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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've started thinking about preschool for next year, though I'm still not sure if I want to send Toby... I can't bear the thought of being away from him just yet! But he's very bright and inquisitive, so I think it might be good for him.

A friend of mine mentioned the Sudbury Cooperative Preschool, saying that she likes the idea of a co-op. I had no idea what that meant, but I like the word "co-op" in other instances, so I looked up the school. It sounds like a great idea! I found a few threads that mentioned it, so I thought I'd ask here for more info.

They have an open house in mid-November, yet they say that applications for next year should be submitted in November. Would I have time to attend the open house and then apply? Or should I plan to go take a look sooner? How much effort is involved when you need to help out? I'm hoping to have another baby within the next year, and if he/she is anything like Toby, I won't have any free time. Would you ever take a little/nursing baby with you when you need to help, or do you need to arrange for child care?

Is there anything else I should know? Thanks for any info!
 

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I don't know about the specific co-op you mentioned, but I used to teach at a co-op nursery school in Colorado. They can be wonderful!! Usually parental involvement is madatory (that's the "co-op" part of it) but the amt and type of involvement as well as the general school philosophies can vary pretty widely. Good luck!
 

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Our third child will be going to the school in the fall. Our other 2 love/d it.
If you're thinking about enrolling for fall '08 then you should contact the school now, however there won't be any classes to visit until September.
Parents are welcome in the classrooms, however, about once per month (per child) or so you will be the "parent helper" and cannot bring another child with you then, so you would either need to make childcare arrangements, have your partner do the parent helping (which is what we do).
There is also a "work" requirement, ie. I do the newsletter. The jobs vary greatly, and there is a new lottery available for a few available "buy-out" slots for those who really want/need to opt out of the extra work (but then you have to pay extra).
There is also a bi-annual cleaning day, but we've always bought out of that since it's on the weekend when my husband works.
Any other questions I'd be happy to answer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks!

I'm thinking about this for fall '09 not '08; is that what you meant? Do the children need to be potty trained? How is the school on the gentle discipline scale? I'm not great with GD but I do strive for it. I'm really trying to get rid of the word "NO" except in serious/dangerous cases. I want Toby to be able to explore and figure things out even if he does it "wrong." He eventually gets is "right" but seems to have such a good time figuring things out.

I've only just begun to think of this, so I don't really know what I'm looking for. I only know that I really don't want him to have the same schooling experience that I had -- which was all about cliques and bullies and how you dressed and what you looked like... and how being smart was a bad thing.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by pastrygirl View Post
Do the children need to be potty trained? How is the school on the gentle discipline scale? I'm not great with GD but I do strive for it. I'm really trying to get rid of the word "NO" except in serious/dangerous cases. I want Toby to be able to explore and figure things out even if he does it "wrong." He eventually gets is "right" but seems to have such a good time figuring things out.
The coop is very GD, way more so than our personal approach of logical consequences and time-outs. And they very much respect each child's individual timetable of development; my second son didn't potty train until 4 1/4 years old, and there were still 2 other kids in his class who weren't ready either! So they're definitely more laid back about that sort of thing than most preschools.
There is a set curriculum, but the kids don't HAVE to do the activities or projects if they're not ready, they can just choose to play.
 

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nak

Another SCP family here and I know there are more here at MDC. We were there for 5 years. It is the only preschool experience we've had so I can't really compare.

I will share a story with you about my son's very first day of school. He was 3 years and a few weeks old and I think in his mind had a connection between going to school and stopping diaper use. He would not let me put him in a diaper and the first day is like 45 minutes long or something equally short. So I let it go. The teacher (who is no longer there) said she had never seen a kid pee so much. It just kept coming and coming and coming.
She suggested perhaps a diaper would be a good choice, but all very pleasantly. And other kids were in diapers.

Also, many of his 3 year old peers were still nursing and some included that in part of the drop off ritual.

The flavor of the school changes each year as the families change and it is a much more mainstream school now than it was in 02 when I first got involved. (much less nfl, but still pretty gd I think) Because the parents make major decisions about the school and are also in the classroom the school takes on their style. I don't know if that makes much sense.

hth
 
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