Preschool is the first step on your child’s wonderful journey of learning and education. A positive first impression of school can make all the difference in how well they adapt to learning in a structured environment and how far they progress as a student. After all, preschool is a child’s first formal introduction to the education system. With that in mind, determining how to choose a preschool can be difficult; however, it doesn’t need to be stressful.
5 Steps on How to Choose a Preschool
Here are five tips to consider when you’re looking at schools.
Attend an open house
The first tip on our list of how to choose a preschool is to attend an open house! When preschools open their doors to the public, it’s a great opportunity to dig deeper into what makes their program worthwhile. As part of a typical open house, you’ll have the chance to talk to the school’s staff and have your questions and concerns addressed. Go beyond just inspecting the building and its facilities and take time to ask important questions about class size, specialized education programs, faculty experience, and anything else that will directly influence your child’s education.
Ask About the length of the program
It’s not uncommon for people to view preschool as being separate from the “main” school system. However, some preschools are part of a larger program that continues into elementary and even middle school. Rather than change environments every three-to-four years as they advance through the system, such schools will keep them in a comfortable setting surrounded by familiar faces during their most formative years.
Visit preschool with your child
It’s important that you’re comfortable with your child’s school, but knowing how they feel about it before enrolling can save you time and money, as well as sparing your little one potential frustration. Any schools you are considering should allow your child to visit and see how they like the surroundings. But don’t be afraid to take it a step further and ask for your child to be interviewed by one of the staff members that would be involved in their education should they attend. It’s a great way for them to get to know your child and determine if they can meet their (and your) needs. Let your child have an active role in choosing their school.
Research specialty programs
Most schools you look into will provide at minimum a basic education following state and federal guidelines. But a child’s early years are vital to shaping how and what they learn. Take a closer look at not only what students will learn, but the school’s approach to learning. For example, does their program include computer-based learning? Programs that include a wide variety of learning mediums and hands-on opportunities are best to encourage lifelong learning. Think about what skills your child may need to succeed as they grow and seek out schools that provide them a place to learn those things.
Consider personalized learning
It’s no secret that increasing classroom size is a problem in America. As a result, the opportunity for personalized, one-on-one learning decreases. In this case, it is important to seek personalized learning opportunities where teachers can work with students on an individual basis to make efficient progress. Smaller classes generally mean more time consulting with students one-on-one and make group learning less stressful for students.
The early stages of education are crucial to a child’s early development. Take these tips on how to choose a preschool and inquire about how the McDowell School can set your child up for a successful educational career.