I have two children attending Building Blocks Nursery School. My son is in the Preschool program and my daughter is in the JK program. They started in September and within a couple of months, my daughter started reading words.
The Jolly phonics program that is used is amazing. It was really unbelievable to my husband and I, how quickly my daughter was reading words.
Picking a school isn’t always easy, there are many things to consider. I heard about Building Blocks from several parents throughout the Brampton community. The staff are well known and spoken very highly about. I was told, “You have to get your child into Building Blocks – you’ll be amazed and love it”. The children experience lots of love and support. Building Blocks have an integrated classroom, with children with different abilities and disabilities.
I believe children need a good start, and a good foundation, and the staff at Building Blocks have a variety of activities, weekly themes, and have a consistent daily structure, to ensure this happens. I have seen many children grow, and become more confident, within the school. If you have the opportunity to experience Building Blocks, I highly recommend it. It’s a beautiful experience.
My name is Susan Huys. I am the mother of Jenna who is 9 years old and Evan who is 6. I am a teacher with the Peel District School Board with over 10 years of experience teaching Junior Kindergarten to Grade 5. My husband and I are both professionals who take our job as parents very seriously and, like many of you here tonight, we strive to make the best decisions possible for our family. I offered to speak to you tonight because I only wish that there had been someone with experience that could have explained to me the benefits of having a child attend the Building Blocks kindergarten program.
I’ll start off by telling you our story. When our daughter Jenna was 3 we brought her to Building Blocks for the preschool program. We loved everything Building Blocks had to offer. At the end of the school year we struggled with the decision whether to keep Jenna at Building Blocks for JK or to send her to our neighborhood school. After much deliberation we decided to send her to our neighborhood school. Our main reasons were that we wanted Jenna to go to school with her friends from our neighborhood, at the time I was a stay-at-home mom and financially it would be a stretch and we felt that academically the school could provide Jenna with all that she would need to succeed.
Unfortunately, we were extremely disappointed in what our public school offered Jenna in terms of a comprehensive Kindergarten program. The program was disjointed and ineffective in how it was delivered, the ratio of student to teacher was high and there lacked the personal touch each young child needs in order to grow academically as well as socially.
After our experience with Jenna, it was a very easy decision to have our second child, Evan, attend Building Blocks for preschool, junior and senior kindergarten. My husband and I consider this one of the best decisions we have made for our family. I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you what I think makes the Kindergarten program at Building Blocks such a phenomenal success. The low teacher to student ratio (1 to 10 in Junior Kindergarten and 1 to 12 in Senior) enables the teachers to get to know the children and the children to get the one-to-one attention that they need to succeed at this age. The experienced and nurturing teachers work with each child’s strengths and weaknesses to help them to experience success. The “Jolly Phonics” program is an excellent program and it is taught in such an effective way that all children develop the skills necessary to read and write. Through the combination of pencil to paper work, small and large group activities and free play time the children blossom academically and socially. Early study habits are developed which will stay with the children as they go through their years of schooling and each child’s self esteem and confidence levels soar as they experience success in the Kindergarten program.
Evan is now in Grade 1 at our neighbourhood school and he is excelling beyond belief. He is an enthusiastic learner who loves to read, write and do math. When his grade 1 teacher repeatedly comments on what a confident and capable learner Evan is, my response is always the same – Building Blocks!
In closing I would like to say that many parents feel that their neighborhood school can provide an appropriate Kindergarten program for their child so why would they even consider Building Blocks. Through experience I can tell you that there are some public schools that offer a half decent Kindergarten program but none can begin to compare with Building Blocks – not even close. The early years of school are crucial to a child’s development and there is no doubt that Building Blocks offers the best Kindergarten program possible. The staff at Building Blocks have the children’s and families’ best interests in mind and it is evident in all that they do on a daily basis. Thank you for your time and I hope that through relaying our family’s experience at Building Blocks it will make your decision that much easier.
My husband and I can’t say enough positive things about Building Blocks. Our son Eric is now halfway through his SK year, having been with the school since he was in preschool. Every year we have marvelled at the wonderful teaching staff at this school. All of them genuinely care for the children and work on their development as individuals. When we enrolled Eric in preschool, we were looking for a place where Eric could make friends and develop socially (as an only child, Eric was quite shy with other children). After seeing the quality of the preschool program we then enrolled him into JK, where he started to learn phonics at a rapid rate. Now that he is in SK, our son is able to sound out many three-syllable words and can read books on his own! He has a fantastic academic foundation going into grade school.
