A few moms from our LDS Congregation (ward) started a co-op preschool this year. None of us really have the money to send our kids to a preschool, nor would I really want to – I want to know exactly what is going on with my kids, and exactly who is teaching them. I know the moms pretty well, and our kids have played together for the last year since we moved in. We all have similar standards and I know my kids will be safe learning from them, and being with their children. Plus – once every few weeks, I get to teach them all!
The preschool was really easy for us to form. We met together and made a list of topics we want to cover. Then one of the moms made a schedule for us, rotating houses/moms each week. I put together a box of supplies (crayons, scissors, etc – we mostly all just donated a little of this and a little of that from our own supplies instead of purchasing supplies specifically for the preschool box – it worked out the best and was virtually free). The other mom bought a few posters (a calendar, the alphabet, etc) that we had laminated and put in the box to rotate homes.
Our schedule is really loose, and we’re not picky about anything – it’s preschool after all. We have our preschool on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:30am – 11:30am. We start with circle time where we talk about the calendar and the weather, and sing a few songs. Then we do coloring/activities for a number and a letter. Then we get into the lesson, and do some crafts or games. We also have snack time, then lay down for a few minutes, then we read books and have free play.
It’s pretty low key, and more than anything I think it just helps us feel like we are involved in getting our kids ready for Kindergarten (three of the four start Kindergarten next fall).
My favorite part is that I teach two days, and then I don’t teach again for a few weeks, and I get to send my high-energy four year old off to his friends house for a few hours two days a week. It’s such a fun thing because the kids love each other, and we moms only have to put in two days every four weeks or so. Basically the return on investment is very very high. I’m loving it!
Do you send your kids to preschool? Do you co-op with other moms? Do you just do it yourself at home? What kinds of things are you working on with your kids to get them ready for Kindergarten?