Sunday, May 19, 2013

How we chose our daughter's preschool

A few months ago, I posted about how I was looking for a preschool for my 3 year old daughter Miley. We went on a tour of 4 schools near our area and Miley had trial classes in 2 of them. I hope you understand if I don't share the names of the schools here in my blog. It's just that I want to keep where my kids would go to school private. :) Anyway, I'll just share with you the pros and cons of each school and how we ended up with our final choice. I'm sure like every parent, choosing the right school for your child can be quite a challenge.

School 1 was the nearest to our place. It was also the smallest among all the schools we visited. There was only 1 classroom per level, so about 4 classrooms total. Hubby liked it because since it was so small, he figured Miley wouldn't be overwhlemed and matututukan un kids. But I felt that it lacked the school setting that would prepare her for big school. The tuition fee was reasonable but I kinda wasn't feeling the teachers when Miley had her trial class...

Miley showing her artwork after trial class

School 2 was one of the top choices in the area. It also had the most expensive tuition fee at a whopping 100k! But you could see why because the school was immaculate, the classrooms were big, the facilities looked clean and new, plus they had a huge play area for the kids. We had a number of friends whose kids go here and they kept raving about the place. So it was so hard because even though we would love to send our kids here in a heartbeat, the tuition fee was just no joke.

we had quite a hard time asking Miley to leave the play area ;p

School 3 was also a highly recommended school in our area. In fact, the daughter of a friend goes there. We went on a school tour and although everything looked impressive, I felt that the atmosphere was too strict and the teaching style wasn't for me. The tuition fee was also really expensive (a small difference with School 2).

School 4 was where Miley had her 1st trial class. I guess she had the most fun here because when we would ask her after where she wanted to go to school, she would consistently say this one. The school was just the right size and it had all the facilities I was lacking in School 1 - an activity area and even a kitchen for cooking and art activities. I also liked the teachers - in fact, the directress also lives in our village (um, pwede maki-carpool? lol!). The tuition fee was also very reasonable.

all set for school!

After much deliberation, we figured that although we would love to send our children to the top preschool, it really isn't practical at this time. Basically, most of their time would be spent playing and singing and dancing. It's really the interaction with other kids and discipline we want to foster. And as my father-in-law said, it's not about the school, the most important thing is having good teachers. Plus, with my son starting school next year as well, we have to be practical considering we're a single-income family. I mean, we have about 18 years of tuition to pay for (x2! eeep!). Maybe I really should start working again? ;p

Well, I'm happy to say that School 4 satisfied all our requirements - location (about 15 minutes from our place), teaching method (progressive), good facilities (they're currently renovating and improving some of the classrooms and other areas), teacher-student ratio (8 kids per class with a teacher & aide), and of course, a reasonable tuition fee (in fact this was the cheapest among the 4 schools yey!).

We enrolled her in the afternoon section since she has a hard time waking up (because she sleeps late!). Plus, it's just more convenient for our schedules.

They encourage incoming new students to take a summer program to prepare them for when classes start in June. We enrolled Miley and it was so much fun! I'll tell you all about it in my coming posts. :)

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