Choosing a School for your Child

And our family hit another milestone just recently! Our eldest will go to school soon. It’s a structured playgroup in a preschool. No uniforms yet since she’ll be in pre-nursery. The thought of going to school excite us so much and of course, especially mommy and daddy and the home will somewhat change its normal everyday routine too. A big thing for parenting indeed. All the more we feel parenthood (since we’re new parents) in full speed!

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Our little Chesca enjoying her school visit
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She made an artwork during her room visit

There are several reasons why we see that going to school will be beneficial for our daughter. Some say that when you send your kids to school early in life they will easily lose interest when they grow older. Some parents say it’s true, while other totally disagree. A lot of professional educators we personally know say that it’s all about the family’s attitude towards school. You can make it a fun and a helpful thing for them or a routine we all just need to follow. They also say some parents just usually look for reasons why their kids dislike school or hates school early or later in his/her student life and due to no evidences why, sending their kids early in preschool is usually used as a scapegoat reason for some parents. Don’t be too hard on yourself moms and dads, if you have the resources allow your children to explore and learn about the world in simple ways.

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Art time

While some parents  these days don’t believe in early preschool and while others find home schooling the best option, we chose to send our kids to early preschool. Sharing a few things on why we decided to send our daughter to school at 2 years old.

  1. For socialization – at least she gets to socialize with kids her age
  2. To recognize other persons of authority aside from us, parents – she’ll meet teachers and other moms and dads too and learn to follow instructions from them
  3. To start introducing school routine slowly and discipline  – she’ll be going to school regularly (not everyday for now since this is just pre-nursery) but at least she’ll have a new routine. School and structured play will be added to her daily routine now.
  4. To learn more new things outside the home and in the usual places we go to like family homes, shopping malls, church – she will have more activities like painting, coloring, drawing, story telling, and other activities prepared for them. At her curious age and with their sponge-like brains, it’s best to expose them to more interesting educational activities. Sometimes we cannot do everything at home so school is a good avenue to help them learn some more and then we compliment them and continue the learning process at home.
  5. At twos and threes, kids are not good followers when instructions are told to them We’re hoping school can help in this area. Well, kids will always be kids so we’re not expecting the kids to be extremely well-behaved and follow everything they learn in school and apply it at home.
  6. Aside from school being a new channel of learning, sending our daughter to school gives her a new form of play with new playmates and friends. This is not serious school. Learning will still be in the home. We will still continue all our learning activities at home and our outdoor activities too. Mom and Dad also needs help but will take the lead still in teaching the kids. This is where first friendships outside the home is made too.

What are the factors we considered in choosing the preschool? We hope you find these helpful as well.

  • Location – Let’s accept it that traffic has been terrible the past years and it doesn’t get any better (in Metro Manila to be exact). Since we have another baby, we’d like to keep the activities outside the home with our eldest nearby. Also, if your activities are nearby your home, you save time and energy. Because of all these, we choose a preschool that’s near our home. We don’t need to worry about flooding during strong rain too.
  • Highly Recommended – It was a big factor that we knew some people who sent their children to the same school where we plan to enroll our children. At least we know we are putting our kids into a school that will embody even our morals, our beliefs, and our way of life. If you don’t know anyone who sent their kids to the school you’re targeting, just research more about the school and inquire. Don’t be shy to ask questions.
  • School’s background and foundation – For us, a school that has a vision mission that is in line with the parent’s thrust and dream for their children is a big factor. We are happy that the school we chose put faith above all things. There are even activities for parents on personal development and to strengthen their faith. There are also programs for parents too to get to know their children better and how to deal with their kids better too. At an early age, parents are taught how important it is to be involved in the lives of their children.
  • CurriculumTraditional or Progressive or Balanced Curriculum? We prefer the balanced curriculum. Some prefer traditional while others progressive. We also like to expose our kids to the classic toys, classic way of doing things instead of the highly digitalized way of teaching the new generation now. For those who don’t know, traditional way of learning is the classroom setup type of learning where students don’t get any freedom to do what they want. It’s lecture then exam type of  setup. The progressive, on the other hand, gives full freedom to the children. They are given tools where they can freely do what they want with the given resources. The child is somewhat directing his/ her learning style and pace. Meanwhile, a balanced curriculum gets elements from both progressive and traditional which in a way in the middle of these two types of learning.
  • Cost – In today’s world, depending on what type of parents we are, cost is another factor to consider. We don’t personally believe in expensive education at this early stage but a preschool with reasonable cost that does not seem to charge us for everything and anything. Also fame shouldn’t be a big factor in choosing a school. Not because a school if famous, you will put the child in that school. Learn about it first before making quick decisions.

Well, for now the these are the factors we considered since we’re just in preschool and it’s the first step to education. Things will be different when we choose the big school for our kids though.

We’ll enjoy this stage. We want to keep things simple and straightforward as always. I’ve personally seen how competitive parents brought out the best and the worst in their children. Let’s all remember that parenting is not a competition, it’s a wonderful gift and we should all help each other out in this crazy world. A child is different from others even from his / her sibling so comparing them and their abilities to others is not a good basis for them being a great kid.

Relax moms and dads, this is just the start. Let them play and let them be little! We’re all excited since the first day of school will be happening soon for our daughter. We had a room visit already to slowly introduce school and the classroom. She met her teacher and had a blast! With no exaggeration, she was jumping around and was so cheerful when she saw the school and met her teacher. She even hugged her teacher and followed all instructions well. I do hope she’ll be consistent and of course, there will be good days and bad days. I hope the bad days aren’t so tough.

Thank you Lord for the gift of education and our family!

“Every child has a different learning style and pace. Each child is unique, not only capable of learning but also capable of succeeding.” Robert John Meehan

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