It’s preschool application season. We’ve toured schools, attended a preschool fair and finally decided on which school to apply to.
And now we wait. We mailed the application fee to just get on the wait list, but were assured that if we apply this early, a spot is nearly, almost positively going to be available.
It’s nerve wrecking because I don’t want to look at more schools because I feel like we’ve found the perfect fit for our son. I don’t want to take time off work any more to visit schools and ask the right questions, knowing that the perfect school is there but not for us. At one school they asked us why we wanted our son in their program and we both looked at each other and I feebly replied, “It’s close to home?” I don’t know the right questions to ask because I haven’t done extensive research into educational philosophies. My parenting philosophy on choosing a preschool is to ask every parent of preschool-age children where they send their kids, then visit and go with your gut reaction.
Preschool #1 was also a daycare and kindergarten and extremely expensive. It also sort of felt like a jail, all concrete and not very inviting. And when we went to the classroom that Future President would attend, the children all sort of looked vacant. I know this is a completely unfair representation, because what 2 or 3 year old doesn’t stare vacantly at strangers? But still, it gave me the creeps.
Preschool #2 was a private school with classes preschool through 8th grade. Let’s call it the hippie school. They don’t do standardized testing and when I asked how they helped their 8th graders decide where to go to high school, the admissions counselor told me that some students are ready for high school and some aren’t. (What?!?) They emphasize music and arts, which is wonderful, but the preschool classroom was teeny tiny and they only offered half-day programs.
Preschool #3 was at a university campus and provides all-day preschool programs, 2, 4 or 5 days a week. The outdoor space is massive, with a rock climbing wall, sand pit, bikes, etc. and the kids go outside every day, regardless of rain (the jungle gym is covered). The teachers have all been there for at least 9 years, which is rare for preschool/kindergarten teachers, and at least one teacher visits with the student at home before school starts, so the first day of school is a little easier. And bonus for us, potty training is not required.
We spoke with a few other preschools at the preschool fair, and while some of them are cheaper than the above options, didn’t impress me enough to visit them. No surprise, we selected Preschool #3.
And now we wait.