What do you need to know about enrolling at La Canada Preschool

We are all so busy, so by the time you read this maybe what you are looking for is what do I need to enroll at La Canada Preschool?

1. We have a choice of four programs: M-F 9 a.m till 12 noon, $620.00 per month, MWF a.m. 475.00 per month. T-TH a.m. $350.00 per month,

and Pre-Kindergarten 12:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. $650.00 per month. You can combine programs, and there is extended care for the morning students till 1:00 p.m.

2. There are two extra fees: $195.00 registration and a fundraising charge of $300.00, both once a year.

3. You are responsible for NO FUNDRAISING, meaning no time from you is spent to raise money for the school.

4. What sets us apart is we are a small, intimate environment, with only 30 children in the morning and 15 in the Pre-Kindergarten.

5. Our staff is highly educated, with teachers having masters degrees in education as well as children’s art.

Email us at lacanadapreschool@gmail.com or call 818-790-2764. Tours are available any day by appointment. Email is best:)


Are you happy at your current preschool?

Are you happy at your current preschool?

Are you happy at your current preschool? It can be a feeling you get when your child comes home and just doesn’t seem to like school, or maybe you feel that the school is just not a right fit. Here are some signs to look for:

Your child complains about going to school

You feel uneasy about the school when you drop in unexpectedly

There seems to be a lack of communication from the director

There is not a lot of art work coming home

You aren’t hearing your child singing songs they learned in school

There are not any social connections being made by you or your child

At La Canada Preschool we are sensitive to your family and believe we can help make a transition to a new school a smooth one. It takes patience and understanding to integrate your child into a new school. What is required is an understanding of the fact that not only is this a big process for your child but for you as well. Sometimes even more so for you the parent. I have been on both ends of this, as a parent myself and an educator. What is essential is to slowly bond with a child who has moved schools, as well as acknowledge the change. We often write letters with the new children, where they talk about their feelings of being at a new school. There is also a friends book we send home, where there are pictures of all the children with a biography, providing a great visual for you to share with your child.

While it can seem hard to make a mid year change is schools, I think we must always do what is best for your child. It is too important of a time in your child’s development to not find the best fit. Change is good when it is handled correctly, and we can do that for you here at LCP:)

Kindergarten Entrance Date : A new law that makes sense

Kindergarten Entrance Date : A new law that makes sense

It has been confusing when parent’s ask me, “What is the date of entrance for kindergarten?”.

 There is a new law in the state of California that takes effect in 2012. The law states that children need to be 5 years old by November 2, 2012; then by October 2 in 2013 and finally 5 years old by September 2, 2014.

While this seems like a long time off, it has the potential to confuse parents who have not heard of this change, as well as prolong the time your child you be attending preschool.

Think about it this way, with the riogorous schedule of kindergarten, where we want children to be able to conform at a certain level, it can only help for your child to be older. Plus we are giving them another year of preschool, where they can grow, develop, and learn through play.

In Europe children are taught to read when they are seven, and they learn in two months. Here we teach children to read at five and many struggle for two years, until at seven, when their brains become developmentally ready to read and comprehend.

Let’s celebrate this new law in that makes sense. Finally instead of thinking about the tax dollars that will be lost, because that is one of the outcomes of this law, we are thinking about giving children more time to grow. Another year to be a princess or a pirate, to paint with your hands and experience in the magic of make believe. Thank you State of California.

Kindergarten: How do we prepare?

Kindergarten: How do we prepare?

Last week I went a visited a public school kindergarten, and I was amazed at the expectations as well as sad to see the lack of activities that allowed for free choice or play. Instead children were asked to sit and work for almost the entire morning, with the exception of a twenty minute recess. While the children were engaged, and seemed happy, I couldn’t help but wonder, what can parents do to best prepare their child for this world of holding a pencil, paying attention, and read.

The good news is in the state of California there is a new kindergarten entrance date. Beginning this year your child will need to 5 years old by Nov. 2, as opposed to the old rule where they needed to be five by Dec. 2. Then in 2012 children need to be five by October 2, and finally in 2013 they need to be five by September 2.

What does this mean to our children and families? To me it is good news. The movement in education has been to take the play and developmental learning out of kindergarten, and replace it with more academics and longer days in kindergarten. Twenty years ago their were still dress up clothes, blocks and free play in kindergarten. Today that is all gone, being replaced with dittos and educational minutes. While many children enter ready for this, many children and their families are not. What the good news is that we hope with this date change the youngest children will be given a year to grow and become developmentally ready for the kindergarten.

Families need to be aware that expectations, while not always discussed on school tours, are there. The children who are doing well are children that are prepared, hopefully at preschool, for what lies ahead. Here at La Canada Preschool we believe in a curriculum that remains rich in learning through play, and at the same time introduces academic concepts. By that I mean we teach Zoo Phonics, a nati0nally recognized program by which children learn the alphabet phonetically with movement and song. Then we trace and play with our upper case and lower case letters in sand, salt and pudding. In the spring we put pencils to paper and slowing teach how to write each letter. We have calendar time, science experiments, number learning, and number writing, being done creatively.

