How to Determine What School Your Child Should Go to: 5 Steps
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Children are content at the right preschool.


Finding the right school can weigh heavily on a parent. Like so many things, the right preschool can help your child have a good start to her education. But don't let it weigh you down too much. There are plenty of great schools out there. You're bound to find one that's the right fit for you and your child. The best preschools fill up quickly, so you need to begin looking early. You may have to start even earlier if you don't have a lot of options in your area.

Steps

  1. 1
    Narrow your options before you even begin looking. The choices of schools can be overwhelming, especially for preschool-aged children. Save yourself some time and determine what you want in a preschool before you even begin. Key factors can be the location, cost, hours and teaching styles. You don't want to go broke putting your child in preschool or lose precious hours shuttling him back and forth. Think about how long your child's attention span is. Three-year-old preschoolers will probably only go to school two or three hours a day, and you might want to do full days.
  2. 2
    Visit each preschool that you are interested in and take your child with you. Watch how your child interacts with the teachers. She should be interested in what is going on and not too intimidated by the environment. It's not unusual for children to feel shy, but the teacher should help them feel welcome and encourage interaction. After the visit, ask your child what she thought about the school. (No formal interrogation here ... save that for the teacher!) Pay attention to the age range of children in each school. Some schools are daycares and preschools. If your child is going to be with a lot of babies and younger children, she probably won't get the same kind of curriculum as one that addresses her age group.
  3. 3
    Interview the head teacher at the school and ask about her background. (But leave the bright overhead light at home!) Also, ask about the other teachers and what kind of experience and education they have. At this point, you can also find out other tidbits, such as if the school is religious or has a moral code, what they do for meals or snacks, what kind of security the school has and teaching methods. Unlike elementary schools, some preschool teachers only have early childhood training, while others have a degree in education. Some will also have training in specialties like special needs.
  4. 4
    Verify the information the teacher gave you. (Summon your inner sleuth.) Call any references and talk to other parents to see what their experiences were like. If you don't know any parents that previously had children in the school, ask parents with children that are currently attending. If you are part of a playgroup for preschoolers, you can ask some of the parents there for recommendations and their experiences with local schools.
  5. 5
    Go with your gut. (It's called woman's intuition for a reason!) After you have looked into several schools, you'll probably have a gut feeling on which one feels right for you and your child. Maybe the teacher is more personable, and the preschool is closest to your home. Maybe the cost and curriculum are preferential. Whatever the reason, a mom's intuition is usually on target. Consider what your child wants as well, and you'll probably both enjoy the preschool years.

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Categories: Education and Communications

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