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Re: Great pre-K programs in/near San Leandro?
Check out Treehouse in Oakland - it's only about 5-10 minutes from San Leandro. My bright kids have both done really well there. They offer a nice mix of challenging work and lots of creative fun. They also have a K-prep class that is a little more intense if you're looking for even more academics. It is definitely on the more structured side of preschools but we have found that to be a great thing for our kids.
Hi, my husband and I are considering Treehouse (Redwood Hts) and The Old Firehouse (Lafayette) for our two-year old daughter. Any recent experience (pros & cons) would be greatly appreciated--especially if your child(ren) stayed throughout the years (2 yo to kindergarten). We wanted a preschool where the teachers are loving, warm, and with seasoned experience in early child development; the environment to encourage curiosity, creativity, imagination, and exploration; the social interactions among teachers/students/peers to promote development of healthy social and communication skills (and that these interactions take place on a daily basis through either conscientious facilitation by the teachers or children play together naturally); an approach to teaching that respects and fosters the child's interest and motivation to learn; and a well-rounded curriculum (whether it's somewhat structured or emergent) that will instill in my child a love for learning and teach her the tools to learn effectively that will prepare her for formal education. As parents, we expect ourselves to do our part as engaged partners with the school and do not expect the school to do the entire heavy lifting--so a bonus would be any school that provides on-going support for parents (e.g., newsletter, seminars, etc). Is this expecting too much of the preschool? How do these two preschools measure up, according to your experience? Thanks so much for your thoughts! Grateful Parents
We loved Treehouse. Our twins attended Treehouse for two years, as did our niece. It does have a very specific curriculum and religious approach. It has a strong Christian bent, which we desired. There isn't any ''pressure'' on families religiously but the content is largely dictated by this. It is also a very structured school - especially in pre-k and k - which we also liked. There is a lot of flexibility in terms of being able to drop children off earlier or pick children up later. I can truly say that it is a very loving community - from the director and teachers to the parents. I honestly felt like they cared about my family and children. My children are at elementary school now and ask every week if they can go back and visit their teachers. alison
I was hoping someone could give an updated review of Treehouse Preschool in Redwood Heignts. ANY info is much appreciated! anon
My son just finished his first year at Treehouse Preschool and we've been very happy. They seem to have a thoughtful mix of play and learning and he has really thrived. The teachers are really loving and they do lots of fun things. The only downside for me was that the program ended up being larger than we originally thought. They let in a bunch of new kids in January - but it turned out fine as his best new bud was in that mix of new kids. Happy Treehouse Parent
Let me begin by saying the Treehouse, or the First Covenant Treeehouse Preschool and Kindergarten, seemed like the perfect fit for us. We enrolled our son for Fall of '08. We wanted a pre-K program as we are waiting to enroll him into kindergarten for one more year. We are not a religious family (my husband is Jewish [non-practicing] and I am not religious). I had brought up in our tour that I was concerned about religious instruction and was assured that it was not ''an indoctrination''. However, upon attending a summer school session, we felt that it was just too much religion for us (most of the songs they sing are religious-based ''Jesus Loves Me'' and the like, prayer before snack and lunch, and other references during instruction--during the calendar discussion the teacher asked about the number of months we have then ''How many eggs in a dozen? How many friends does Jesus have?''). When we discussed this concern with the director, she did not see a distinction between teaching Christian values and Christian beliefs. Having said that, the teachers seem warm and very involved with the students. My son seemed to enjoy his two days there (and this is not a child who likes change). The environment is lovely and they have a very nice outdoor play area. I think it is worth checking out with the caveat that you need to be comfortable with religious instruction (and we prefer to do that at home). As we did not end up staying there, we do not have any knowledge of what a regular (or non- summer session) day would be like. Hope this helps. Heather
Does anyone have recent experience at Treehouse Preschool? We would be starting in the 2 yr old class. Any other recommendations for preschools close to Montclair or Diamond districts? Thanks. anon
We LOVE Treehouse. The Little Angels class is wonderful- the teachers are very sweet. The school is clean, great supplies. Dr. Jan is a wonderful, caring director. Treehouse is part of the First Covenant Church. We are not members of any church, but like that our children are exposed to make their own choice someday. Good luck! Hope you are lucky enough to become a Treehouse family!
Does anyone have any thoughts, good or bad, about Treehouse Preschool on Redwood Road? anon
We have had our twin daughters at Treehouse for 2 years now and have been very happy. It is a fairly structured environment and though there is lots of time for play, they do concentrate on academics (my girls have been writing their names, letters, and numbers for months now). The teachers are caring and the seasonal projects are well thought out and fun. The only thing I would change is the class size (24-32 w/ 4 teachers depending on the day). It sometimes seems a bit crowded and I wonder how much individual attention my daughters get. That said, they have learned a great deal there and are very well prepared to start kindergarten this fall. Please feel free to email me if you have any additional questions.
We had a child at Treehouse for a little while. It is a bit too structured for my taste, and I saw a lot of worksheet like activity. Parents who are aiming for Corpus Christi or Bentley often like it a lot because it sets kids up to be successful in those schools interview process. There is a fairly strong evangelical Christian content to the materials, mostly focusing on God as a loving father, which I rather liked, but may be uncomfortable for others.
My son went to Treehouse Preschool for over a year and I liked the school and the teachers. Everyone seemed loving and caring and it was not too big where you feel your child will be overwhelmed. This was a couple of years ago but I loved the fact that sometimes I would pick my son up and one of the teachers would sometimes have him on their lap or would give him a hug. It is good to feel comfortable with that because in the times we live in sometimes we just do not feel safe with physical contact by an adult, but I never felt anything inappropriate about the school.
They had circle time and a good mix of educational instruction and free play time and also outdoor play time as well when the weather permits. The only negative was my son is a special needs child (which became more apparent as he became older) physically and mentally. I do not feel the school was equipped to handle his developmental delay although they did extremely well with his physical disability.
I believe it is a Christian-based school although it is separate from the Church on that property. Even though I am a Christian and rather liked that aspect of it, I do not think they overly push religion to the point that a parent or child with another belief system would feel uncomfortable. My son went there about three years ago, so you may want to visit to get a current feel for yourself. sharlene
Re: "Traditional" school 2-3 mornings a week
I believe Treehouse Preschool in Oakland has the sort of part- time program you requested. It is located near Holy Names College off of Highway 13 on Redwood Road. It is affiliated with a church (and actually located behind the church) there but I'm not sure if it is considered a Christian preschool or not. My son went there 2 years ago and loved it--the staff was very nice and friendly and they do have a teaching component to the preschool. There is also a Kindergarten onsite and I believe an option to have advanced preschoolers sit in with the afternoon Kindergarten session. At least this was an option when we were there. I know they also had many at-home moms who took their children there for the sort of part-time program you're looking for. Sharlene