All this along with a curriculum that emphasizes that when your child gets to kindergarten, they will know what to expect. We have an ongoing discussion of what you will be doing in kindergarten, what the teacher will ask you to do, and how much fun it will be. We believe that if children can spend a year in the Pre-K, still pretending to be a princess or a pirate, and at the same time give them a solid foundation for what lies ahead, then we have prepared your child for this big new world of kindergarten.

Candy Fairy Theory

Children have been coming to preschool this week telling me about the Candy Fairy. This is someone who they give all their Halloween Candy to, and in return they receive a toy for their donation. It struck me as this new trend is on the scene, what are we teaching ? Is it a good alternative, or are we not giving children to chance to be immersed in their obsession for candy?

To me the goal of control is self control, which I know it not an easy behavior to learn. Children need small lessons in learning how to master the desires we all have for pleasure in life. As a child to be able to go to someones house, say a few words while dressed up in a costume, and recieve free candy is like a dream come true. With  a bucket full of sugar you are given the chance as a parent to teach how to have the candy and moderate the amount that is eaten. If a gift is given to deter us from all of our obsessions does that negate to lesson of self control, taking away the chance for a learning experience? Or are we just all to fearful of what will happen if children eat too much candy.

My concern is that we are taking away from the children the opportunity not only to indulge but to regulate. Life is about continual regulation. Don’t eat too much, don’t watch too much, don’t do anything too much. So how do we teach this for the moments when we are not there to be the Candy Fairy?

Halloween and Preschoolers: Keep it light

As our children get old enough to enjoy more activities we need to be mindful of what is developmentally appropriate for them to experience. Here at La Canada Preschool, we have set up some Halloween decorations in a well lit room to create a preschool haunted house. If a child seems apprehensive, we do not make them come into our classroom where you will find a skeleton, a witch and some scary props. Yet as we have left the room decorated for the week we are seeing children slowly approaching this room full of make believe.

It is important the we stress the make believe of Halloween and demystify the scary images that can be frightening for young children. It seems that if Halloween is introduced slowly with caution not to frighten children, they are able to process this holiday that seems to be more of our culture every season.

Fears for children are normal and healthy. Think of the book, “There’s a nightmare in my Closet”. When we read this story a t circle time the children are glued and begin talking about how monsters are not real. If we can look at Halloween as a time to address fears as normal and part of our emotional make up, our preschoolers can enjoy this time and learn to keep it light during these dark days of Halloween…

Learning through Play

Everyday that I sit in the yard at La Canada Preschool I believe that our children are learning best by playing and following their own curiosities, by solving real problems such as how to balance a stack of blocks or how to negotiate to have a turn holding the hose. Children need to feel it to learn it, they need to interact to feel they belong and they need to feel accepted for who they are.

When children can paint freely they are learning to develop their imagination, eye to hand coordination, relationships to space and size, and concepts of symmetry.

When we play with play dough we learn to see shape against the background of a table, which is a pre-reading skill. We see negative shapes when we use cookie cutters in the play dough, and the amount of substance remains the same even when the shape changes.

When we draw with crayons we are learning to hold a drawing implement, exercise creativity, that my ideas have value as well as concepts of color, size and shape.

Make time to play at home. Pretend you are a waiter in a restaurant and serve your child from a play menu, pretend you are the patient and your child can be the doctor, and just sit on the floor and see what happens.

Maybe if we all played a little more the world when be a better place. When was the last time you played?

The Importance of Dads, Grandpas, Friends and Neighbors

Everywhere I look I see amazing men with children. Dads who take the time to teach their children songs, grandpas who bring their grandchildren to preschool, as well as male friends and neighbors who take an interest in children.

This past Saturday we had Donuts with Daddy Day at the preschool. It was touching to watch men who were able to get down on the floor and build Legos with their child. There was the grandpa who came to be a part of his granddaughters day. A neighbor came to support the two boys who lived next door as thier Dad had to be at work.

Gloria Steinen once said, “Most American children suffer too much mother and too little father.” There, someone said it. As an educator and a mom I must concur. What is best for children I believe is to be influenced by men as well as woman.

Men teach our children that it is okay to be strong, to say how we feel and to be loving.

We need to encourage and nurture the men who love children. They have become so rare in the busy world we live in.

I want to thank every man who made the time to be at La Canada Preschool for our special day, for turning off thier cell phones and being present with their child. When the children came to school today they spoke about how much fun it was to have Daddy with them, how fum it was to play with Daddy, and how much they liked the donuts:)

Keep loving these men, giving them praise for being the fathers they are, or the grandpas they are, or the friends they are. Children need these amazing men more they we know.

October 17 Back to School Family Day and Book Fair

LCP 2008 pics 001

Please come join us for our annual Back to School Family Day on Saturday October 17 from 9: 00 a.m. until 11:00 a.m. This is a morning for your family to come in, meet the teachers, and get to know us better. We will have the childrens art work on display, a book fair presented by Once Upon a time Book Store, and a morning for your child to bring you to preschool:) This is a drop in event, so please come by and see us at La Canada Preschool.