Preschools

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Picking the Perfect New Jersey Preschool for Your Child

Selecting the best preschool for your child is no easy task. You can lose sleep over finding an environment that's just right for your little one. The questions are seemingly endless: Will the teachers prepare my child for the academic rigors that lie ahead? Will she be given the proper outlets to express her creativity and independence? Will his transition to preschool be smooth, and will he make friends? Will she nap and eat properly?

The process can be a bit less overwhelming if you first identify a school philosophy that you feel works best for your child, and go from there. To help you get started, we've laid out six of the most popular approaches, from co-ops and Montessori and Reggio Emilia to full immersion programs, along with some examples of New Jersey preschools that follow them. 

Choosing a Preschool: 5 Things That Matter & 5 That (Probably) Don't

As parents we face the pressure to find the best of everything, and finding the best preschool for your little heir is no exception. Some parents jump on this task intimidatingly early, doing research and attending open houses even while Junior is still in utero. And there are so many choices: Play-based or academically focused? Montessori, Waldorf, full-time, part-time, cooperative, parochial, or secular? Media-free or media-intensive? A philosophy of "let children be children" or "teach them everything as soon as possible"? Perhaps we want our kids to learn to use their words in more than one language, to preserve their midday nap, or to spend most of their day playing outdoors in nature.

Choosing a Preschool: 5 Things That Matter & 5 That Probably Don't

In Los Angeles there is pressure to find the best of everything, and finding the best preschool for your little heir is no exception. Some parents jump on this task intimidatingly early, doing research and attending open houses even while Junior is still in utero. And there are so many choices: Play-based or academically focused? Montessori, Waldorf, full-time, part-time, cooperative, parochial, or secular? Media-free or media-intensive? A philosophy of "let children be children" or "teach them everything as soon as possible"? Perhaps we want our kids to learn to use their words in more than one language, to preserve their midday nap, or to spend most of their day playing outdoors in nature.

5 Montessori Preschools in Boston for Little Learners

Deciding where to send your child to preschool isn’t easy, but selecting a specific type of school can really help narrow down your options. We have written about bilingual and language immersion preschools throughout the Boston area, and now we're focusing on Montessori preschools in the city so you can see which one seems like a good fit for your child.

The Montessori method was developed by Dr. Maria Montessori about 100 years ago. Most Montessori schools place children in mixed-age classrooms, allow students to self-direct their activities, allow large blocks of uninterrupted time to work, focus on discovery rather than instruction and use specialized materials. There are five preschools in Boston that use the Montessori philosophy to help children learn and grow:

The Country School: The No-Homework School in Valley Village

Oh, those two wonderful words: no homework. The rare days when those words are uttered, children can play outside, and adults can plan satisfying family time. Wouldn't it be great if our kids' schools supported that sort of routine every day? If evenings could be spent reading together, playing games as a family, or even taking advantage of free museum nights instead of hovering over a pile of worksheets due tomorrow?

That’s where The Country School comes in— a progressive, project-based school in Valley Village that prioritizes the whole child and his or her creativity, compassion, and emotional intelligence. The mission of the school is to provide kids from preschool through eighth grade with a warm environment where they can approach learning in their own way. Instead of focusing on pop quizzes and worksheets, kids might be planting trees, making their own movies, creating maps, or learning to play instruments. The idea is that kids should be excited to tell their parents what they did at school that day.

Preschool in the Park? Outdoor and Nature-Themed NYC Classes

Nature provides the perfect classroom for preschool-aged kids. Even New York's little urbanites love to jump in puddles, make mud pies, climb trees, and dig for worms. For parents looking for a classroom that draws its lessons from nature, we've rounded up the city's best preschools, "forest schools," and toddler classes in which kids spend a significant part of each day outdoors or interacting with the natural world. As classes are often held rain or shine, proper outdoor gear is a must, so get some sturdy boots and rain pants and let your kids explore!

For more preschool options, be sure to check out the directory of schools, as well as our New York City Preschool Guide with tips on what to ask during a tour and how to ease the transition for kids (and parents).

Preschool Programs in Fairfield County Independent Schools

Fairfield County provides one of the most enriching and diverse independent educational experiences in the country.  There are so many opportunities available, it may be hard to choose the right match for your child. Although the school year may have just opened, it is the perfect time to start thinking about the 2017-18 academic year. Admissions season is just gearing up, so make sure to make note of open houses and admissions schedules.  

All of the schools on this list provide a thoughtful educational experience for the youngest of learners, and are sure to set the stage for a lifelong love of learning. Most of these programs run for the academic year, from the hours of 9-3. Many provide enriching before and after school programs for parents who need to extend the school day. 

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