This school is a little different than most. It's for children aged 2 through kindergarten, so it's really like an early learning center. It also doesn't follow a rigid structure; it's deliberately loose and allows kids to be enjoy a little of their childhood. In the process, the kids become inquisitive, expressive, creative, and curious. Some parents just don't understand how the learning works, but it really happens. The physical campus is the best. The ratio of students to teachers is about 8:1, which is amazing.
My son started attending this school when he was 5 years old in the Kindergarten. H also attended 1st grade here. I cannot imagine that there is any better school in the area. Every single teacher is incredibly effective, attentive, and loving to the children. It is a small, close community. I only wish they went to higher grades!
My son started attending this school when he was three years old (he is five now). At first, I really struggled with the lack of structure. However, I gave it a chance and I am very happy that I did. My son has continuously improved his vocabulary, has started to read, and made significant progress in math. The priceless and most amazing thing about this school is the nurturing environment they have created. The experience at this school has helped my son improve his self-esteem and social skills. My son has the rest of his life to deal with rigorous, structured learning this school is a safe, happy place for him to enjoy learning for the sake of learning (rather than for passing a test or defining your self-worth) and to enjoy his childhood. This is one place where your children will know their teachers really do care about them to the point where they feel loved, which is something we cannot say about most schools. If you want your child to feel happy, safe, and loved while he/she matures (emotionally, academically and psychologically) -then this is the place for you.
I hold a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education and sent both of my children to this school. We were thrilled with their experiences there. I would like to address the criticism that there is no "structure." The program progresses year by year adding structure as is age appropriate. The youngest children learn by doing with carefully chosen toys and materials. Older children learn decision making skills by spending some of the day in teacher planned activities and some in free choices. ALL activities and materials are carefully chosen, planned and SUPPORTED by creative and qualified teachers in a rich language-based environment. The American Assoc. of Pediatricians is in the forefront supporting PLAY-BASED learning for children--trust your doctors and your teachers. My children have moved on to other schools now and consistently score in the 90+ percentiles and are in the most rigorous courses available to them. We believe that our children are doing so well because they learned to love learning and school by attending this wonderful Claremont school!
Awful. We're leaving after one year. The school's facilities/grounds are undoubtedly the best of any preschool in or near Claremont, which I'm sure is what attracts many families. But this is not a pre-"school". It's a daycare center where your child will not be exposed to any kind of counting, reading or other learning activities before the age of Kindergarten. If you want your child to be prepared for elementary school on the same level as other preschoolers in Claremont, skip this expensive, glorified babysitting operation which, by the way, is closed about a third of the year.
Our children have been safe, happy, and learning at The Children's School for 5+ years. Both children started in the preschool program, and each one has experienced the Kindergarten and primary cottages as well. This was truly a gift. Their foundation is one built on curiosity, support, and self-directed learning. If one has not had the opportunity to be part of the program long enough, then the reservations and concern for a program that appears unstructured are understandable. The play-based learning in the preschool classes allows children the opportunity to develop language and trusts that the children will learn without being forced to learn. The instinctual drive to learn is developed. This is the gift that these children are given. I suppose the only disadvantage to The Children's School, is that there isn't a program similar to it once the kids leave the third grade.
I felt compelled to share my child's experience at the preschool after reading some of the negative reviews. While it is true that it is not as structured as some in the area, we pulled our child from a more structured setting because he was miserable. Now he looks forward to school every morning. The teachers are highly experienced, kind and enthusiastic. They communicate with me daily about my child. My child is self-confident, shares well with others and is reading! I highly recommend the Children's School Preschool as a nuturing place where children experience a love of learning, I say this not just as a parent but as a fully credentialed kindergarten teacher.
My daughter could not have been happier with her school experience through what was a combined grade 2/3. The children were challenged appropriately, mentored effectively by older peers, and also had an opportunity to mentor others as well. There was a perfect balance of work and play, and all students are exposed to art and music opportunities that are rapidly vanishing in public school settings. We couldn't be more pleased with our child's formative school experience at the Children's School!
My daughter spent three years at The Children's School, starting in the pre-K class. We couldn't have been happier with her experience. One of the goals articulated by the school's director was that she wanted children to leave the school as confident learners and that is most certainly the school's legacy with my daughter. She now attends a highly regarded K-8 school and I find that the math, reading, spelling, study of art, and expository writing were more rigorous at The Children's School than where she is now. Additionally, it is a warm and nurturing environment and the cottage set up for each grade level is what a school should look like. You can't do better than sending your child to school here.