We started our hunt for Maia's pre-school already. Last Monday, she took an assessment exam at Statefields School in Bacoor. I was a frantic momma after realizing I never even bothered to check what was needed during the assessment exam. I panicked when I saw that I was supposed to prepare pencils and an eraser but didn't bring any. So much for my being a stage momma.
Fortunately, the teachers were really nice and despite us arriving a few minutes later than schedule they still accomodated the uber-excited Maia. I didn't get to catch my breath anymore and say my proper goodbye before she went into the room for her exam because she was immediately whisked inside. She bid me bye-bye and I hastily gave my goodluck.
We were then told to wait for them in the lobby. I panicked again fearing she might cry when she starts looking for me and would not see me seated just outside of the assessment room where she left me earlier. I had no choice though so I waited with my mommy friend Erl and her hubby at the school's lobby. Guess what? My fears were unfounded because the little miss enjoyed her time so much that she really took a full hour with the teacher. I was told she was able to answer all the questions that were thrown to her and managed to even sing and dance with the teacher. **proud momma moment**
We didn't stay long after that because we decided to check out another school nearby (well, not really near but it was only about 15 mins away by car from where we live so it's still okay). The school is Westhill International School in Salitran (Dasma, Cavite) and it is leaning more on the progressive approach as compared to Statefields' traditional method. We went directly to the registrar's office and we were assigned a teacher to tour us around. We were lucky to have visited during a school day so we were able to see how the kids were inside the classroom.
Questions we raised (well it was mostly Erl who raised the questions because I was busy chasing after my super hyper little girl) during our school tour -
1. How many students are there in one class?
2. How many teachers are there to supervise the class?
3. What are the major school activities that the kids are usually required to participate in?
4. Are the kids required to go on fieldtrips? If yes, where usually?
5. What teaching principle do you follow?
6. What other extra-curricular activities do you offer for the kids?
I knew I should have been more ready with my questions and noted to write them down for our succeeding school tours/open house visits. Next up for us is the open house at Elizabeth Seton School in Imus, Cavite. Erl and I would like to visit as many schools in our area as we can so that we can pick the best choice when it's already time for us to make a decision. There is also this school much nearer to our place - Scuola Sorelle Faoili - that my aunt is recommending me to check out. We might add this to our list as well along with The Palmridge School in Imus.
We still have a few months to go although at SSI, we are required to make a decision early so we're weighing things out. Right now, having come across this very helpful article in smartparenting.com.ph, I am trying to research more on the types of teaching approaches and find out what approach would best fit my daughter.
For now, our major considerations would be:
- Accessibility. How far is the school from our home?
- Teaching approach. Which approach best fits my daughter's learning style. My first choice is really Waldorf. But neither of the two schools nor the kindergarten are anywhere near where we live so I will have to shelf that for now. It doesn't seem right for me to be subjecting my 3 year old toddler to more than an hour of travel just to be in school. But I'm still keeping my options open with this one.
- School Environment and Safety. Will my child be safe when she's in school? How tight is security? Is the environment conducive for learning?
- Finances. How will choosing this school impact our finances? Can we afford the tuition fee and sustain it for the next few years at least?
This list would probably grow longer as I progress on my research. I know that choosing our child's school is one of the major decisions that we will ever be making for her. With the proper research, I am hoping my husband and I would be able to make the most appropriate (if not the best) choice.
|First school tour at SSI last Nov 2011|