Perfect Preschool - Perfect Teacher

Happy Preschoolers
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The preschool I found for my son was as perfect as a preschool could possibly be. It was housed in what was once a small house, and although there were a couple of rooms and a kitchen, it was run much like a one-room schoolhouse. Kids were not divided into different classes based on age and they were free to associate with any of the other kids. That was perfect for my little gifted three-year-old, who soon became the favorite playmate of kids of all ages, from his fellow three-year-olds to the ten-year-olds who attended the school on days when they had a day off from their regular school.

What Did Children Do at the Preschool?

Every child in that school was loved and challenged. Every child was encouraged to learn and explore. When the teacher discovered that my son could read, she let him read to the rest of the children during "story time." There was no issue of unfairness because the other children couldn't read, nor did the other children resent my son. It was quite the contrary. During free times, some of the little kids sought my son out and asked him to read to them. There was no resentment because no child was ever left out; every child was given a chance to shine and feel proud.

Children in that preschool were allowed to be themselves and pursue their own interests. They were not expected to "act their age." In other words, if a three-year-old wanted to read, he could read - whatever he wanted to read. He wasn't expected to do what most other three-year-olds do. There were, of course, plenty of activities for the typical three-year-olds and four-year-olds.

Kids could color and draw and play with finger paints. The activities were well organized, so that all the kids could participate, regardless of their age.

What Was Expected of Children at the Preschool?

However, there were no other expectations. If it was craft time, the kids could do what they liked with the materials provided without being corrects.

My son was not fond of crafts. He would much rather read or talk - usually about space. But he'd spend a few minutes on the crafts and then he'd be off. When the craft consisted of macaroni pieces, paste, and paper, my son would be the only one to set macaroni pieces on end, instead of flat, to make extremely random designs. In other words, they really weren't designs at all. When it was time to paint, my son would do things like paint the entire piece of paper dark orange, then paint a large red spot a little off center. He called that one "Jupitor's Great Red Spot." Once kids were done with their craft, they could go do whatever they liked. There were plenty of toys and books around.

Like all preschools, this one had nap time. However, because children there were all ages, the older ones didn't have to take a nap. They did have to be quiet, though. The teacher knew that my son, like so many gifted kids, didn't need a lot of sleep. She allowed him to read during nap time, although she did expect him to lie down and read.

That was fine. He did that all the time at home.

My son loved that school and loved the teacher, Mrs. Marovich. She was the rare teacher who makes good teaching look effortless. It was Mrs. Marovich who first introduced me to the idea of gifted children.

Did your child ever have an exceptionally good school experience? If so, give the school and teacher some well-deserved praise.

Read more about my experiences as the parent of a gifted child.

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