If your child will be 3 this September, then January through March is a great time to look ahead and choose a preschool for next year. I have a whole collection of posts on things to think about – check out whichever ones apply to you!
First decide: Is preschool necessary? Is it something you want for your child?
If you decide you’re looking, the first thing to think about is logistics: What do you need in a preschool in terms of location, schedule, cost, and so on. What are your goals for preschool?
Then, research your options. Have you considered cooperative preschool? outdoor preschool? specialty preschools (e.g. bilingual or religious)? academic preschool or play-based learning? online preschool? multi-age programs? What’s the difference between Montessori, Waldorf and Reggio?
Then visit, or attend an open house, and ask these questions to learn more.
After you’ve done all the research with your head, narrowing it down to the list of the best three options, then listen to your heart. Which school feels best to you? Where will your child be happiest? From the science of brain development, we know that we all learn best when we feel safe and happy – our brains have a high degree of neuroplasticity and we can absorb all the teacher has to teach. In the end, it’s that happiness and preserving the love of learning that will serve our child’s educational future the best.
FYI: I teach at co-op preschools sponsored by Bellevue College, so if you live on Seattle’s Eastside, check us out! www.bellevuecollege.edu/parented.