but mostly just enjoy each other and the process of making connections with new adults?

This whole thing is sad and discouraging.
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#2 of 9 Old 02-04-2004, 07:37 PM
 
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Any montessori schools nearby? Most of the ones in my area have 3-6 year old classes, which would span the age ranges you need. The one my son goes to has an 8:30-11:30 option, a full-day option, and before and after care for parents who need it. We have been really happy with it and my son has been thriving. It is not overly academic. I knew that montessori was what I wanted, and looked at a bunch of schools. Some of them had a religious focus, but the one we chose is strictly secular. I am not actually opposed to having my son attend a religious school, but most of the religious ones seemed rigid and too structured to me as well.

Good luck!

Stacia -- intrepid mama, midwife, and doula. Changing the world one 'zine at a time.
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#3 of 9 Old 02-04-2004, 07:56 PM
 
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Waldorf K's are play based.
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#4 of 9 Old 02-09-2004, 08:29 PM
 
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I would start by looking for something that is NAEYC accredited. They are developmentally based. Are you only looking at religious schools? That might be the problem. Most of them do seem to be more acedemic from an early age as well as more into development of the character.
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#5 of 9 Old 02-09-2004, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Oddly, I never got notifications of responses to this. We signed him up for a montessori school. I feel reasonably good about it. My big reservation is that the teachers seemed very detached from the kids. Not punitive and not harsh -- just -- detached. Almost clinical. I asked about it, and they said they prefer not to fall into the nurturer/caregiver role. I think this is strange -- because the kids are only 4 and 5 years old. But -- I think my ds can probably handle it for 3 afternoons a week.

We'll see how it goes. Not like we're comitted or anything.
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#6 of 9 Old 02-09-2004, 10:16 PM
 
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I think that's strange too. Afterall, they *are* the caregivers during the time they have the kids since the parents aren't there. Did you ask why they prefer it that way? Is this typical of Montessori?
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#7 of 9 Old 02-09-2004, 11:52 PM
 
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wow, I just am not sure how I feel about that. On the one hand it seems OK. I don't think any of my teachers were especially nurturing. On the up side we had a relationship based on respect and it wasn't hard to trasition to a new teacher.

On the other hand I would want my baby to be nurtured.

The truest answer to violence is love. The truest answer to death is life. The only prevention for violence is for the heart to have no violence within it.  We cannot prevent evil through any system devised by mankind. But we can grapple with evil and defeat it, but only with love—real love.

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#8 of 9 Old 02-13-2004, 09:35 PM
 
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I would personally rather have him in a preschool that you love and feel great about (and with a nurturing/loving teacher) one year, then switch to a half day kindergarten (again, with a teacher you feel good about) the next year than two years in the same "I feel ok about it" school.

Both my kids went/are going to different preschools their 3s and 4s years. I love co-op for the 3s year but am not into the amount of work (or the 4s teacher - main reason being that she is so sterile personAlity-wise - just never is warm or light-hearted towards the kids. A friend told me "she loves them like a drill sergeant". I'm sorry - they are four! Hug them and smile at them and be nurturing!) No big deal switching to a new school that second year - or to kindergarten.

You should keep looking (maybe broaden the area you are willing to drive?) until you find something you really love. Maybe if you considered different places for pre and K, you would find something?

Good luck whatever you decide.
Kirsten
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#9 of 9 Old 02-14-2004, 01:32 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Kirsten. My son takes a long time to warm up to a new person in his life. It would be harder for him to switch schools than it would be for many kids. 3 different schools in 3 years would overwhelm him. Also, the montessori school here will not take a child into Kindergarten if he has not already done of a year of montessori preschool.

I actually think this might work out well. DH took DS to an open house and he really enjoyed it.
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