Checking Out Preschools for the First Time

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In a previous life, I was an educator. Prior to staying home with my children, I taught high school math, but I have also worked with children as young as kindergarten. I even spent a few years working as a supervisor at a summer camp.

I say this because I thought it helped qualify me for easily checking out preschools for my son.

I was wrong.

The first time we checked out preschools was very overwhelming. My son and I have spent every day together since he was born. I am extremely overprotective. He is ready to go to school, and I am ready to send him – for the most part. But oh my gosh, trying to find the right fit for him has been a challenge.

First off, I needed to narrow it down – there are over 40 schools within 10 miles of our home. Did I want him in a traditional school? Private? Religious? Montessori? Daycare center?

I didn’t know, so I needed to check out all of them to decide. We spent a few different weeks scheduling tours with all different kinds of schools. It was very time consuming but very helpful. I learned what type of school I most wanted him enrolled in – we ultimately went with a very hands on traditional school.

However, what was much more important to me was watching the director/teacher(s) showing us around the school interacting with my son. As I mentioned, I am very overprotective. My son has never even been babysat by someone who isn’t family. This would be our first experience trusting him with another person, and I needed to make sure it was the right fit. It’s not WHY I chose the particular school, but the assistant director who gave us a tour talked to my son like he was a person and did not use a ‘baby voice’ -yes, that actually happened at another school.

Admittedly, I do not care about the curriculum. As a teacher, I know that my son will spend many years of his life worrying about curriculum. I don’t believe he needs to start in preschool. My main reasons for sending him to school include appropriate socialization and to add a bit of structure to his life.

It took a long time to decide which preschool to enroll him in, but I am hopeful we made the right choice. It is the school he seemed to have the most fun at while visiting, and fingers crossed that is a good sign!

What helped you choose the right preschool for your little one? Share your thoughts with us in the comments! 

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Tom and Lauren Tate met each other in college and fell in love (there may or may not have been alcohol involved). Years later, they got married, had a baby and now live happily in Southeastern PA with their little boy. Lauren manages the home, while Tom manages projects at a software company. While their interests range from cooking and working out (her) and playing guitar and video games (him), together they manage to maintain a blog, Little Old Home (www.littleoldhome.com).

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