Thursday, September 07, 2006

Finalize the School

The other day we went to see the school with web cams. It was on the ground floor of this huge office building. It looked very clean and bright. People there seems very nice too and so does their play ground. I was really impressed with the cleaning ness which is #2 on my check list. Then we talked to the director. She was a nice enthusiastic lady. While talking to her, another lady came by to play with the kids. After few minutes of usual talk about the program she took us to the room for my son’s age group kids. It was a nice bright yellow room with separate play area, cooking area, table chair to eat & learn stuff and nicely new type of platform to sleep, put aside & arranged on top of each other like square plates with sheets on it(really liked this one than those form mats). They had furniture pieces used as dividers to separate areas. Bathroom & sink were in the room itself so kids were pretty much staying in the same room the whole day beside the play ground time. Well in winter there won’t be much outdoor play time anyway. Really liked the fresh, new & crisp feeling though.

When we got out of there I was thinking about their fees & what are we getting. To me all the charges were for new stuff they have and I couldn’t think of anything they had different in their program from other pre schools who were charging half than these people. I think People don’t mind paying as much as double but they should have something special in their program to convince the parents that they were getting something DIFFERENT & MORE. And thinking about kids playing all day in one room is not that good, even though the room is big still its one room. Thinking from a kid’s perspective I didn’t like the fact. Till yesterday morning I was trying to convince myself to call them and say yes but couldn’t. Beside the web cams I didn’t find any thing in their program (#1 on check list) convincing.

Yesterday I spend some time finding more schools\and place few calls, then I came across a phone # in the search I wasn’t paying too much attention to since I start looking for a school. Instead of a school name or website URL there was just the # listed there. Yesterday since I wasn’t finding anything else I thought of trying that #. Talked to a girl and ask about the usual stuff. She sounded very nice. They were just few minutes further away from the web cam place and the fee was almost same too. So decided to check them out y’day. We went there around 3:30. It was an old office building and looked like a warehouse area around,wasn’t appealing at all. We parked on the back side and walked to the front. As soon as we turn from the side to the front, we saw soooo many kids playing in the playground. There were 2 different play ground on both front sides which we found out later was for different age group kids with appropriate toys and all the kids were looking very happy.

Went inside and found out that the girl I talked to was actually almost 50 year old lady with very peaceful look & soft voice. She started to give us a tour. They had separate room for different age groups. 3 different rooms for infants only… very young infant, medium age & almost toddlers. Not even 1 kid was crying there. Even babies were looking very happy & they had this glass wall between three rooms & had registered nurses to take care of the kids. Liked the toys there, were very different & interesting. Eating room’s floor was a mess which means they let kids enjoy. Good sign. They had gym there with 4-5 mini houses & trees & stuff which they called their VILLAGE ROOM. I liked that room.. Very different & interesting concept.

All the rooms had not fancy but clean carpet. Then she took us upstairs. First thing we saw an open area with an office feel and a girl was sitting there doing some paperwork. It was like she was guarding the upstairs part of the school & the Other lady was keeping an eye on downstairs stuff. A class of 4-5 years old were holding there hands standing in line ready to go downstairs with their teacher. They were all so happy and looking very nice & clean. Imagined my son standing in that line too;-)

Then she showed us their Science room with lots of wooden blocks placed in a circle, a rabbit, lots of books & other material. Next to that was the Nature room where they have stuff related to nature learning. On the other side there was a Computer room and my kids got busy:-) Next to that was Art room. & I saw lines of freshly painted paper on the side of floor. They had dough, clay for pottery & other art stuff in the room.

Kids ran to the computer room again with hubby while I stayed there to chat with her. She asked me if I was looking around and I said yes:-) I told her I went to that other academy almost next door too. She asked how I feel about them & hers school And I told her how I felt :-) I told her they are clean & bright but didn’t find anything great about the program but hers is really good & I think I like it so far:-) Hers is the best one I found so far.

Then she told me what they teach the kids and I told her that even my daughter can count from 1-10. She asked my daughter & we counted from 1-10;-) She was so surprise and said that 18m old don’t even talk and she can count too. I was happy:-) Then she told us what she thought of our kids & offered me a job there. I was surprise & happy but not ready to be with 20 kids.. lol.. I told her I consider myself a people person & I love kids but after these 2 Im already going crazy and need a break:-)

She told us about their open door policy, where we(parents) can go to school anytime & read them a book or do some activity with them. They do potluck once a month with all the parents. They have optional field trips on special holidays & once a year they call someone to their school for some fun activity like pony ride, magician or other. It all sounded so complete to me. And their policies are very flexible. I asked her if my son can come one day for sometime to get the feel and she was ok and I could start anytime & she will adjust the fee.

On our way home I was happy about the school & different special rooms with unique concepts. I think I would love to spend day there and that proves that my kid will have fun too. Hubby liked it too. In our mind we were still comparing and nothing could top this place. They were so loving & cheerful and I won’t be worried leaving my son with them.

We called them in 5 minutes after we left, about our decision of sending our son there. I told them that we will bring our son there on the 14th to stay there for an hr. to see his reaction and register him then and he will start full time from the 15th.

On our way home hubby was saying to send our daughter there too and relax for a while
:-) Well I am putting a brave face but I am not that brave yet.. It sure is a good place if I decide to send her. Maybe next year.

p.s I wish no one has to go to Old People Home but If there is that time in someone’s life, I wish that their kids put the same thought what their parents put to find anything for them;-)


Sush said...

Hmmmm.. the school sounds good and the best part is happy children.. that is what we want finally right... and you are very true about the old people stuff. Though in a laughing tone, it touched a cord somewhere...

Tharini said...

Awww G. I am so happy. And thrilled. Your analysis of the two different places and very interesting and I could see them thru your eyes too. I like the second school better too. A nature room....that's groovy!

Yes you are a brave girl. And this is the first step. Sending your daughter can defnitely wait a while longer.

Good luck to A on his upcoming adventures. He's going to love it, just as you did on one day for a few hours.

itchingtowrite said...

great that parents can come and join in the activity
good luck

Anonymous said...

A's mom,thats so nice to know that you have decided a school for your son. I am sure your son is going to have a lot of fun in this school.

All the best and don't worry so much ;-)

Aparna said...
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Aparna said...
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