Finding the right preschool can be difficult. Try asking these five questions to get a better understanding of a school’s philosophy and values when you take your first tour.
1. What is the educational philosophy?
It’s important to understand the philosophy of the school and see if it measures up to your expectations. Not only is it valuable to have a general appreciation of what curriculum might be applied, it’s also helpful to know how you can continue that learning at home and whether it resonates with your thinking. Some of the most recognized educational philosophies include Montessori, Reggio Emilia, and Waldorf.
2. What is the background of the teachers?
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a school is whether the school you are interested in is accredited and whether the teachers are trained. Are all the teachers required to have at least a high school diploma? What about the assistants? Are the teachers required to have a Bachelor’s degree or a Master’s degree? Who are the founders and what is their mission? These are helpful things to consider as you start to make your decision on what preschool might be right for your family.
3. How are social skills fostered?
A component of learning that is often overlooked during this period is social skills. If the school is touting their high academic standards and proficiency in certain areas, like math and language, or art and culture, consider asking how social skills are developed alongside these academic skills and find out how they weigh the social side of learning in the grand scheme of things.
4. How will my child transition to Elementary school?
While you may only be thinking of how the next few years at preschool might effect your child, which is perfectly normal, a question you may wish to consider asking is: how will my child transition to elementary school? Along those lines, here are a few more question to keep in your back pocket: Will my child be academically prepared for Elementary school? Will they know how to get along with their peers? How have previous students managed the transition?
5. What will my children learn in preschool?
Perhaps the most important question of all – what will my child actually learn in preschool? As you inquire about the educational philosophy, it can be useful to ask more specific questions about the learning. “How will my child come to learn language. Or, how do you teach mathematics? Will my child be exposed to music and singing? What do you think about outside time?”
We hope these 5 questions offer you a good place to start your search for a preschool for your family.
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