My oldest son is in second grade and participating in a dual immersion program at school. This means that half of his day is learning language arts and reading in English, and half of his day is spent learning science and math in Spanish. I'm talking no English speaking is allowed. I have great things to say about this program, and some negative things, but overall it is working well for him. When it came time to find a preschool for him, I was a hot mess. Elementary and pre-K teachers have it so much harder than I do. If you screw up on a kid in the beginning, they are screwed for life. If you don't instill the love of learning in them early on, their entire school career is going to tank. When they get to me, they are already screwed up. Way less pressure for me. Elementary and pre-K teachers are the real heroes. I see you lovely humans.
Anyway... back to the preschool thing. We have a myriad of preschools in our area, and I was feeling slightly overwhelmed about who to pick. Which ones were going to be educational, and which ones were more like a daycare? Which ones were going to have good teacher-student ratios, and which ones accepted everyone and were going to lose my kid in the shuffle of the masses? Which ones would communicate with me and let me be involved in my child's learning, and which ones figured I was a paycheck and a chauffeur for my son? Ugh... even thinking about it makes my head spin. I researched, talked to friends about where their kids went, drove by facilities. Then, I discovered Smarty Pants Preschool. A good friend had a son there, and I knew--and loved!--one of the teachers.
Since enrolling Rhett, I have watched Smarty Pants grow and expand, and all the while maintaining the quality education they offered in the beginning. I have been so impressed by this school, and I honestly feel sad when I don't have a student there. This is an unpaid post--in fact, they don't even know it's coming--and I want to take a minute to give you my honest opinion about what makes this school so amazing.
2. The communication. If I'm going to pay for my kid to go to school, then I want to know what is going on. Smarty Pants is top of the line when it comes to relaying information to parents. They send home monthly calendars, text and make phone calls, post reminders on social media, and email. They also have a website that has anything you could ever need to know. I know when homework is due, when books need to be returned, when it's my kid's turn to be the spotlight! When Rhett went to kindergarten, I was practically pissed for like 2 straight months because I had no idea what was going on. Smarty Pants will keep you more than informed, but don't expect that kind of treatment once your kids leave.
3. Summer camps. This place doesn't have an off season. All summer long they hold weekly camps that my kids love. We have done superhero camp, water camp, cooking classes, bugs, zoo animals, magic camp, and more. The cost is ridiculously inexpensive for what the kids get to do, and it was insanely helpful to have Larsen attend these before he ever went to preschool. Rhett is never afraid of new things or new people, but Larsen is a little more timid. When it came time for preschool, he was unafraid because the place and people were familiar. These teachers are geniuses.
4. The programs. You guys... the greatest days of the year--besides my birthday, obviously--are the Christmas and graduation programs the school puts on. All year the students learn songs and at these programs they perform them for the parents. They are the greatest things you will ever witness. Until they recite a little poem about the alphabet and your kid says that N is for "nasty" instead of "nose" because he is a clown. I hold Rhett accountable for that one Miss Hali and Miss Jodi, don't you worry.
5. The options. Smarty Pants preschool has SO many options for classes. You want to do Spanish Immersion? You got it. You want a STEAM program? You got it. You want to go to school 4 days a week instead of 3? You got it. You want your two year old to start early preschool? You got it. You want to go in the morning? You got it. Prefer afternoon? They have that too. There is literally something for everyone, and they now have three freaking locations! When we started, it was one little location with a handful of teachers. Now, there are all of these options, and I have only seen the program improve. Often times programs lose control and quality decreases, but not with Smarty Pants! They seem to have the Midas touch, I swear. And we all know I'm not nice enough to just say this stuff.
My kids start kindergarten able to read, write, speak a little Spanish, and understand how to behave in a classroom setting. I feel so indebted to Smarty Pants preschool, and I will never stop bearing my testimony about their greatness. I am dreading the day when Baylor starts kindergarten, because I will never have another kid at this school, and thus be forced to live vicariously through everyone else. Please let me come watch your kid sing in the Christmas program. I'm begging you.
Here is their website: Smarty Pants Preschool
Their Instagram handle: @smartypants_ut
Registration is open, too: Register NOW!