Thursday, May 28, 2015

Choosing the Right Pre-school for Your Child

It’s official.   After finishing ten months in Barangay Day Care, Neo is officially a preschooler.  He entered Barangay Day Care in the first session, and we were advised that he can enroll in the second session, but we decided to enroll him in a different school. 

The whole month of April, we have not been prioritizing the search for Neo’s school.  While some of our neighbor’s kids (around Neo’s age) are already enrolled in different schools and some are attending summer school, our little boy is busy sleeping in the morning and playing in the afternoon.  We only decided to look for a school when it was already May.

Before deciding which school to enroll Neo, we came up with certain standards and some considerations that we want for a school that our child will call his second home.  We inquired in different schools and here are some of the criteria that we took note of. 

FEES.  Needless to say, this is the first consideration of parents before deciding which school to enroll their kids.  Some opt to enroll their children in public schools because they don’t need to worry about fees.  Some also wanted to give their children the best education by sending their kids to well-known schools with rocket high tuition fees.  Take in mind though, that fee is not limited to tuition alone.  You have to pay for miscellaneous, school uniform, education tours, books, and a lot more.  

PROXIMITY.  Neo will be staying at the school for 2 hours (3 hours the most) and we don’t want him travelling more than 15mins to his school.  We don’t want his energy to wear down because of the travel.  This is why we enrolled Neo in a school close to our home.

FACILITIES.  Whatever things we put our money into; we make sure that we get what we paid for.  Because as parents, we want nothing but the best for our child, we want to know and see that the facilities he will enjoy are the best.  From the classroom, to the surroundings, are they offering a good facilities?  Even the littlest things we need to see and check.  Do the tables have safety brackets?  Do they offer air-conditioned rooms?  Is the classroom big enough for your kid to learn comfortably?  This all depends on you and your standards.

SECURITY.  Since Neo is still young he goes to school with Ate Espie the whole time.  But our little boy is so playful that he can outrun Ate Espie, and thus, we wanted a school secured enough for Neo.  We wanted the school to have its own security guard and a gated area.  This is to avoid street-related accidents for the little one.

TEACHER-STUDENT RATIO.  When Neo was studying at the Barangay Day Care, the first session where he belongs to, has20+ students initially (no more than 15 finished the school year) and this posed attention-related problem to the teacher.  So whenever we inquire to different schools, we always ask for the student-teacher ratio.  This is so that the teacher can give each and every student quality time they deserve during classes.

TEACHER’S CAPABILITIES.  When I was in grade school, I went to a lot of school.  I transfer a lot because we transfer residence a lot too.  And I have met a lot of teachers with different capabilities.  One value I really want to see in Neo’s teacher is patience.  Little kids are so playful that I really want their teachers (and teacher’s aide) to be patient so they won’t shout, spank, or harm my little boy.

SCHEDULE.  Different schools have different schedules and reasons behind the scheduling.  While inquiring we learned that Toddler School (or the first step) normally is scheduled during lunch time to give way for kids to sleep more in the morning, while Kinder students’ schedule is normally during morning to prepare them in waking up early for the Grade School.  We opted to enroll Neo in a school where his schedule is in the morning.  We don’t want him to go to school during lunch time because the heat can be too much for the little boy.  We also don’t want him to go to school in the afternoon because he still needs his afternoon nap as a growing boy.

Additional:  RELIGION-BASED SCHOOL.  Some parents opt to enroll their kids on schools that are of the same religion as theirs.  We didn’t.  We are Born Again Christians but we enrolled Neo in a Catholic School.  This school has a very good reputation.  I honestly don’t think there is any harm in that, because when I was still a preschooler until I was in Grade 2, I was enrolled in a Catholic school as well.  It didn’t change any of the Christian-led values my parents were teaching me at home but it did help me respect the Catholic (and other religions) more.  But remember, that this is your call, and to each his own.

These are some of the things that we took into consideration when we enrolled Neo in his school for June. I hope this list helps you in looking for the perfect school for your little ones. 

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