Thursday, September 9, 2010

Her first day of school is just around the corner, right?

With school starting and several of my friends’ children starting some form of school (preschool, kindergarten, etc) it has gotten me thinking. (I know…look out!)

Gianna will be starting school soon. By soon I mean in like 4 years. But still, SOON!

Sooner if/when we send her to preschool.  Which brings me to my next point.

When did you send your children to preschool? How many days? How long during the day?  How did you decide which school to send them too?

Clearly, I have NO CLUE about properly educating small children, I mean Nick Jr can’t teach her everything, huh?

My next question: when we bought our house we really paid zero attention to school system because in all honestly, we don’t intend to live here (as in this house, not necessarily the area)more than 5 years.  However – what did/do you look for to determine if a public school system is good?  What makes them “good” versus “bad”?!  Same for private schools, as we have already talked about going this route.

Obviously I am no where near ready to delve into this kind of research, but I like to be prepared and know where to start looking.

Hope all the kiddos enjoy/ed their first days of schools.  I know I did not. then again, by the time you hit grad school the excitement has really lost it’s appeal.



Jules said...

To cut down on driving and get them some interaction besides eachother, we started the girls in a little school. Hah - spent 3 months trying to teach them baby signs and they wouldn't do them, but 2 weeks at school, they picked it up.

We're not keen on the preschool in our public system but we're also probably moving around then anyway.

Dayna said...

My son went the year before he started kindergarten. Our school district offers preschool 2 days a week the year prior to starting school, it was great!

Mel said...

So, not sure what kind of programs are in your area, but we have lots of churches here that do "mothers day out" programs starting at 18 months for babies. They are AWESOME and very reasonable price wise (our church is $180/mo) and they will take your kiddo 2-3 days a week from like 8-2:30. They aren't state mandated educational programs, obviously, but they are similar in format to preschool and they teach them the bible and at best, SOCIAL INTERACTION. Which, for us, is huge since our kiddo is an only child. Things like sharing and waiting her turn? She'll HAVE to learn elsewhere because its not an issue at home. We haven't signed her up yet because I wasn't quite ready this fall at 18 months, BUT we are definitely starting her next fall when she's 2.5. I know I'll be SUPER ready then.

In Texas, the state provides ratings for public school districts AS WELL AS individual schools. There is a rating system and they take in to account all sorts of things like testing scores, attendance, teacher feedback, etc. I imagine you can google private schools in your area to see what parent ratings are on each. WE looked in to private schools in the CITY we lived in before we moved to the 'burbs b/c that was THE only option for our family (the Dallas public school system is notoriously AWFUL) and I was STUNNED at the cost. It was like sending your kid to college, so expensive. I think it is GREAT you are thinking about this now!

The Red Headed Mama said...

We sent Aiden to preschool for one year. We were both working at the time, so he went to the Y 5 days a week. They had "preschool" during a set time during the day and then the rest was more like regular day care. He learned a TON and got over a lot of social obstacles before going to KDG.
As for finding a good school, I found it easier/more accurate to talk to the parents. The schools all have report cards (Aiden's current school has the highest score given at the moment) but talking to parents and teachers really helped. I knew I didn't want him going anywhere in the school system where we currently live. Right now he'll stay in his current school until 6th or 8th grade (only goes to 8th) and then he'll move to the HS in whichever district we end up in (and there are only a few that I will even consider)
Feel free to message me if you want specifics :)
BTW, nothing wrong with thinking about it now. It sneaks up on ya! Ian will start preschool next fall! YIKES!!!

renee said...

well, out here the only preschools are through churches. the school district doesnt have one. yah, idk. but it's only a little bit religous. it's not like they are going to sunday school every day. where we are they have a class for 3 yo that is 2 days a week and the one for 4 and 5 yo is 3 days a week. preschools are hard b/c there are basically two classes 1. is basically just daycare that they charge you more for. teaches them nothing. there is no real structure and the teachers went to college online or some shit. and 2. an actual structured school setting where they learn a letter every week or whatever. and they have really good teachers and stuff. maria was in type 1 when she was 3/4 and it was incredibly disappointing. felt like a waste of money. i taught her mroe at home. but last year and this year they are in type 2 and we just LOVE it. i agree that it's best to talk to other moms in your area. go to the park and talk to moms of kids that are 3-6. now around here you have to sign up (if you want a good school) in dec-jan of the year before the child is going to school. however things might be more competitive where you are b/c of a higher population etc so you might want to check into it about a year and a half to 2 yrs ahead of time in case you need to sign up a year or so before. hth :D

Danifred said...

For us, we've always looked for a place that had a strong curriculum and a nice balance of nurturing and structure. In my experiences, the public school situation is a little harder- I honestly believe so much comes back to the administration in a particular building. Even though Knowing what I know about being in education, I could easily go the private school route. Too bad it's so expensive!

JJ said...

Right now, since Oman is 19 months--we started the moms morning out program--not really preschool per say, but it gives him great interaction--which was my big thing for him right now. Ours is 9-12 and Im doing 3 mornings a week.
Hope you are able to find something that works out for you all :)

Trish said...

I enrolled my first daughter in a part time pre-k when she was 2. It was a two day a week, four hour per day preschool at a local church. The school is actually preschool through grade 12, but we opted to use the public schools when she turned four and could go to state funded pre-k. I enrolled her so early because she stayed only with my mom while my husband and I were at work. I wanted her to get experience being around other kids so that she would know how to socialize. Of course, those other kids taught her habits that I wish they hadn't, such as crossing her arms and pouting, but it was a great experience for her. Her birthday is in November, so she was actually closer to 3 when she started at the school. The next year, we sent her to a three day a week, four hour a day class at a different church. I liked the first school very much, but they only had a five day all day program for three year olds. I just don't think that three year olds need school five days a week all day. She had an awesome year at the new preschool as well. I didn't send my younger daughter to school until this year. She turned 3 in March, and I just didn't think she needed the two year old class last year, as she is around other kids quite often. My mother keeps her while my husband and I are at work, but most of my friends also have kids now, so she has been around them and her sister since birth. We see them almost every weekend. So far, she loves the preschool. It is the same one my older daughter attended three years ago.
I am a teacher in the public school system where my older daughter now attends first grade. As a teacher I have to say that it is almost impossible to identify a "good system". Each school is so different. We have 8 elementary schools in my county, and there are only three of those 8 that I would even consider sending my children to. However, those three are all excellent schools. So, I would say that judging a school system would have to be done on a school by school basis, and you will get the best information by talking to any moms who have children in the schools and who are also teachers. We have more of an inside scoop than the other parents do. I teach middle school, and I am not sure yet what I will do with my girls when they get that old. The things I see and hear at work are certainly things from which I would like to insulate my girls. However, they have to live in the real world, like it or not, and I think that they have to be exposed to certain things while they are still young enough to talk to me and my husband about it so that we can guide them through the experiences. So, I'm torn about what to do when they are middle and high school aged, but I still have a few years before I have to deal with all of that.
I hope that you are able to reach a decision that feels perfect for you and your family!

Trish said...
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