To All the Mom’s & Dad’s who just aren’t sure about Kids’ Stuff Kindergarten:
I'd like to say a few words to any moms and dads at Kids' Stuff who are where we were this time last year.
Our son Christopher was one of those kids on the cusp. He has a late summer birthday and lacked confidence in school. I felt in my heart he wasn't ready for kindergarten, and his VPK teacher agreed. It was tempting to repeat VPK, and we considered it. I admit that the idea was appealing to me, because I don't think I was any more ready for him to start kindergarten than he was.
His teacher suggested Kid's Stuff Kindergarten as an idea, but I was a little skeptical about his readiness for that either. She offered to set up a meeting with Miss Kristy and Miss Vanessa. That afternoon, Kristy stopped me to talk about it. I had all the doubts lined up: He's not ready, I'm not ready, Common core, Common core (grrr)
I remember Miss Kristy saying, "Of course he's ready for Kids' Stuff Kindergarten. The class is small, and Miss Vanessa works with the kids where they are. Just come to the information meeting."
And we did. About ten minutes into the meeting, I knew this was the right choice for us, and I felt so relieved. He would be in a small class, instead of a huge public school class, or even a relatively much bigger VPK repeat class. He would be with kids around his own age, instead of too young or much older. He would learn what he needed to join the public school the next year. If he skyrocketed forward, we could feel confident that he would do great in first grade, and if he struggled a little, we could start him in kindergarten at the public school.
We signed him up. And let me tell you, that first day of school, I knew right away we made the right decision. He was going back to Kids' Stuff, which always felt like home. That was such a relief for me. But for him, he could feel as though he was moving forward. He got to go to the schooler house, which was a big deal to him. He got to go to the big kids' playground. He got his own cubby and his name on the table.
This year has been wonderful. There are just not enough good words to say about Miss Vanessa. She teaches with such patience and kindness and enthusiasm. You only have to talk to her for a minute to know that your child is in good hands. She makes the kids enthusiastic about learning. She challenges them without stifling them. She lets their personalities shine. I know all the other parents of Chris's small family class would say the same thing.
Last week, Chris was President of the week. (Each of the kids gets a week, and it's all about him/her). Miss Vanessa sent me a picture of Chris in front of the class performing a magic trick. That was such a special moment, because I could see the confidence he had gained this year in KS Kindergarten.
He loves his classmates and his teacher. The kids are all so good to one another, which is clearly Miss Vanessa's influence, as well as the rest of the Kids' Stuff team.
There were also logistical benefits we hadn't considered: Tuition is very affordable. It was what we had been accustomed to paying up until VPK, so we already knew it was well within our budget. Included in the cost is before and after care, which was a huge benefit to our family. Little Techs is also included in the cost. Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year and Spring break weeks are tuition-free, but childcare is available still on those weeks. Also, did I mention Miss Vanessa is awesome?
I honestly can't say enough good things about Kids' Stuff Kindergarten. If you also have a kiddo on the cusp or if you just aren't ready to consider a large public school, I would highly recommend this path. This year has been so special for Chris and our family. So far the only problem I have is that he doesn't want to leave. And I don't really want him to.
I'm just a parent, but if you have any questions for someone who's been there, please feel free to email.
Jennifer Garnett Lucas, Happy Kids' Stuff Mom
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We picked Kids' Stuff because of the impressive teacher tenure. Our son had been going to another local preschool with high turnover. When we toured Kids' Stuff, we couldn't get over how bright and fun it seemed. Since we made the move, our son has never been happier. All the teachers have lots of experience, and they truly love the kids and the school. Everyone's commitment is so obvious, the kids can't help but feel secure and cared for. The management is amazing and the teachers make learning fun. Our son is happy to be there and is happy to learn.
Switching schools is tough, it’s harder on us parents than on the kids. Mason has been at Kids’ Stuff for a couple of years now and I knew we made the right decision when a Beatles song came on the radio and he said ‘Mom, this is the Beatles’. I was in shock. I asked him how he knew that and he told me Miss Becky taught him that in Music Class. At that moment, I knew this was the right place for our family. He always has stories to share with us about his day and things he has learned. He was so excited to be able to help Miss Denise cook in the kitchen, he even wanted to help me prepare meals at home. Nutrition is a big part of our home life and I appreciate the love that Miss Denise puts into her meals for the kids. It’s reassuring to run into her at the grocery store and she is purchasing the same types of items I would buy for my family. Mason even told me I needed to make ‘Cowboy Stew’, but, I need to ask Miss Denise how to make it ‘her’ way. Stretch ‘N Grow has a huge impact on him. He enjoys showing his brother the yoga stretches he learns. You can tell he is proud to share the information from class. He knows the differences between always foods and sometimes foods – he will ask for McDonald’s and tell me just this once because it’s a sometimes food. J
Aside from the fun activities that Kids’ Stuff offers, there is something special that sets them apart from the rest. The teachers. They are an extension of us parents. The love and compassion that these ladies have for these children is amazing. At any given moment, I can walk into any classroom and the students are tuned in to their teacher. Listening, learning and interacting. It’s a very calm environment – even at lunch time. Classrooms are very organized and the whole school works together like a well-oiled machine. His teachers make it a point to talk with me on daily basis about how he is doing and what we can do at home to improve his performance at school. Having that parent/teacher connection is what makes this a family, not a daycare. Mason will be starting the VPK program at Kids’ Stuff this fall, I am really looking forward to see how bright he can shine. Keep up the great work, these kids are our future.
PS – Anytime he slips and calls me Miss Amber, I take that as a compliment. J
Thanks for everything!
-Danielle & Todd Jarrett