Saturday, July 26, 2008

Prekindergarten and Beyond

There are many choices for Prekindergarten. I have spoken with a few parents that recently had children graduating from Pre-K and entering Kindergarten. What was interesting was what different parents saw as being beneficial. All the parents saw social skills as being important. But from there the parents began to shift. The biggest determinant seemed to be foresight. How far out into the future each parent was looking to create opportunities. For some "good enough" was all they wanted. Then you have the other side where the parent will "do the best they can do". Other concerns playing a role were balancing cost for Pre-K, grammar, high school and college.

One of my neighbors said they looked at several schools. (Both parents are very active in their children's lives.) They are educated people with two girls, two dogs and a gorgeous Victorian home with gardens. In addition they are fun and caring. And they got lucky ! Well, It wasn't luck. They were smart and found a balance.

They sent their oldest to a respected private Pre-K that also happens to be a NYS Universal UPK program. (UPK is a state funded Pre-K program that is provided to communities though a variety of forms. A church, private, public, community or independent nursery school can become a UPK. Though, UPK sets the minimum. It is up to the nursery school to build on the minimum. So all UPK's are not equal...caveat emptor.) Having gotten things started by going to a high quality nursery school their child then applied to Buffalo's Olmstead School a public school. She was excepted into their Gifted and Talented program. This program is a feeder school for City Honors a public school. City Honors is in the top 5 schools in all of the United States. Now that their kid is "IN" they can focus all their school savings on University.

They sound like they have a very satisfying life. They have earned it.

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