What's a Co-Op Preschool?

So, I have to do a bit of self-indulgent blogging here and give my precious baby girl some face time.  Yesterday was her last day of Toddler Group:

Her little certificate reads:

"For all your hard work and play in our Toddler Group. For creative arts, easel painting, puzzles, building with blocks, playing with cars, animals, dinosaurs, dolls and more. For dressing up, play-doh fun, singing songs, dancing and just being you! Congratulations and Way to go!"

 I can't believe how much she's grown since we started class back in September. 

September 2011

May 2012
Last Day Fun
I feel so lucky that we have so many great cooperative parent education opportunities where we live.  With both of my children, I've participated in some co-op schooling.  What's a co-op?  To get technical: a non-profit parent education cooperative program sponsored our local community college where we have in-class parent education sessions. So, technically, I am a student at the college and receive college credit for our weekly classes.  The Toddler Group is partnered with Lake Washington Technical Institute and when we do preschool, it will be in conjunction with Shoreline Community College. While half of the parents supervise the toddlers’ activities, the other half form a group with the teacher to discuss an age-appropriate topic (i.e. understanding children’s development, family communication, discipline techniques, etc.) The teacher functions as an educator, a resource person and an advisor.  We also have monthly speakers on everything from discipline to keeping your marriage intact after baby. 

These co-ops have given me such a wonderful opportunity to become directly involved in the education of my kids and to be involved in my own education as a parent, helping me to understand my kids behavior and development.  Well, at least understand them a bit better.  I don't think I'll ever have them 100% figured out...  It's also a great opportunity to commiserate with other parents; I've made some of my closest friends through co-ops, sharing all those hard times, and good times.  I think it's ESSENTIAL to have other parents to lean on in the early years with children.  If you have these types of preschools in your area, I highly recommend checking them out!


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