School hunting, that is.
I know what you’re thinking. It’s already May and I am still hunting for a school? Shouldn’t I be doing this in February or March? You know what, you’re absolutely right! I should have started in February or March. I actually started looking for a school in April when I read Vivian’s post about looking for a school for her daughter. Napressure ako so….Hey, better late than later, right?
I have no idea where to look but I do have an idea what to look for. I specifically want a non-traditional school, ideally a progressive school. What is Progressive school and how is it different from Traditional schools? Teacher Tina shared a very helpful comparison of Trad and Non-Trad schools.
I found out that it’s quite difficult to look for a progressive schools here in Cavite. Good thing I have mommy blogger friends who shared with me the possible good options that are in the area. Mike and I went to three possible candidates: Westhill, Abba’s Orchard and The Little Apprentice.
Candidate no 1: Westhill International School
I have been seeing its ad every time we go to SM Molino so I got curious. Then I found out that one of my blogger friends, Erlaine, sends her daughter there. She was kind enough to bring me there. Here are some information that I have learned about the school:
- Program: Montessori (for pre-school)
- Student-teacher ratio: 15:1 + 1 teacher aid
- Attendance options: 5-days a week, 4 hours
- Class levels: From pre-school to gradeschool
- Tuition Fee: Reasonable. Starts at Php 60,000 for pre-school
- Location: Dasmariñas, Cavite
- Amenities: Unfortunately, when we visited, school year have closed and the school was doing some renovations in preparation for the upcoming school year (yes, I am that late looking for a school). I did read from Erl’s post that the rooms are air-conditioned, library and clinic and available, basketball court, cafeteria, music and science rooms are also offered
The program looks promising. I am also considering the recommendation of my friend because she raves about the school. Recommendations are important to me. 🙂 The only drawback is the location. It is a little far from where we live and we will be passing the major traffic bottleneck areas going there.
Candidate no 2: Abba’s Orchard
Again, I saw the ads along Daanghari road. I have been hearing feedback about the school (particularly on tuition fee) but Mike and I just had to check it out. Here are the info that I have gathered:
- Program: Montessori
- Student-teacher ratio: 12:1 + 1 teacher aid
- Attendance options: 5-days a week, 4 hours
- Class levels: Pre-school
- Tuition Fee: Outrageous (for me)! Starts at Php 140,000 for pre-school
- Location: Fernbrook Gardens, Daang Hari Road, Dasmarinas
- Amenities: Same with Westhill, I wasn’t able to go around because the amenities were being renovated. I did see one classroom and I did see that the school was using Maria Monterssori materials. I like that is is also secured because it is inside the Fernbrook Gardens (below the chapel). The major drawback? Can you guess? Yes, the tuition fee! I know that to pay that much, the quality of education must be really good. Unfortunately, it is waaaaaaay out of my budget. The student can’t even cross the street yet.
Candidate no. 3: The Little Apprentice
This time, it was Faye who mentioned about this. Side story: Mike was convinced it was My Little Gym while I was looking for The Little Archer. Obviously, we’re both wrong. The funnier thing is that we were suppose to have Lucas take the trial class. Only, we brought him on the day when there is no trial class. Brilliant. Anyhoo, here’s the info I got about TLA.
- Program: Progressive
- Student-teacher ratio: 7:1 + 1 teacher aid
- Attendance options: 3, 4, 5-days a week, 3 hours
- Class levels: Playgroup – Pre-school
- Tuition Fee: Reasonably High: Starts at Php 96,000
- Location: Evia, Las Piñas City
- Amenities: The school is located in Evia, a commercial promenade along Daanghari. I was able to go inside the air-conditioned classrooms. What I notice is that the play area is outside of the classrooms. There are educational toys inside the rooms that the teachers are using as tools to teach the children. Some of the activities would require them to do outdoors and nearby facilities.
I like the program of TLA. I like that the teachers are focusing on making learning fun so the kids will develop the motivation to learn intrinsically. I like that they also “customize” worksheets for each student depending on the child’s learning capability. If there’s one thing that I am a little iffy is that it is in an open mall. Albeit yaya can go around while waiting for the little boy, it still is a mall.
Mike and I have shortlisted one but I won’t reveal yet which one we will choose for the Little Jedi. This experience is both exciting and trivial. I didn’t realize that there are so many things to consider when choosing a school. But, yeah, it’s all part of the mommy journey.