My daughter just turned 2 years and 6 months and our hype over picking the best preschool started again. Why "again" you might ask? Because the increased awareness in the importance of early education as well as the evolved competency of children these days created great pressure on parents, like me, who want nothing but the best for their child (/ren). And because of that pressure, I have been scouting for playschools and preschools since Ella was 6 months. OA? Some parents even enroll their kids as soon as they were born!
We tried one class at Gymboree when Ella was more or less a year old and while I can't say anything negative about the class, it didn't work for us. I personally think that the things taught in such classes can be taught at home. And if what I'm after is the opportunity for Ella to mingle with other bibo and English speaking kids...Isn't a couple thousand pesos a bit too much for that? So it was a "NO" at the time.
But now, it's different. At 2, Ella really needs to learn with other children her age so that her social skills would develop to its maximum potential. With that in mind, I have narrowed down some of my own guidelines in picking the right preschool.
1. LEARNING APPROACH. I'm not sure if there's anything else, but I was able to research 6:
*Developmentally Appropriate Practice (DAP) -as the words suggest, it is how learning adapted based on the research of how young children develop and when the education will be most effective.
*Eclectic -it is when the educator utilizes the best of several methods of teaching based on his instinctive and professional assessment on a child's or group of children's learning pace and capacity.
*Montessori -is learning based on the research of Maria Montessori wherein children are given the freedom to learn on their own while educators are supposed to observe, support and sustain the learning process.
*Multiple Intelligence- is learning adapted from the theory of multiple intelligence wherein the main focus of education will be on the area of intelligence a child displayed high measures of.
*Progressive -is learning by doing and incorporates the John Dewey model, same thing applied in the systematic approach to experimentation.
*Traditional -is when children with varying developmental capacity is being taught in one class with one pace and one generally appropriate developmental plan. Simply put, that's how most of us were taught.
Wouldn't it be nice to get the best of everything? That's why if a school can maximize the Eclectic approach to its utmost success, then that would be the school for us!
2. ENGLISH AS PRIMARY LANGUAGE. Ella will always learn and practice Filipino everywhere in the Philippines but she can only learn and practice good conversational English where everyone is confidently speaking it.
3. STUDENT TO TEACHER RATIO.The focus of the educator to a student or number of students greatly affects the success of the learning approach
4. LEARNING ENVIRONMENT. I believe that children will learn best if the environment sustains the learning process.
5. TUITION AND OTHER FEES. I want to enroll Ella in a school where the tuition fee would be logically worth the learning.
6. PROXIMITY. I wouldn't want my child to lose her energy in travel alone.
So far, I'm thinking about taking Ella to trial classes at Lincolnshire Internationale Preschool which uses DAP to find out if they best translate my developmental plans for my child. Other prospect preschools are Kiddo Academy, Explorations Preschool , Holistic Education Montessori Center and OB montessori. Can anyone provide feedback on these schools? I would greatly appreciate it! :D