You have all heard that song with the line, sometimes we thank God for unanswered prayers, well I am today! In case you missed it Little Man and Little Princess did not get into the “dream” preschool. At first I was devastated, but then in less than a few hours, I found our real dream preschool. See I have wanted to home school for some time, I have taken quite a bit of flack for that from some but if you know me that will do nothing but push me more towards the goal of home schooling. The first “dream” preschool was a magnet school and the kids would have been there through high school with a prayer of any further children also attending that preschool. Looking back I am not sure what makes that school so great…I just thought it was.
The second dream school, it is a co-op school. Only for preschool ~ ages 3,4 and 5 (due to birthdates being late in the year). The parents are ALL hands on, the teachers are hands on (which visit a few preschools and you will see what I mean here), class size is only 10 kids at the moment if even and so much more. You have never heard of a co-op preschool? Neither had I, but the minute I saw co-op I thought this might be more my speed. I called the school and talked to one of the parents (co-op parents help out to keep costs low) and the director for well over an hour. I explained my situation and what I was looking for and received an invitation to come and attend class, bring the kids and my husband and see how it works! We made an appointment to talk and then stay for class as long as we like for today!
So today I went to see what it was like, actually we all went. An even though we were late it was amazing! EXACTLY what we were looking for! Pros:
(1) I get to help with class as much as I like and if there is a time the kids need me there no one will say anything and I can stay with them ~ we discussed that I would not sign up for a shift for a few weeks (each family has to volunteer to help one class a month for our specific class ~ Aaron is just as excited about this as I am) and for the first week I will sit in the office where I can hear and kinda see but the kids cannot see me, if necessary I am then available BUT we are giving them an opportunity to get used to class without me before I start showing up and if necessary I am RIGHT there.
(2) The class is every afternoon Monday through Thursday and then every other Friday the whole school meets and you are welcome to join or not join in as you see fit.
(3) this is a child run preschool, no they are not running wild and free, but they are not required to sit and color for example for 40 minutes if that is not what they want to do. Today we painted, made a craft, played Connect 4 and Sequence for Kids, played in the sand box, played cars and animals and played in the make believe dr’s office (this changes every month so next month it could be a pizza parlor or a post office) this was all before circle time, when we sat and sang songs, read a book and learned about months and days of the week in english and spanish. We also had a recycling theme today so a story and then a lesson about what trash does to the water around us was in order. See the children are not required to sit and do anything, there were some on computers etc… I can say that while they were not required to they wanted to do all of the things the teacher had out and she made sure even my kids visited every station to play and learn! The parent helper was just like the teacher and he (yes it was a dad) had all the same values everyone else did! ANd postive reinforcement and as close to zero negative as possible, no is used but there is so much more acknowledging the positive than anything else!
(4) If we find it necessary for the kids to not go to kindergarten next year, they will not, they will stay here and keep learning and go to preschool next year instead of kindergarten. And the kids are taken at the level they are ~ so Little Man does not be made to feel bad since he cannot name all of his letters and Little Princess can still work on her reading and neither are made to feel like they are better or worse than anyone in the class! A plus for me as I want them to know that it is ok that they learn different and can be at different places in their learning. This was very important to me!
(5) The kids LOVED it. I actually was not in the room very much was getting a tour, seeing the 3s room, and talking to the other parents there and not once did I hear MAMA (but daddy was still in the room though since they were split up he was not with both of them). Little Man was sooooo upset when we had to leave, he had made some new friends and wanted to go outside and play with them but we needed to go (Little Princess would have had to sit it out and I didn’t want that.) Little Man is still talking about school and cannot wait to go back. Which we will do one more time after Little Princess is fully walking!
(6) Most of these families then go on to home school, well probably closer to half or at least they let the child make the decision (which is my plan…if they are set on school we will find one we like and enter them there)
There are a million other things I loved but those are the majors! I cannot believe I stumbled across this school! The cons are so similr to may other public schools (this is not a public school) but there are fundraisers and such (which I did expect) and the worst con is the location of the school but they stay safe and in our town the location they are in is really not HORRIBLE it could be a lot worse. Everyone who comes in contact with the kids has a TB test and is fingerprinted etc But I am so happy for unanswered prayers right now because if not for the unanswered prayer this would have never happened!