Episode 49: Choosing a Preschool: Interview with Zahra Kazem


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In today’s episode we are discussing what to consider when choosing a preschool for your child.

Joining me today for the conversation is Zahra Kazem. She is a certified Montessori teacher and ran a Montessori school pre-Covid. She then became a certified parenting coach through the International Coaching Federation and began helping working moms navigate the challenges of balancing a full time job with motherhood.

Because Zahra’s background includes both Montessori and parent coaching, we are going to touch on the Montessori philosophy, but we are going to also discuss different types of preschools, what might work best for your family and what the preschool registration process might look like.
In this episode we discuss:

The Montessori philosophy:

  • It’s a multi-aged grouping so kids are in the same classroom (3-6) and they learn to help each other and be nurturing from a young age.
  • They come into a “prepared environment”. The classroom is set up in the areas of: Practical Life, Sensorial, Math/Language, Geography and Science.
  • The materials are all Montessori Materials. They are mainly made of wood and are self-correcting.
  • Teachers are facilitators to learning. The child gets to choose what he/she wants to “work” with. They do this after the teacher has introduced the child to the material and given a lesson on it. They also learn at their own pace. Once the child has mastered one material and shows readiness for the next the teacher will invite the child to a more complex lesson.
  • Children learn to self regulate in a Montessori classroom at a very young age. They learn to concentrate on their own tasks and not be distracted about what others in the classroom are doing. This is a great skill to have when entering a public kindergarten program or transitioning into a non Montessori traditional school.

What to consider when choosing a preschool

  • A curriculum based structure or more of a daycare structure?
  • Requirements for children at particular ages (do they need to be potty trained)
  • Take a tour of the classrooms, would you want to spend time there?

The child’s age that parents should start thinking about registering their child for preschool

  • Depends on your area and availability of preschools
  • There is no mandate on when kids need to start preschool, could be ages 1-4

The registration window typically starts at least 6 months before the upcoming school year

How to get in touch with Zahra:

How to get in touch with me:

Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/findingyourvillagepod?fan_landing=true)

64 episodes