Category Archives: Parenting

Should I Send My Child to Preschool?

Should I Send My Child to Preschool?

Many parents begin to ask themselves, “Should I send my child to preschool?” when their child is between the ages of 2 and 3.  This is a very sensitive topic for parents and shouldn’t be taken lightly.  There are advantages and disadvantages to any preschool setting so it’s good to have a solid understanding of what you are looking for and what will meet the needs of your child best.

If you are a parent currently contemplating this very topic, I encourage you to gather as much information as you can before making a decision.  Hop online, speak with other parents, trust your gut and be honest about what your child is and isn’t ready for.

Lastly, visit as many preschools as you can, I cannot stress this enough!   When I was researching preschools for my child, I first called 24 preschools.  From these initial conversations over the phone I was able to quickly narrow my searching down to only 8 that I wanted to visit.

As luck would have it, the last preschool that I visited was the one that I fell in love with and I knew it within the first five minutes I was there.  The best part of this whole process has been watching my little girl blossom as a result.  The self-confidence and social skills she has gained from her preschool experience is nothing I could have taught her on my own.

Driving away that first day of school had me in tears; I wasn’t sure if I was crying because I had dropped my little girl off for school for the first time or if it was because her teacher had to remind her to “wave goodbye to Mom!”   This is when you know your child is ready; they may not look back because they are secure in who they are and what they are doing.

As you being to compile your list of preschools to visit and questions to ask, don’t forget to include the three following questions, they will tell you a lot about the center you are considering.

  • Is the preschool licensed and/or accredited?
    • It’s important when considering a preschool to know if the school is licensed.  There are standards that licensed facilities are required to meet and they shouldn’t be overlooked.  One of the standards includes a balanced teacher to student ratio.  There should be at least one teacher for every eight to ten 4-5 year olds, and one teacher for every six 2-3 year olds.  Enrolling your child in a preschool that has too many kids and not enough help can lead to a very negative experience for your child.
    • Another stamp of preschool excellence comes in the form of accreditation.  Being accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) requires preschools to follow strict guidelines for areas such as curriculum, teacher qualifications, class size and health and safety standards.  A small percentage of preschools are actually accredited because the requirements can be too financially demanding for smaller preschools to commit to.
  • What is the educational training and experience of the staff?
    • Now more than ever, standards are rising for the qualifications needed to teach young children.  Asking to see what form of education and experience each member of the preschool staff holds is important.  Look for a head teacher that has at a least an associate’s degree related to early childhood development.  Having some educational training will enrich the program your child is enrolled in.  Also, a good teacher interacts with the children.  The children are asked a lot of questions and are listened to. Children should feel welcome and safe in the classroom environment.  A good teacher can clearly answer all your questions and does so patiently.  Have the teacher tell you about a typical day and how they will communicate your child’s progress and challenges to you on a regular basis.  Above all if you feel comfortable speaking with the teacher and are happy with the way the classroom is structured you are on the right track!
  • How is the preschool structured and what curriculum do they follow?
    • It is easy as a parent to get caught up in developmental milestones, but it should not be about making sure we are keeping up with the Jones’s kids but engaging our little ones in opportunities that will allow them to socialize and be imaginative.  These opportunities help build the skills children need to become well rounded individuals.  There are at least 13 formal years of more structured learning that will take place for your child, additional time if they pursue an advanced degree.  When interviewing potential preschools make sure they believe in a classroom that learns through play!  If you see kids cooking with blocks in a play kitchen wearing a dinosaur costume while others are smearing shaving cream on a cookie sheet, this preschool is doing something right, continue to pursue!

How did you know your child was ready for preschool and did you find the right fit?


Kindergarten Prep, What’s Your Secret?


I’ve been having some great discussion with friends and family since my Kindergarten Registration post and I’m curious to see how others have prepared their children for Kindergarten.

Please take a moment to answer the short survey below.

Kindergarten Registration…

Kindergarten Registration…

While browsing through the mail last night, I came across a newsletter from our neighboring area highlighting that Kindergarten Registration would begin towards the end of February.  This grabbed my attention and heartstrings in a very BIG way because my little girl will be transitioning to the “Big School” this fall with the “Big Kids.”

It wasn’t as if this was news to me, we’ve been talking about starting kindergarten since last spring when some of her fellow classmates were graduating from the preschool she attends.  At the time it seemed like we had all the time in the world, another year to enjoy the comfort and routine of our current setting.

But now, that year has almost passed…

Kindergarten Registration?!?! Can it really be that time already?  It seems like only yesterday I was working through the initial sleep deprived days of being blessed with a newborn, endless feedings, diaper changes, hugs and kisses.  Before long she was toddling and babbling, baby proofing our environment went into overdrive, more hugs and kisses to follow as the bumps and scrapes started to add up.  Then it was on to researching preschools and finding activities to become involved in. Now, elementary school is knocking at our door.

As an educator, I know she’s more than ready.  We’ve done the prep and then some…reading aloud everyday, practicing basic skills, working on becoming more independent, fostering emotional and social growth, establishing routine,  the list goes on and on.

I guess where I continually fall short in this journey is preparing the mother in me.  No where in the “handbook of mothering” can I find lessons I need to complete in order to prepare myself for the monumental moments in my child’s life. They always seem to catch me off guard.

The one true blessing in it all is knowing that I am raising a very strong, independent daughter that holds a true joy for life and learning.  She’s not afraid of what’s ahead, in fact she’s running towards it full force.  She’s confident and relentless because she knows that no matter how great the journey ahead she has the unconditional love and support of her family behind her.  This of course and an endless supply of hugs and kisses to celebrate each step along the way.

Preparing a Kindergartner of your own?  Below are some helpful resources to get you and your little one ready for this important transition!