While on a parent tour recently, a mom asked to speak with a family that had already signed up for Mi Casita. I put her in touch with Sophie’s mom, Rachel. Rachel immediately wrote the following letter. I think it’s very thorough and a great parent perspective. Rachel is happy to talk with other parents, should you be interested please be in touch!! 😉
“It feels a little strange to recommend a preschool we haven’t actually started at yet, but I can tell you why my family is enrolling. The first reason is all the benefits of bilingualism. In addition to the great skill of knowing another language, consistent exposure to bilingual instruction actually imparts significant cognitive benefits to a child, such as improved focus and the ability to discriminate important information, especially in a noisy classroom. Here is a link with some articles if you want to read more: http://www.cal.org/earlylang/
I knew about this research from classes I took on second language acquisition in graduate school and also saw the benefits firsthand when I worked at a bilingual school in Boston years ago, so I was always interested in something like Mi Casita.
The other reason I would recommend Mi Casita is that I sat in on some of their professional development and it was *wonderful.* I am a teacher so I have attended many professional development sessions for teachers and this was one of the best ones I have ever been to. It was all about being child-centered and was focused on how young children learn languages. Their curriculum centers on developing literacy in an authentic way (not worksheets – even for handwriting), project-based learning, and sensitivity to children’s emotions. There really wasn’t anything I could disagree with (and I’m picky). So it was clear to me that the school is being planned well.
Of course the school hasn’t started yet, so I can’t say for sure how these ideas will pan out, but Melissa’s dedication to the school is evident and the staff members I met were very engaged (and kind). Melissa is also aware that families have needs and concerns and she seems very willing to make improvements if they are needed. This is one reason I wanted to be involved as a parent, and the more involved I am, the more I can see how Mi Casita is focused on quality.
Let me know if you have any specific questions.