Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Choosing a Preschool for My Son

It’s my son’s first day of school tomorrow and after two weeks of waiting my son will FINALLY go to school. It has been two weeks of waking up in the mornings with Lorenzo coming to breakfast with his bag in tow telling me his ready to go to school. I hope everything goes smoothly tomorrow, the batteries of my digital camera and camcorder are being recharged at the moment in preparation for the BIG day, meals and clothes planned and prepared. I’ll blog his first day on my next post.

I was very particular about the school my son will be attending. Even before I had him I already have a mental list of the kind of schools my future children will go to.

Here are the things considered when looking for a school for my son:

It must be near our home and readily accessible through different modes of transportation. If it is in walking distance the better.

Legitimacy and Reputation of the School
The school should be licensed and registered and receives good feedback from the existing parents of students enrolled there. Meeting and knowing graduate from the school would be good.

The School’s Program Philosophy
Knowing their method in teaching children and their approach to learning must be clear and what will be the activities being done during school hours should be evaluated by parents if it fits their own beliefs and approve the kinds of activities the child will do.

Environment and Facility
Looking and evaluating the school’s facilities is important. Are the classrooms well ventilated or air conditioned. Is there enough area for playing and are they child proofed? Is the school clean and secured? Is there an adequate medical facility.

The School Approach to Discipline and Teacher-student Ratio
Is the school’s approach to discipline reflects the way to want to discipline you child. Any verbal or physical abuse should not be present in any school. Is the Teacher-student ratio just right for his age, could the teacher handle the size of his class specially children at the age of 3 or 4 years old? Can the teacher cater to each of his students’ needs during classes?

Affordable Tuition Fees
Is the amount of tuition fees reasonable for the kind of services they are giving? Are there payment plans available.

Teachers and Principal
Are the Teachers enthusiastic, patient and interested in their students? Does the principal reflects the schools philosophy in education. Are they approachable?

Child Readiness to go to school
Does your child show interest in going to school? Is he comfortable in the school’s environment? Is he ready to be left alone to teachers? Is he ready to interact with other kids?

It took me two years looking for the right school for my son and did not expect it to be the same school where I graduated in Elementary. My son attended another school much nearer our home in summer of 2006 but I was not satisfied with what they were teaching him, the school was just in a space in a ground floor of a building and there was no open spaces for children to play, plus the tuition fee cost more than fifty thousand pesos a year.

Early this year we visited my former school and was surprised with the changes they made(I attended school there 20 years ago). They offer preschool now and the school facilities were upgraded to accommodate preschool children. Met and interviewed the teacher(to ensure good quality they only have class for the nursery level) observe the class and toured the preschool classrooms(they offer nursery, kinder and prep). It also helped that the current principal was my teacher and the tuition was affordable(half of what the first school was asking for). The decision was finalized when my son asked to visit the school again, he enjoyed our first visit and is already comfortably familiar with the school's facilities specially the canteen.


kat said...

wow. it seems you researched this carefully. thanks for sharing it to us moms. my kiddo won't be in school for another few years, but i'll keep your list in mind.

p.s. i find it so interesting (for lack of a better word) that you wanted to be a mom since you were a little girl! how endearing.

roxiegirl said...

hello joan!

i too had a hard time finding the right school for my son and i'm just glad that i found one that suit my criteria before the classes starts, yikes!

i'm excited to hear about your baby's first day of school!

Reg said...

my daughter is going to be 2 years old this month and we (me & hubby) said we are going to start to "window shop" for a pre-school starting this month. thanks for the tips :-) can't wait to read your post on your sweetie's first day :-)