More importantly, our son is now an independent and confident child who makes friends easily. This was not an easy process. During JK, our son went through a period of a few months where he was aggressive towards the other children in his class. He has always been big for his age, and he was intimidating the children so much that none of them wanted to play with him anymore. You can imagine as parents how difficult this was for us. We are absolutely convinced that if Eric had been in another school, he would have been labelled the class bully and become isolated. Any teacher in the public school system (with 20+ children in the class) would simply not have had the time or energy to deal with it. Luckily, my son was at Building Blocks. Mrs. Freer, Ms. Kuehni, and all the other teachers and teaching assistants worked patiently with Eric and with us to help him develop his social skills and empathy. They incorporated the concepts of personal space and bullying right into the daily curriculum. At the same time they supported the other children so that everyone could have a positive experience at school. Thanks to the sustained efforts of all the staff, our son made a complete turnaround. We clearly remember the day my husband dropped off Eric at school and heard the other children excitedly calling his name in welcome, wanting him to play with them. What a contrast! We were ecstatic. In SK he has continued to build on his friendships with all the children and enjoys every day that he goes to school.
We will be forever grateful to the teachers at Building Blocks for their dedication, professionalism and care. They have brought out the best in our son. My husband and I highly recommend this school to any parent. Our only regret is that our son will have to go to another school for Grade 1!
Just a note of thanks to the Building Blocks staff.
We can’t believe that it’s been 2 years already.
We would like to thank all the teachers at Building Blocks for making our Simran’s transition to school an enjoyable one. As parents having a child with special needs, we appreciated each and every adaptation made in the classroom or play to include Simran in the general group.
Thanks very much Mrs. Sanger for all your thoughts and insights into Simran’s learning. And most of all for understanding what and how to adjust your teaching to Simran’s requirements. Like I said to you earlier, I wish that we can take you with us to public school. Mrs. Quibell, thank you for making art fun for Simran. We always hear, “Mrs. Quibell is soooo silly”. We would also like to thank you for giving your time when Muriel made visits at the school.
Mrs. Freer and Ms. Kuehni, thank you both for making that initial transition to school a good one for Simran. It was an anxious time for us since Simran was away from us. We valued your kindness Ms. Kuehni for being there for Simran.
To Mrs. Vanderburgt, thank you all for your kindheartedness and for always including Simran in the play activities. Many times when we picked her up from the yellow room while she was in JK, we were very happy with how she was included in the activities even if she was a bit slower because of her vision.
We wish you all the very best and will see you again when Keerat is ready for school.
My wife and I enrolled our son Alexander at Building Blocks 2 years ago. He is now in his SK year, and the difference in his writing skills this year is nothing short of amazing (his hand writing is better than mine and he’s only 5!). I know that his continued improvements in reading and writing is due to all the teachers at Building Blocks and I thank you all for that. All of your staff take the time and attention to ensure Alexander reaches his full potential.
We recently went to a few local private schools to see what is expected from their JK/SK and Grade 1 students. We found the class sizes were twice as large as the ones at Building Blocks, and by the end of SK the students knew a lot of three-letter words that you can sound out – like “put”, or “lot”. Our son can write and spell words up to 10 letters long, including words with silent letters from memory – this blew me away as the costs for some of these schools were close to $10,000!
I feel with Alexander attending Building Blocks 5 times a week it really allowed him the time to learn as much as he can and it is also the reason he has improved so much over the past two years. I do believe that the financial cost to send Alexander to Building Blocks pales in comparison to what he has received in return.
Markus, our younger son will also be attending Building Blocks (good luck with that one, but I do expect you to achieve the same results LOL).
Once again thank you, please pass on our thanks to the staff too.
As parents, you strive to provide your children with the most positive, nurturing experience in their early years of schooling. You search for a program where your child will be recognized as a unique individual. You search for a program where teachers will teach them the basics academically as well as socially.
