Monday, March 24, 2008

The Right School for your child

Searching for the right school for kids is a cumbersome task for today's parent. Few months back, while discussing with my folks on deciding for pre-school for Genie, they found it funny that we (DH & I) spent an hour or two at the school where we plan to enroll her. They say for me, they went a day or two before the first day of school, paid fees and took admission. They never visited the school before, WHY... simply because the relatives/friends/neighbors who sent their kids to the same school had only good things to tell when asked and also the school was NEAR to our home. Our parents had it so easy.

Now there are many factors to contemplate before enrollment of your child in a school. In Mumbai itself, many new pre-schools mushroom on regular basis. Its like if you have a degree in ECCE (early child care education) and the resources especially Vitamin M (money), rest all follows.

Genie starts her playschool this June in one of the pre-schools in our neighborhood. We took admission for it just last month. She will be spending 2 hours daily five days a week. The admission process has been quite simple. No interviews either with the parents or kids. Just fill the form, pay fees and admission process is over.

What made us choose this school from the trio of pre-primary nurseries in our area - for One - the school is just less than 10 minutes away from my home (read NEAR) and Second - practically whomsoever we know and asked have sent their kids to this pre-school as it is Simply the Best.

Hey aren't the above two the same reasons which made my parents decide my pre-school... Yes they were the two main reasons for us to start checking this pre-school in my neighborhood.

When we visited the school few months, the Catholic couple who has been running the school in the huge backyard of their bungalow since 20+ years gave us detailed information especially education background of themselves, teachers and assistants of the school. We were impressed by their credentials and beside a mother's instinct was feeling good about the whole thing already as they spoke and treated us well.

They showed us around the school. All the batches (playschool, nursery, jr & sr kg) have no more than 30 kids with a teacher, 2 assistants and a lady ayah. They have large classrooms with themes like fruits, flowers, animals, etc that change every month, activity tables, a large playground with slides, swings, rocking boats, rainbow climber, a huge sand pit, rope ladder, jungle gym, shape tunnels and various skills enhancing toys, games and teaching materials. They teach the kids how to eat, clean up after playing, eating and also potty training.

They left us on our own and we stayed back for an hour or so. We mingled with the teachers and assistants, saw how they handle young kids, spoke, read and played with them. We made a mistake of not taking Genie along with us, do not ask why... If she had come along, we would have to drag her home...

What was important to both of us - the behaviour of the owners, teachers, assistants and helpers - how they treat the kids - are they polite or do they run out of patience when a toddler throws a tantrum.

Since the number of kids did not exceed 30, teachers could manage to give personal attention. The school has many activities and they make it a point to involve each kid be whatever the age.

I think that if your child progresses well i.e. understands and grasps things well, looks forward to going to school even on holidays, if the teachers and other staff teaches well, encourage your child to take part in various activities, etc, then the school is right for your child. I would not compare the chosen school with other schools as it could leave me feeling disheartened.

At the end of it, we both are happy with our decision of enrolling Genie in this pre-school. We will be taking her to see the school soon. We are more excited about the whole thing, its like we have taken admission for ourselves. :). When Genie is ready for SKG, we will have to search for some other school, where there will be interviews and much more. Now, we just want Genie to mingle with kids of her age, play and not be shy of everyone.

I will end the post with this quote "Education is an ornament in prosperity and a refuge in adversity"- Aristotle.

Cross posted on by Batul


Angel... said...

You are so right.. thats good finally you found it..Sorry I was not experienced about that.. but now I am happy you are experienced and when I need anything about my future childs...I will bug you..

thanks for sharing..


Sandeepa said...

Your criterion for deciding on a pre-school was almost like mine :) Intend to do a post soon