Dilemma: full day (better academics) vs half day (funner) programs... — The Bump

Dilemma: full day (better academics) vs half day (funner) programs...

So we are pre-registered for two pre-schools.  

School One:  Full day 8 am to 3:45.  Best school in the city (long wait list) and it focuses on serious academics.  They call it College Heights and it is like the bad stereotype of super pre-k.  We had to get interviewed.  They can't be taken out early or miss days for fun.  It is very structured.  DH is all over this one, I think college prep at ages 3-5 is sort of an overkill.  Edit, I did forget to mention that they will have Special Education (SpEd) services in place already which is a pro for Harmon who is on the spectrum.   

 School Two:  8:30 to 2:00 (probably 2:30).  It has no Fridays which is my day off since I will be working part-time (30 hrs) when I go back to work post leave.  It is a called the LC Fine Arts Academy Pre-K and it focuses on the 5 different ways of learning instead of straight academics. It does 30 minutes of either tap or ballet a day and 30 minutes of either singing or instruments a day.  It also does a lot of art as well.  I like this school and DH thinks it is not serious enough for the 3 kids.  Edit, this school doesn't have the SpEd services in place but they are excited about Rachel who has mild CP and they are willing for us to bring in SpEd therapists to teach the faculty what is needed for Harmon.  

 Both Schools:  Have low ratio of students to teacher.  They are both amazing on discipline and structure.  The big difference is focus and time involved for each program.  Technically School one is cheaper b/c it is for 5 days but the tuition at both are pretty much identical.  WDYT?


Mom to Harmon 1/17/08 and twins Rachel & Callum 8/28/09 Photobucket 29o0v13.jpg

Re: Dilemma: full day (better academics) vs half day (funner) programs...

  • Fun.  They will have enough academics in their future.  Plus learning through play is so important. 
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  • imagecmeon_the_water:
    And "not serious enough"- eek! I'm rolling my eyes BIG time over here. You know he's being silly- don't back down. :)

    I think it is silly too!!!  I couldn't believe the lady today when she was talking to me.  There is one thing I forgot to mention about this school is that Harmon does get services for his sensory at the first school while in school.  He is on the spectrum and so finding a place that will provide the proper services is tricky. 

    But the 2nd school knows Rachel has mild cerebral palsy and is excited about it!  They want her, they want Callum, and they even are open to Harmon.  They don't have the SpEd services set up though that pre-k 1 has.

    Mom to Harmon 1/17/08 and twins Rachel & Callum 8/28/09 Photobucket 29o0v13.jpg
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  • Tough choice. It really depends on your kids. My son would like #1 better. But I do agree with PP that the hours of school #2 makes up a full day for a PreK kiddo. For sure.

    But the SpEd services are really important for Harm.

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  • For me, it's not even a question. School should be FUN, especially preschool. And if you're not "allowed" to take a day off for a fun or family activity when you're pre-K, then when ARE you? Is there any way you could get H's services elsewhere?
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  • School one. No Spec Services would be the deal breaker. Although they are willing to work with people you bring in, I would want someone more trained in the area.
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  • imagethe_jackpot:
    School one. No Spec Services would be the deal breaker. Although they are willing to work with people you bring in, I would want someone more trained in the area.

    Basically this. I feel like school one has more resources for both of your children who have special needs. School two is "excited" about your daughter, but what if it turns out she/her needs are not what they expected? Will they still be "excited" to see her? 

    I am sure there is still art/music/PE in school one as well. Also those are easily enhanced at home.

  • I really don't like the sound of school 1, but even though the 2nd is "excited about your DD, are they really prepared to give her what she needs to succeed.  If not for the special ed I woudl 100% go with the fun school, school 1 sounds too strict IMO for preschool.  If your children can get what they need from the 2nd school or supplementation at home then I would definitely go with the "1/2 day".  I would be ticked to be told that I couldn't pick my kid up early or have them miss for whatever my reason is. 
  • The lack of existing special ed services at school two would be a deal breaker for me.  

    My DS was in a normal fullday preschool earlier this year with no special ed supports and was kicked out after 8 weeks.  Three weeks ago my DS restarted preschool at a public school in a blended class (1/3 special ed) with appropriate special needs supports and the difference between the two school experiences is incredible.  For most "typical" children school choices don't really matter that much, they will learn anywhere, but this is just not true for "special needs" children.  The special ed teacher that is team teaching my son's classroom has really great ideas on how to manage my son's issues at school so that he can attend all classroom activities and work on achieving his IEP goals.  The normal ed teacher in my DS's room is pretty much at a loss when it comes to dealing with my kid's issues, she tries hard, but just doesn't know what to do when my kid losses it in class (it's not her fault she just doesn't have the training to deal with a kid who a sensory and communication issues in the middle of a meltdown).

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