The other morning, my husband and I had our very first meeting with a preschool. Actually, it wasn't a preschool. It was an elementary school with a preschool. What that means is that you start your kid there as a preschooler and they matriculate through until they are in 6th grade when they prepare both you the parent and you the student to move into a private junior high setting and then onward to prep school and beyond.
Holy Lord, just writing that out is overwhelming.
We have an excellent situation with Little G. His current family daycare is curriculum based and he is thriving there. Starting on Monday, he will be attending full time. But, he will be three next summer, and we feel that it is important for him to start his education in a preschool environment which means, believe it or not, that we are in the full throes of preschool searching rightnowthissecondevenaswepreparetohavebabynumbertwo. You see, applications for most preschools are due in January, and visits are in October/November and uhh...yeah...did you realize that Monday is October already? EEP!!
Anyway, this first school that we looked at was beautiful. And we knew it would be. But it was hard to have this one be the first one we visited because the bar is set so high...kind of like trying on the Vera Wang dress first - hey, once a wedding blogger, always a wedding blogger, right? We have a list of about 6 schools we are interested in and they range across the board not only in curriculum philosophy, but in type. For instance, we haven't ruled out Little G attending Boston Public Schools until at least 7th grade, so some of the preschools we are looking into are just that...preschools, after-which he would matriculate into the Boston Public School system. But, there are also a couple of preschools that are part of a larger school process, like the one we visited today. And then there are also a couple of Montessori schools thrown in there as well.
It is so daunting to look at our son and be faced with the task of setting up the best educational system for him for the rest of his schooled years...when he's only 2!! I absolutely believe that from an educational standpoint, he will thrive in any of the preschool options that we have chosen to explore further...so after that, what sets each school apart? As far as I can tell, it is the hope of what Little G will continue to do in school with his preschool education as the foundation.
I look at myself and wonder if I had been given a better chance in school, would I have been more successful in life? This stems from a background of me having some focus issues that were never handled properly like they would be in today's school environments and my struggling with those issues all the way through college and into my professional life. Conversely, would my husband be as successful as he is now if he hadn't had his mom champion for him to be in a private school. The public school in their town tried to tell his mom that he was stupid, but she recognized that he had learning disabilities and fought until she found a private school that would work with him and his path in life was changed forever because of the education and support he received. Side note: how awesome is my husband's mom?!
We still have a long way to go in this process but I have faith that we will make a good decision for our son and for our family. However, in the meantime, if anyone knows of a post-school curriculum that focuses on sending your kid to preschool some day, let me know, because I'll sign right up for that..as long as I can paint on the easels and play with clay.