Monday, March 5, 2018

Where should my child go to Kindergarten?!

One of the most frequent questions I get from parents is about Kindergarten…which Kindergarten is best, is my child ready, should we do public or private, half day or full day?  For most parents (usually with their first child), this feels like an overwhelming decision.  Of course as parents, we all want to make sure we are making the best possible decision for our children!  I understand this completely, as I felt the same way with my oldest!  I agonized over making the perfect decision for him!  What I have learned, after sending three kids off to kindergarten, is that, while important, whatever you decide, your child will very likely thrive, and be successful and happy!

It’s hard to answer this question for parents, when I get asked where I would recommend they send their child, because each child and family is different.  I believe we have so many wonderful choices in Leland!  Of course I am partial to our private Kindergarten program 😊 but I believe our public and charter schools in Leland are great options as well.  I encounter many parents that are very happy with our local public and charter schools, and while no school is perfect, I truly believe they strive to do their best and create a good learning environment.

For some reason, public schools seem scary to many parents.  I get the pleasure of working with amazing teachers everyday and really believe that the teachers at all our local schools love and care about their students and work hard to help them be successful, just like our teachers do here at CDS!  Several of our CDS parents are public school teachers and, just as we take care of our sweet kids like we would our own, so do these teachers.  The difference between the public charter schools and the public schools usually comes down to teaching styles, curriculum, and core values.   If you want to know if a school is a good fit for your child and your family you can always request a tour at a school so you can see the classrooms and get to know the staff 😊

Our private, half-day Kindergarten, is a wonderful option and has the unique distinction of being the only half-day Kindergarten in Leland.   My daughter attended our half-day Kindergarten last year and it was such a great decision for her!  While advanced academically, she was on the immature side and also has a birthday that missed the cutoff.  The small class size was absolutely perfect for her!  She was able to receive a lot of individualized instruction.  Coastal Day School’s Kindergarten certainly prepared my daughter to be more independent, as well as, having good work habits that set her up for success at the public charter school she is currently attending. 

Our Kindergarten program has a class size of 12 students with 1 teacher. Our small class size has several obvious benefits, such as more one on one interaction with a teacher.  However, there are other benefits that are less obvious.  What I have observed each year, is a closeness and sweet friendships between the children in our kindergarten.  We have been blessed with kids that love one another and work well in groups and treat each other with respect.  It’s a great environment to grow and feel secure as your child starts learning to be independent in schoolwork as well as in relationships with friends.

Another question that I frequently get is, is Coastal Day School’s Kindergarten a “real” Kindergarten?  Yes!  We are absolutely a real Kindergarten!  People worry because it is a half day program that it doesn’t count.  Because of our small size we cut out a lot of transition times that other schools spend much of their day on.  We are able to focus on learning and our time is used more efficiently.  Our Kindergarten teachers have their degrees in Education and are dedicated educators.  Much of the learning is able to focus on where your child is academically.  If they need more advanced work or need to slow down we are able to provide that.  We meet all Kindergarten standards and your child can leave us and go straight to first grade well prepared!

Whatever decision you make, take a deep breath, it will be okay! We are here to support you even after your child moves onto big school so please let us know if you have any questions!


My son, Jack, on his first day of Kindergarten

My son, Luke, on his first day of Kindergarten

 My daughter, Katie, on her first day of Kindergarten