Building Blocks Nursery School is everything parents could dream of and much, much more. It is the teachers’ thorough understanding of young children and how they learn most effectively that sets Building Blocks apart from other schools. The teachers plan and deliver the curriculum beautifully from the Preschool program through to the Junior and Senior Kindergarten years.
As soon as you step foot into the school you feel the happiness and contentment radiating from the children, the parents and the teachers. It is a comforting feeling knowing that your children will receive the best of everything. The teachers at Building Blocks ensure that everything, from the age-appropriate learning experiences, to the nutritious snacks, to the creative arts and crafts projects, to the meaningful field trips, to the special care given to each and every child, is delivered effectively.
Watching our own children thrive at Building Blocks over the past few years has been incredible. We could not have dreamed of a more comprehensive and a finer academically-based program anywhere.
Evan attends 5 mornings per week in our JK class.
I am a mother of three boys, ages 5, 3 and 18 months. I currently have 2 boys in Building Blocks Nursery School, with my third son starting the preschool program in September.
My oldest son has been in Building Blocks since he was two years old. He has been enrolled in all the various programs. Nathaniel started in the preschool class where he was so shy and timid; by the end of his two years in the preschool program he became so comfortable at school. When it was time for my oldest son to start JK, we decided to keep him in Building Blocks school part time and send him to regular school.
Nathaniel has completed the JK program. I can’t praise the teachers at Building Blocks enough. At the end of the JK year, Nathaniel was already starting to blend words and was well on his way to reading. Nathaniel is more than half way through his SK year and he is doing amazing. He is currently reading at the level he should be reading at by the end of Grade 1, he is doing wonderful on his weekly spelling tests and, most importantly, he is full of confidence. I truly believe that the foundation of my son’s progress has been from Building Blocks Nursery School. The warm, friendly, environment has made learning easy for my child. The small child-to-teacher ratio is unlike what you would get in an ordinary elementary school. All of the teachers are well-organized and enthusiastic. The activities and the weekly themes are enjoyed by both of my children. They always come home singing, and telling me something new that they learned. The Christmas and year end concerts are always a pleasure to watch.
My second child is currently in the preschool program and loves school. In fact, he wishes he were there every day. He is just so comfortable there and loves all of the teachers. He will be starting the JK program next year, and I can’t wait to see how quickly he learns.
I would recommend Building Blocks Nursery School to any family, and I would highly recommend to any parent to supplement Building Blocks’ JK/SK program as extra enrichment for their child. It has helped give our oldest child that extra advantage. Building Blocks has really become a big part of our extended family.
To the Staff at Building Blocks:
We would like to offer our sincerest appreciation to all of the staff at Building Blocks for helping us to bring out a significant transformation in our son, Dhruv, and for providing a loving and fun learning environment.
He was one of those kids who cried for almost 2 months, and we worried if he would ever adjust to the change. The words of encouragement, patience, and care displayed by his teachers towards him helped ease our minds and played an important role in helping him get used to the new environment.
Now that he has overcome the fear and separation anxiety, we see that he truly enjoys coming to school. We are so happy by his development and the things that he has learnt. He often talks about school, his teachers, the things he’s learnt and sometimes surprises us by singing some of the songs he’s learnt. Before we read him a book, he makes it a point to sing “I’m a ready listener”. His other favourites are “Ready for parents when they come” and “The more we get together”.
Being a kid who rarely showed what he knew, and preferred to observe, he rarely spoke in class or seldom got involved in the group activities. He would come home and tell us about what he learnt at school rather than showing it out in the class to his teachers. This coupled with some of the feedback we received from the teachers words to us, however, the suggestions they provided were instrumental in initiating a major change in Dhruv, by helping him open up and get comfortable with talking to his teachers and his classmates. It reinforced our decision to put Dhruv in Building Blocks, as we saw it as an environment where the teachers were actively involved in his development and progress. We are grateful that the teachers provide feedback on a regular basis and suggest creative solutions to better the child’s experience at the school and enhance their personal and social skills.
We can see the amount of thought and effort put in by the teachers and the dedication they have, in the art-work that he brings home from school, in the wordings of the songs he learns and sings, in the weekly themes, and in the creative approach used in teaching the children, making it a well-rounded experience.
All of the above made the decision of where he should attend Kindergarten a no-brainer.
