Believe it or not, it’s now time to be considering preschool for the Fall. In my part of the world, we have parent participation preschools and interestingly I have learned that many of the kids enrolled are children of PPP alumni. if you do not live in BC, don’t worry the article will give you the link to the international association so you can find the right school for your preschooler.
Parent Participation Preschoolers are often children of PPP alumni.
One of the signals that a company or organization offers great service is return business. The Parent Participation Preschools (PPP) in the Lower Mainland not only see kids come as three-year-olds and again as four-year olds but they also see the children of alumni. That’s right, there are many kids who are currently enrolled in a PPP whose parents attended. For example, in the Lower Mainland alone there are alumni kids at Lynn Valley and Seymour Heights in North Vancouver, Queen’s Park in New Westminster, Kiddies Korner in Poco, Wesbrook, and St. Giles in Vancouver, Gingerbread House in Richmond, and Rutland in the Kelowna area.
While my examples are all from the Lower Mainland, the schools are associated with the Parent Cooperative Preschools International (PCPI) so no matter where you are located, check the site and find the schools in your region.
The mission of Parent Participation Preschools is to create a safe and enriched play-based learning environment through the cooperative efforts of families, educators and community leaders. And the mission of the Council of Parent Participation Preschools in BC is to provide a high standard of service and support while helping build a strong preschool community.
All of which sounds very nice but what does it mean for you and your family? Here’s how it works.
Parents have the opportunity of having a say in the administration of the school, of being with their child at preschool for a half-day once or twice a month and of attending a meetings once a month with other parents. The meetings offer free parenting education along with a brief business meeting. The school will take into account your needs and schedule in planning your half-day on duty at the school and your involvement in helping run the school will match your interests and abilities. I bet it wouldn’t surprise anyone to know that when my kids were in preschool, I took on the task of finding quality parenting education speakers.
Research shows that parent involvement in school is a major factor in child success. In my experience parents who start participating with their children at the preschool level continue to do so through elementary and high school. While being involved might seem intrusive and difficult to fit into your already busy life, the irony is that taking the time to participate will save you time throughout your child’s school career. The more comfortable your child is at school, the better he will do and the less you will be needed to deal with crises. Isn’t it far better to be able to plan your connection with school rather than have it imposed because of problems?
We also know that the more adults a child feels a connection with, the more adults he knows care about him the better he will fare. He will have a higher self-image and feel secure in himself. In a parent participation preschool he will spend time will the parents of all the kids and have plenty of healthy connections.
In my experience, the teachers in these schools are superb. It takes a special kind of teacher to choose to work in a school in which all the parents are involved, have a say and ask questions. For the teacher who has the self-confidence to lead a group of parents to offer their child a quality learning through play experience, the reward is great for teacher, parents and of course the preschoolers.
And then there is a secret that no one tells you. The pay-off for you is amazing. Today, with our busy and scattered lives, parents are more isolated than ever before. By becoming involved in a parent participation preschool you will not only meet parents who share your parenting values, you will be working alongside them, getting to know them and making life-long friends.
My children attended preschool in the early 1970s. Today, over thirty years later, my closest friends are still the parents I met during those preschool days.
There are certainly other types of preschools and they offer a variety of different experiences.
To choose a school, visit and observe the program. Trust your instincts. Does this feel right for you and your child? How does the teacher interact with the kids? Are the children happy, busy and engaged? Does the program offer a variety of experiences including large muscle play, arts and crafts, free play and stories? Are parents welcome to drop in?
Talk to other parents who have their children in the school. Find out what they like best and if that fits with your wishes for your child, go for it.
If you want to start your child in September, they must be 3 years old by December 31st of that year. If you are looking to start them in January, they have to turn 3 by June 30th of that year. And this is the time of year that the schools are offering Open Houses and taking registration.
Preschool is a great experience for your children. Do your homework, make the right choice and watch your child grow and develop.
Vive la Différence: Raising Children with Different Temperaments.
I have always known that each child is a unique individual. I looked at my two who are as different as night and day. Then I consider my siblings and we are a texbook example of different.
But, now that I have three grandchildren, all the same age the differences from their births has been striking. Just before they were born I was thinking about the two movies about Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and this also caused me to think about the differences of people who live together.
The result is the e-parenting mini guide, Vive la Différence: Raising Children with Different Temperaments.
Parenting Today is keen to speak as part of your professional development event, parenting workshop or workplace wellness support program. I offer keynotes and workshops, have written books and have ongoing newspaper columns, books, blogs and newsletters. And, no matter what the actual topic, they all share a basic value that I call:
P — is a parenting plan
U — is unconditional love
R — is respect for your child as he is right now
E — is encouragement
These make up the framework of any resources that will come from Parenting Today. These four pillars are the essential ingredients for raising healthy children who will develop into capable young men and women.