sterling is approaching that age…the age to go to the “toddler park” (幼儿园) or otherwise known to us as preschool. Our motives are mostly different than that a native’s. for example, we don’t want sterling to learn English at a pre-k since we figure that he’ll learn fabulous English at home (this daddy thinks that his English is already mind-blowing), nor are we looking for sterling to have high school level math and reading skills by the time he starts kindergarten. The advantage for us here is that no english = cheaper tuition! On the flip side, our motive’s are the same as our neighbors in that we want sterling to have local friends his age, and that’s where they all spend their week days.
We haven’t seriously looked yet, but we have asked around and have found several right around our house. I want to take you inside of my brain for a moment to take a snap shot of what my thoughts were as we considered each one…
“There’s one a few blocks away. It’s too far to walk, but can be a quick bike ride which is great on good weather days but no bueno when the weather is more ominous. The slogan at the front reads “exploring science, making super egos”. HOLY MOLY! RUN! What are they doing in there? [my mind rapidly flashes thru images of Frankenstein’s monster, lightening bolts, and large needles.] Nope, that one won’t work.”
“There’s one behind our complex. It’s a quick walk or bike ride. It’s huge and colorless! Where are the kids? There are no kids at this one. hmmm….. a kidless colorless pre-k. Not a good sign.”
“There’s one next door to our complex. It’s a very quick walk, but there’s nobody ever there and it’s inside of a large printing factory. Maybe the kids and teachers are working in the factory, and the play equipment is just a façade. It says it has English classes anyway…which would be necessary I guess if the kids were doing all the editing before they printed stuff…I wonder if that would make the tuition cheaper? not a good option.”
“There’s one at a nearby mall. It has violin lessons, acrobatics, painting, English, zip cords and was all very professional. I need to figure out how to get out of here as fast as I can!?! They’re probably sucking money out of my wallet just by visiting this place. the lady escorting us then tells us the prices as I almost mess my pants…30 USD/hour! The decision is easy, and I’m sure the lady read my face (and smelled my pants) as we walked out, b/c she never called us back to see if we really were interested.”
“There’s one across the street and down the alley. Our neighbors recommend it and it has no English class, and it is affordable if we can negotiate a partial rate for going half days. It would be a brisk walk and is not on any major thoroughfares. It’s colorful and has a playground. sterling would make friends there since our neighbors go there and it’s all in the local language. I like it. there are possibilities at this one.”