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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010

    Default Preschool- Coop vs Traditional (Long)

    I am for some reason really stressing about where to send my daughter to preschool next year. I know where she goes will not effect where she gets into college , but would like her to be happy and learn new things.
    This year she went to a coop less than 2 minutes from our house. The teachers are great, very nurturing, put up with her screaming for Mommy for the first 8 weeks! However, they don't really seem to engage them too much during school. Meaning that they do circle time, may talk about a shape or read a book. It is a play based curriculum, which is great (this was a class for 2 year olds turning 3- my DD will be 3 in April) but when I help out- once a month since it is a coop- I ask more leading question when they are playing, but the teachers do more crowd control. I am told they "learn" more next year.
    I LOVE being able to help out since it is a coop an be involved, but it also leads to some things being very disorganized. For instance many board meeting have been changed and/or canceled the day of. Also it seems a small group of people make all of the decisions.
    I visited a traditional nursery school and they had a lot to offer. It definitely seemed more "academic", but not too many things around to play with. They have music for 45 minutes once a week (she would go probably 2 days) and during winter months a gym class once a week. She would probably love the music class as we have taken one before. The coop has music maybe once a month. The traditional school is also newer and has comparable programs after school, enrichment. THey also have a program that they present to the parents twice a year and go on a field trip to the dentist and a zoo. However, it didn't seem as warm as the coop. I am not sure why, even though on paper it has so many pluses, but for some reason I am not sure what to do. I want to do what is best for her and not let my- maybe selfishness- of liking to be more involved get in the way.
    At the coop she would have the same teachers who she had this year, which may make for an easier transition come September, but I know she will not be happy going anywhere back to school after being home for several months!
    I should also note that the coop is literally across the street from the elementary school where in 2 years my older DD will be while my younger DD will be in a preschool- either the coop across the street or the traditional one about 7 minutes away!
    I know I am over thinking this, but can't seem to make a decision without doubting myself. Anything else I should consider??? I just want my daughter to have a good experience and be happy and nurtured, but learn something too!
    Thanks for reading all of this!!! Any advice is appreciated!!!!


    DD 1 4/08
    DD2 1/10

  2. #2
    kedss is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    albany, ny, us.


    My dd is also a 2 year old about to turn 3 in a co-op class, she goes 2 days a week, and the first couple months were mostly crowd control, because many of the kids had never been in school before, and because its hard to learn a routine when its only 2 days a week.

    The 3-4 year old class definitely do more 'learning', but it is still a play-based curriculum. By the following year, the kids attend 5 days a week, do a lot of science, learning handwriting and focusing on getting ready for Kindergarten.

    It really depends on your co-op school, and how it is run. We love the school where dd is, her brother went there for 2 years as well, we'd be there next year if we weren't moving. I can't speak for a traditional preschool in comparison, just my views on the co-op school I've experienced.

    It's a tough decision, maybe you can chat with parents who have been there longer, and find out how different next year will be?

    mom to C, 12/03, H, 06/08 and R, 4/11

    "When a woman says "What?" It's not because she didn't hear you. Its because she's giving you a chance to change what you said." ~Author Unknown(posting on FB)

    "Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing." ~Phyllis Diller

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