Thursday, March 26, 2009

Choosing the Right Preschool

The biggest stress in our life right now (other than the impending birth of baby #3, of course) is choosing the right preschool for our 3 year old. There are actually a lot of options in our town of 90,000, probably the by-product of living in a college town with a strong emphasis on education. But the number of options is actually causing us problems.

The biggest issue we have is the school's ideology. We're still trying to decide between a playschool that focuses more on the power of learning through play and a more advanced preschool with certified teachers, a strong curriculum and a focus on academics.

At this point we're not looking for a program that is too focused on academics and assessment. We're still 2 full years away from school, so it's not as important for him to be school-ready right now. Plus, we're of the belief that toddlers learn more from playing and imagination than anything else. And the literature seems to back us up (see this article from the New York Times and this research from Colorado State University).

Anybody else have this sort of preschool dilemma? What did you decide to do?

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