Creating a school family

One of the most important things we do here at La Canada Preschool is create a school family. When your child comes to preschool they enter the big world for the first time away from home. Here they will look to form a secure attachment with others. When you come to visit us you will notice how connected the teachers are to the children. Parents have told me that what makes our school stand out are the close connections they see between each teacher and all the children.

Our school family concept is promoted through an ongoing discussion we have with the children about being mindful with each other just like we are with our family at home. In the school family framework we teach children how to resolve conflict through respectful communication skills. We discuss how we take care of each other and work through our differences.

While there are many good preschools there are few environments where it feels like family. Consider coming to see our school family for a visit.

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:)

Come Register in January in LCP: We are waiting for you

Come Register in January in LCP: We are waiting for you

Here at La Canada Preschool we believe in doing the reverse of a waiting list. We have created a school where you can come in, take a tour at your convenience, and join us for preschool by registering in January for the following school year. No waiting list, no lottery, no wondering if your child will get in. Send us an email to lacanadapreschool@gmail.com. We are waiting or you.

 

Separation Issues at Preschool

Separation Issues at Preschool

When families enter preschool for the first time it is normal to have issues with separation. It is important to ask a preschool what there policy is, as I find it best to feel you as a parent, are comfortable with how this is handled.

We have a small preschool, which allows us to be flexible with families. By this I mean if a parent wants to stay for a few minutes to assist in the separation, that is good with us. Our issue is that we need the parents to drop their child off in the front yard of the school, as we are in a residential neighborhood.

When you bring your child to school be sure to have a routine where you bring them to school the same way each time. Say goodbye, do not sneak out, and if your child is sad reassure them you will be back.

At our school we hug children, give them space, look for their comfort cues, and stay close to them when they are sad. We sing a song about how mommies and daddies come back.
Today a little guy wrote a letter when he was sad about mommy leaving:
Dear Mommy,
I don’t like it when you leave. Come back now.

After he wrote the letter we took three deep breathes and he went off to play.

At preschool we will take the time to sing a song, write a letter, and take three deep breaths to help with separation.
And lots of love…

Meet the Teachers

Do you ever wonder who the teachers are when you come to a school? While our teachers love to talk parents, it can be hard to visit when the children are present, as they need our attention every minute, and expect us to be there for them first and foremost.
Over the next few weeks I will be interviewing a different teacher for you all to get to know.
I would like for you and your children to submit questions for the teachers to answer. Please have fun with this, feel free to read the blog with your child, and get to know these amazing, hard working and talented educators who make up our team at LCP.

A few good spaces left at LCP

Just wanted to give everyone an update on our regsitration process. We have a few good spots left in the morning and in the Pre-K, and we would love have you join us. The registration fee is $195.00, and that guarantees you a spot in the summer program and for September 2011. No waiting list, no lottery or random selection, the new buzz word in the school admission jargon.

Please know by sending me an email, lacanadapreschool@gmail.com, you can schedule a tour and receive all the enrollment information about our school. We offer morning classes on T-Th, MWF, or M-F from 9:00 a.m. till 12:00 noon, as well as a Pre-K from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Come see the learning through play environment at La Canada Preschool.

Preschool Registration: What have we created?

It is that time of year when we begin the registration process at LCP. We work at keeping it simple. Right now all our current families are turning in their forms. Then in January we will be accepting registration from new families. It is first come, first serve. No waiting list, no interview, no stress. How can this be I am asked? Every other school in Los Angeles has a list you need to be on when you child is three weeks old in order to get in. Or we have the lottery system, where you put your name on list, and hope you are hand picked in a lottery for a placement.
It seems we have created a culture of fear when it comes to getting your child into preschool. Here at La Canada Preschool we are refusing to be part of this trend. When you contact our school, you can be emailed information, come in for a tour, and be guaranteed a place by turning in a form on time.

So what have we created by making parents feel they have to fight for a placement in a preschool? My thoughts are fear; fear that if you are not on top of it you child will fall behind. fear that it is hard to get into the best schools, and fear that you may be not doing your job if you are not aware of these facts. What happened to supporting families, giving them a simple process that is sensible and secure. Why is it a competition to get your child into a preschool?

At La Canada Preschool I believe it setting the tone that we are here to support your family, beginning with a registration process that is respectful, simple and secure. With the world we live in families need to feel that a school wants them, as opposed to the feeling that they are lucky to be chosen to be in a school. Come on by La Canada Preschool: we’ll be waiting for you.

Summer Fun at our Preschool

Summer Fun at our Preschool

What a ball we are having this summer at La Canada Preschool. Beach week was filled with sand art, sea life and talking about how we all like to go to the beach. Then we had Dinosaur Week, always a favorite. Seems you can’t go wrong with the talk of T.Rex and his friends at preschool.

There are many new children who are just getting to know us and they are doing extremely well. Coming to a new school is a big adjustment away from home. With Mr. Tony, Miss Rosemary, Miss Debbie, Miss Elizabeth and  Miss Olivia the children are getting lots of one on one care and love.  Our teachers have twenty years of experiance dealing with seperation and we handle it with respect for you and love for your child.

Summer Fun is available for five more weeks, from Monday through Thursday mornings from 9:00 a.m. till 12:00 noon.  The cost is $145.00 per week. We have extended care till 2:o0 p.m. for $10.oo an hour. Come on in for some summer fun at preschool> next week is Family Week:)

This coming week

What to look for in a Preschool: The 4 E’s

When looking for a private preschool the choices can be confusing. There are different philosophies of early childhood education, with many time schedules, tuition costs, and fees. Here is what you need to consider when looking for a preschool we will call the Four E’s.

Energy: what is the energy of the school say? Are there lots of rules, is it quiet or loud, does it feel open or closed?Spend a few minutes observing the feelings you get.

Education: What is the education of the staff, as well as the director of the preschool? Some directors have a Masters degree while some have taken as few as 12 units in early childhood education.

Environment: It has been said that environment dictates behavior. Are children allowed lots of freedom, are they moving freely though a relaxed setting, are there lots of materials? Observe the environment quietly for a few minutes.

Eyes: look in the eyes of the children. Are they engaged, connected and communicating?

Energy, education, environment and eyes of the children. That is a good place to start:)

We’ve been waiting for you

When I think about the process parents go through in looking for a preschool I can understand understand how overwhelmed you all feel. We are in a time where every school has a waiting list, creating fear that if you are not on one of these “lists” , you may not get “in”. How did this happen? Is it supply and demand, is it to make work easier for the preschool directors, or was it created to the scare parents into believing there is a shortage of good preschool programs?

While all of these reasons apply, my hope is to combat this fear based society we rotate in and have a no waiting list environment at La Canada Preschool. Here is where we want to be the change we would like to see in the world. Why not create environments where parents feel supported and wanted from the get go. Every year we place families in a friendly, relaxed manner, accepting their registration on a first come first basis. The process reflects a respect for the families we serve by accepting everyone who wants to be here, without the fear of exclusion because you are not on a list.

Preschool placement needs to support families with inclusion based on acceptance when placement is needed. It sends a message when we ask parents to wait to be chosen, when we say that you were not on the list in time, and when we create more fear for parents to deal with. Isn’t it enough that you all are faced with the overwhelming stress of raising children? My hope is that at La Canada Preschool, we are breaking the mold by saying welcome, come on in, we’ve been waiting for you:)