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Old 01-27-2011, 06:14 PM
 
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1- agree "best" is subjective
2- there is an argument to be made that smart pre-schoolers will learn wherever they are
3- if you are asking about the subjective "best" in terms of feeders to "top" private schools, you are going to have to drop your "no church" requirement. As mentioned, these are really the Episcopal early childhood programs, at least from our research. Good Shepherd, St. Matthew's, etc. For what it's worth, they are very light on the religous stuff...we are talking about preschoolers and kindergarteners, afterall. Unless you have an issue with your kid dressing up like sheep in a manger scene at Christmas, I doubt you will find anything offensive.

Your mileage may vary, just our experience
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Old 01-27-2011, 06:24 PM
 
Location: central Austin
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You could try looking for preschools who have NAEYC accredition. The National Association for the Eduction of Young Children is a national program with rigorous standards that far exceed state standards. They are not that hard to find in Austin. And yes, some of them are housed in church-owned facilities but independent and some are actually church-affiliated, but it is quality of education and care that counts.
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Old 01-27-2011, 07:41 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by curious1111 View Post
Good Shepherd, St. Matthew's, etc. For what it's worth, they are very light on the religous stuff...
It's actually been like that at all the private schools we've toured in the past few weeks. For example, I was really hesitant to even tour Hyde Park. I grew up going to a Baptist church and Southern Baptist culture is something I absolutely am against. However, a top administrator told us point blank "We do NOT teach Baptist doctrine. We use Christian principles that are appropriate and that complement learning at each grade level." A teacher told us that they actually wished they could replace "Baptist" with "Christian" in the school name but politically they can't. Heck, we'll probably send our daughter there unless Waldorf knocks our socks off when we tour there.
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Old 01-27-2011, 10:56 PM
ail ail started this thread
 
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Thx for your insights and suggestions--we are not planning to send the kiddo to a private elementary school--if things go according to plan, he'll go to public (Eanes). I did check out at the NAEYC web site, but never heard much about whether it's something that is worth using as a guideline when checking out the preschools--I looked at it many, many months ago so will have to revisit it...
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:35 AM
 
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You might try Child's Day in Rollingwood. Parkside montessori is also one to look at.
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Old 01-30-2011, 02:55 PM
 
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Check out bluebonnet Montessori off debba drive. Maybe too far but an awesome school.
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:31 PM
 
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You could also check out the Eanes ELT (Early Learning Together) program, since you're thinking of staying in Eanes.

Eanes has 2 preschool options: ELT and CDC (Child Development Center). The CDC is more like daycare in that the program runs full day. A lot of teachers send their kids to the CDC. However, I believe the ELT is a 1/2 day program and structured very much like the developmental preschools in Austin sans religion. They are currently in the midst of getting their NAEYC accreditation. ELT class size is very small (8-10 kids). Typically 1/2 the kids are peer models and 1/2 the kids have needs of some sort (speech, OT, aspergers, etc.). Kids come out exceptionally well prepared for kindergarten because the teachers work on campus with the Eanes' teachers and know what kindergarten expectations are.
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Old 02-09-2011, 11:15 AM
 
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Not a lot out there, is there?

We're in the same boat. 2.5 year old in Eanes. I also think it's funny/sad how many religious schools are out there that will tell you "we're not a religious school". I have talked to many a Montessori, and am disgusted with them all (NO OFFENSE - I've talked to a lot of Montessori parents, also, and they all love it). I hadn't looked too much into the Eanes ELT/CDC programs (since it's 3 years+) but will now. The answer to your question is probably the UT lab school. We got on the list there back in August and haven't heard anything from them, which is typical. I don't expect to hear from them. But the academics there are well-regarded, and it's part time, and clearly no religious affiliation. We're also on the list at the nature & science center, which is more what our son will enjoy - not necessarily something for you.

Good luck - the pickins are slim - but I am FIRMLY in the "they don't really need preschool, particularly in Eanes, and the mass hysteria surrounding preschool is something I don't want to be a part of, either" camp.
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Old 02-10-2011, 02:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maastrichtian View Post
but I am FIRMLY in the "they don't really need preschool, particularly in Eanes, and the mass hysteria surrounding preschool is something I don't want to be a part of, either" camp.
Amen! Watch out for those flashcards, OP. There is no long-term advantage to early academics, but there is more and more evidence of the harm they can cause. One study among many:

"By the end of their sixth year in school, children whose preschool
experiences had been academically directed earned significantly lower grades compared to children who had attended child-initiated preschool classes. Children's later school success appears to have been enhanced by more active, child-initiated early learning experiences. Their progress may have been slowed by overly academic preschool experiences that introduced formalized learning experiences too early for most children's developmental status."
--"Moving up the Grades: Relationship between Preschool Model and Later School Success" by Rebecca A. Marcon, Early Childhood Research and Practice, Spring, 2002

If what you really need is a safe, enjoyable place for your child to be while you're at work, then I'd say make that your first priority and be very suspicious of anyone's "curriculum" for kids this age.
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Old 02-10-2011, 08:35 PM
 
8,240 posts, read 15,004,015 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PicklesCureHiccups View Post
Amen! Watch out for those flashcards, OP. There is no long-term advantage to early academics, but there is more and more evidence of the harm they can cause. One study among many:

"By the end of their sixth year in school, children whose preschool
experiences had been academically directed earned significantly lower grades compared to children who had attended child-initiated preschool classes. Children's later school success appears to have been enhanced by more active, child-initiated early learning experiences. Their progress may have been slowed by overly academic preschool experiences that introduced formalized learning experiences too early for most children's developmental status."
--"Moving up the Grades: Relationship between Preschool Model and Later School Success" by Rebecca A. Marcon, Early Childhood Research and Practice, Spring, 2002

If what you really need is a safe, enjoyable place for your child to be while you're at work, then I'd say make that your first priority and be very suspicious of anyone's "curriculum" for kids this age.
Totally agreed. The best early childhood education is play based and child centered. I know the OP was against religious based preschools, but they are the best in Austin, especially the Episcopal preschools.
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