Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Toddler Tuesday: Co-op Preschool

Preschool.  I researched different programs in the area and wasn't satisfied with my findings.  Ben turns 3 this month, but any program I could enroll him in would be in a 2 year old classroom since he missed the cut-off. Then I was factoring in cost.  I didn't want to pay $70-$120 a month for just a couple of hours a week.  Boo.

The number one reason I would wanted him in a classroom as young as 2 was for social reasons.  Yes, he has his sister, but let's face it - it isn't the same as interacting with your peers.  Also, I wanted him to respond to different authority figures other than myself.  But I felt stuck.  Then, my friend came up with a genius idea.  A co-op preschool.  It looks like this:

There are four moms in our "group" with a total of 5 kids (one mom has twins).  We only meet on Tuesdays from 9am-11:30am and we rotate who 'teaches.' Whoever is teaching that week hosts the class in their home.  After researching how various preschools and day cares run their programs, we came up with this schedule:

9:00-9:30am:  Free Play

9:30-9:35am: Calendar 

9:35-9:40am: Clean Up

9:40-10:00am: Story & Craft (both coincide with the day's learning objectives)

10:00am: Potty Break

10:05-10:15am:  Snack

10:15-10:40am: Interactive songs, finger plays, etc

10:40-11:00am:  Free Play/Outside Play

11:00am: Potty Break

11:05-11:20am: Playdough, puzzles, table activities

11:20-11:25am: Clean Up

11:25-11:30am: Get ready to go home

11:30am: Dismissal

Our curriculum was put together based off various websites.  Each week, we focus on a color, number, letter, and shape.  We also have an overall theme.  For example, the week I taught we learned about the color orange, number 4, letter D, rectangles, and the theme was weather & seasons.  I know that sounds overwhelming, ambitious, and nearly impossible to teach (and it probably is) but at 2 years old, we don't have too high of expectations and are looking more for exposure than retention at this point.  

We also decided that the amount of money spent on the craft supplies, snack, etc would be at the discretion of the host teacher.  Being a former teacher & having two kids of my own, I have many of the supplies I need. So, this whole idea is potentially free of charge.

If you would like to explore this option with your own kiddos & friends, feel free to e-mail me at sarah.m.nurmi@gmail.com and I can share more details about our curriculum, expectations, discipline, etc.  I will probably put Ben in a "regular" preschool setting through our church next year, but I am glad to jump start his education this way.  He absolutely loves it!  And I love having my first three Tuesday mornings of the month for just us girls (Gigi & me).

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