Introducing your child to kindergarten is an important milestone in your child’s life as well as in your life as a parent. Not only do you give your child a head start in education, but it is also the time when you let your child explore a new environment that will significantly affect his or her success in later years. Thus, choosing the right kindergarten and first-grade program is a crucial decision you make for your child. Here are a few things you should consider when making the choice:
Choosing between a private education and a public education in kindergarten is always part of the decision making process. What differentiates private from public schools is that private schools generate their own funds which give them independence from the state statutes, regulations and bureaucratic processes such as the implementation of the controversial Common Core that governs our public schools. As a result, private schools are more flexible and able to offer more specialized programs, advanced curriculum, and be more responsive to parent requests and student needs. This in turn, gives students more opportunities to develop the critical academic and life skills that help them learn and grow during their most formative years.
It is important that you consider a kindergarten that provides convenient access to your community while also ensuring the safety and welfare of your child. Most schools have websites which provide information about their service operations, curriculum, policies and procedures, contact details, and location. Still, you should ask your friends, neighbors, and other parents about their own experiences and recommendations so that you can gain a parental standpoint of a school’s kindergarten program.
Visit the kindergarten that you are interested in enrolling your child in. You might want to schedule an appointment to make sure that the school can accommodate you at the time of your visit. A key to identifying if the school has a good kindergarten program is the positive mood in the classroom. Students who are happy and proactive generally have nurturing and supportive teachers that encourage them to participate and engage them in class activities. Ask about the class size. Make sure the child-to-teacher ratio is sufficient for optimal learning.
When you visit the kindergarten or meet with the school Directors ask a lot of questions. Other than the curriculum, you should also inquire about the school’s academic and disciplinary policies and procedures, after-school and summer programs, available recreational facilities, lunch program, school events and activities, and other matters that can affect your child’s overall development – intellectually, physically, and psychologically. In this way, you can visualize what your child’s daily school life will likely be and think about how it can also affect your family’s current lifestyle.
Choosing the best kindergarten environment for your child requires careful consideration. Remember, you will only make this decision once, so don’t take chances – choose wisely.