Cedar Hills Co Op Kindergarten
11695 SW Park Way, Portland, OR 97225
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03/18/2011Provided by Citysearch -
A father's perspective: I LOVE this school.
First, I should tell you, I am a logic-driven, relatively stoic, engineer/computer geek and not a particularly touchy-feely kind of person. Given this context…
I am now a total convert to the parent-teacher cooperative learning philosophy. While my wife does most of the parent teaching, I genuinely look forward to the opportunities that I get to do so. I love being able to see my children interacting with other children, with the teacher, and with the other parent teachers, seeing a whole different aspect of my children’s personalities. I love being an active participant in all of the children's learning (and being at such a young age, their enthusiasm and wonderment is so refreshing). I love knowing that by being a part of a cooperative, I am part of that proverbial village that helps raise these well-balanced, wonderful children. I love that we have met families that I can see being a part of our lives for years, even decades, in to the future. It isn’t just my children who may have made lifelong friends here.
A big surprise for me was that I never expected that I would develop an emotional connection to my children's preschool, but I have. It has grown by getting to know the other children, by getting to know the other parents through parent teaching and through the community-building activities at the school, and by getting to know the teachers.
The teachers: when we started, we were amazed by Lora, the 3s teacher. She was warm and friendly and went out of her way to ensure my daughter was comfortable in her first experience with school. Lora gets down at their eye level and speaks to them in that soft voice with such patience, and she sings and plays the banjo... it was just amazing. It was such an important first impression of school and my daughter was hooked!
The next year, we moved up to 4s with Linda. Since the kids were a year older and more developmentally advanced, Linda added more organization and structure to their day. Linda was still kind and gentle, but made it clear that she expects age-appropriate behaviors from the children. It was in the 4s where we really started using the conflict resolution process we had been taught (more on that below). It was also in the 4s where I realized my little baby wasn't a baby anymore, and Linda was instrumental in helping my daughter with that progression.
This year, Lora and Linda both moved up a ""grade"" and Katrina started as the 3s teacher, just in time for my son to start. Katrina's enthusiasm and energy are off the charts. Her ability to make each child feel that they are the whole reason she is on this planet - I struggle for words to describe it. While I learned so much about HOW to be a better parent from Lora and Linda, by her example, Katrina inspired me to WANT to be a better parent.
I must mention how the school has changed me. One of the key concepts taught at the school is constructive conflict resolution. While it takes practice to really internalize them, the simple steps are so powerful and effective! The diversity to which we have been exposed - different cultures, socio-economic backgrounds, differing (dis)abilities - makes us more understanding of others. I have learned about other child-rearing styles and no doubt our children will be the better for it. Most importantly, I have learned the value of play-based education. Learning should be fun, and at Cedar Hills Kindergarten and Preschool, it IS.
The last thing I want to say is how, three years ago when we were picking a preschool for our children, I basically told my wife: “Just pick something relatively inexpensive. They are all probably about the same.” I could not have been more wrong. I would send my children here for twice the price. If you are looking for a drop-and-go preschool, this is not the place for you. If what I described speaks to you, then I encourage you to consider CHKP.
09/02/2010Provided by Citysearch -
For Parents that want to be involved in their child's early educational experience this is an excellent school. The parents are asked to participate in class as parent teachers, working with the teacher so the ratio never exceeds 1:4! The school was started by parents in the local community over 50 years ago, and has stayed true to its cooperative roots. In doing so it attracts caring, supportive and involved families, that are driven to create the best early childhood learning environment and experience for their own children.