We went to see preschool #4 today. It’s based on a farm adjacent to a park in Belle.vue, about fifteen minutes from home. The setting is actually quite spectacular. However, the preschool itself was underwhelming. They actually only spend 45 minutes out-of-doors in their amazing location. On that day, they were having some kind of Valentine’s celebration and weren’t going out at all. The tour guide (a teacher at the school) would not let me observe the kids for any length of time and was clearly uncomfortable with me watching very discretely for even a few minutes. The school had a student teacher ratio of 10 or better, but from what I observed, one teacher was busy doing this or that while the other managed the class, meaning an effective ratio of nearly 20 to 1. Despite this, the scene was actually considerably less chaotic than what I witnessed at our last preschool visit. This inclines me towards the place we visited today more than anything else, but it’s hard to draw conclusions from a few minutes observation. The teachers were not the young, enthusiastic types I witnessed in the first two places we visited, but they seemed nice enough and reasonably competent. The school runs three times a week for four hours. All in all, I’d probably send L to Preschool #3 over this one. Preschool #3 is a bit closer to where we live. They spend more time outdoors in that preschool, and finally, it is two days a week. I’d like to get L involved with other activities – maybe Suzuki music for example – so a two day a week program appeals to me.
(For review, we have applied to Preschool #1 but are awaiting the results of a lottery. We decided Preschool #2 was too expensive for 3 years old. I did not love Preschool #3.)
Tomorrow, I will be visiting Preschool #5. I also have a dentist appointment. My long-time hygienist has left the practice for unknown reasons, and I’m very nervous about the appointment as a result. My teeth are sensitive to air and water, and I can’t breathe much through my nose (deviated septum), so the dentist has never been a blast for me.