This week is a big week in the Garcia household. Last night, JJ and I attended preschool orientation to learn more about expectations and Vivienne went to visit her classroom for 20 minutes this morning. We officially begin classes next week, attending on Tuesday/Thursdays from 9:15-12, coming home in time for lunch and before her nap. During the first week, she will attend for an hour on Tuesday and then Thursday will be her first official day of school. I like how they are easing all of us in, as some kids (including mine) can have issues with being away from mom and dad. I know Vivienne is going to do amazing but being that she has never experienced day care or time away, I can only imagine the natural reaction of being upset the first couple times we go. I’ll be sure to keep you updated on how she does.
So, why did we decide to start her so young in preschool?
We had a few people comment about her age and it being fairly young to start preschool. For us, socialization and starting her young is super important to us- we want her to learn in different environments, be around other people, and especially interact the most with kids. We have playdates, outside activities, and such… but there’s something about being outside your comfort zone that can make a person flourish as an individual. We believe this is true for both adults and children. Ha!
How did we decide on the specific preschool?
I won’t lie, I only visited 3 schools total and based this choice off of a trusted recommendation. I am the kind of person who would make my husband go to 20 schools and probably drive myself crazy with the process. What is the best choice? How do you decide? I wanted to visit a few schools that were different, to see if a specific one was better than the other for us. We visited a Montessori, that we sound to be AWFUL and truthfully scared us away from the Montessori name. I know there are great Montessori schools out there, but we decided to pass and continue our search. We then went to a preschool that was a little more granola… very play based, which I really liked. We almost pulled the trigger and just said, we’ll have her go here when we started to ask around to friends. The organic preschool was about $650 a month, not really what I wanted to spend monthly for preschool, but if it was our only option… I would have. The one we decided on was in our budget, had a great child/teacher ratio, and something that was really important to me: discipline tactics aligned, and majority of the curriculum was based on play, art, music, etc. What made the choice very clear, was knowing other people had gone there themselves or brought their own children and loved it.
When you visit a school, what are some important questions to ask?
(some of these came from you!) Check out some options to include based off of what is important to you! These are commonly asked.
- Nurse on staff/medical training?
- How do they handle discipline?
- Does your child need to be potty trained? If so, to what extent?
- Child/teacher ratio
- School safety regulations
- Style of teaching, play vs. curriculum
- How many hours are they in school?
- Are you allowed to just stop in and visit?
- Are there part-time/half day options?
- Physical therapy or special needs options?
- Longevity of staff members
- Communication easily available with teacher?
- If full days, what does nap, and meal times like?
- Sick policy, vaccination requirements?
- Early morning or after caring available?
- Check with government website infractions and how they handled situations.
- How to deal with separation anxiety?
- Did you get along with the director/principal?
Why did we choose two-day vs. three?
This was a big topic from followers on their opinion regarding having a child go two days or three during the week. For us, we really wanted to keep family day for as long as possible, so Tuesday/Thursday was the best option for us. Plus, two days is way easier on mama!
Does your preschool require being potty trained?
Yes. The crunchier preschool said we wouldn’t need to be fully potty trained and that they would help in the process. This one, you need to be able to pull your pants up and down, wipe, and do the essentials themselves. I’m also more comfortable with this personally, but this was also the reason why I wanted to get Vivienne putty trained when we did.
How do I let her go?
No, really… how do I do it?
I hope this post was helpful in the topic of starting preschool. I always want to be as open and honest with you when I am going through something for the first time, as I too have no idea what I am doing and making decisions as I go. I am excited to share how the first couple weeks go for Vivienne… I know she is going to do great. Me on the other hand… I’ll be over here crying for a while.