Thank you once again for the wonderful work you do. Cheers to all the teachers and staff. Have a great summer.
I was approached a few weeks ago and asked to speak to you tonight about my child’s experience at Building Blocks. I was most happy to oblige.
I was told that I was asked to speak because my situation is a bit unique. I have two daughters: Emma is 7 and in Grade 2 early French immersion, and Laura is 4, and is enrolled here at Building Blocks in JK. My older daughter did not attend BB, but for various reasons I decided to enroll my youngest in the program here. So the unique thing is that I have had an opportunity to compare and contrast, in my own private science lab, the benefits of the early childhood education program offered at BB as compared to the public school system in which my oldest child was enrolled for both JK and SK.
I think that the main reason my husband and I chose BB for Laura was that we were a bit discouraged by her older sister’s experience and progress in her kindergarten years, particularly in SK. She is a very bright little girl (although I know I am biased saying this!) and we felt that we, as two busy working parents, were really the ones providing the core parts of her education in kindergarten, particularly with reading. It really did feel like more of a daycare in her SK year than a school. She was in a very large classroom, a combined JK/SK class, and we don’t really think that enough individual attention was paid to her progress. I had no real issues with her teacher, and I think that the teachers at the school in general did the best that they could with the time and resources they were allotted, but I felt overall that she wasn’t given the chance to shine I would have wished.
In particular, her reading skills by the end of SK were still below what I felt she should have achieved. She was still having difficulty “chunking” words and reading complete simple sentences. I spent quite a bit of time with her in order to ensure that she was reading at a higher level over that summer between SK and grade 1. Since I had planned for her to attend French immersion starting in grade one (which is the Peel public board’s option for early immersion), it was very important to me that her comprehension and achievement in English was solid for her grade level. I am very happy to say that Emma is doing very well in French immersion and that her English skills are also above average for her grade level. But it took some work on our part, and I think it could have been an easier transition had she had a more solid academic beginning in kindergarten.
However, with Laura, we felt that we wanted to avoid this issue altogether, and we knew from word of mouth that the students at BB would be given the attention and program goals I felt were lacking in the public program Emma had attended. Laura started at BB when she was not quite 3 years old (in Feb 2007) for preschool, and she continued preschool in 2007-2008, and this past year 2008-2009 she has been enrolled in JK here.
In a nutshell, she LOVES school. It was so different for me to hear my kindergarten child asking to go to school, whereas her sister just hated it at the same age. She loves her friends here, the teachers, the crafts, and yes, even the work. She loves to do her “homework” at the same time as her sister in the afternoons, and her progress in these past few months has been amazing. It really hit home to me the difference between her and her sister, comparing their academic progress at the same age, this past Christmas. We were writing out letters to Santa, and Laura wrote hers all by herself. She is only 4. She sounded out all the words by herself, and wrote out the entire letter to Santa by herself. Granted, the spelling and punctuation was not perfect, but what I noticed was entirely different from her sister at that age was her concept of putting the sounds together and writing them out. That just blew us away! I feel very confident that she will have an easier transition to grade one French immersion eventually, and yes she will be completing SK here as well!
I can say with no ambivalence that the teachers here are dedicated, caring, nurturing, and that they go above and beyond for their students and the families. In hindsight, I wish it had been possible that my oldest child could have attended here as well, but in life we learn from our past experiences and move on. I hope that sharing my family’s experience with BB will help you make your decision.
I just wanted to take this opportunity to thank both of you and the rest of the wonderful teachers at Building Blocks Nursery School for all the dedication and love you put into the program at the school – once I found your school I could never have considered any other place to drop off my children.
Sadly, Samantha’s time at Building Blocks is nearing its end and we are all sad about this. Samantha will surely miss all of you so much, and she is already talking about making regular visits to see both of you. I, too, will miss the friendship we have nurtured over these past four years!!
You have both put so much into developing the JK/SK program at the school and as you will have noticed from Samantha’s report card from regular school, she is doing very well. Any child would be privileged to be part of this wonderful program.
Again, thank you so much. Don’t be surprised if you see me pop in during the Christmas Interactive Day. This I will miss the most, as I treasure all the Building Blocks Christmas ornaments my children proudly display on our tree.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. Keep up the great work!