Our son started going to Building Blocks in September 2003. He went 3 mornings in the Preschool setting and 2 mornings in the Kindergarten setting. This was what was decided by ourselves and the staff members, since our son has special needs and was at the age to attend Kindergarten but was, in certain areas, intellectually at the Preschool level. It was important to us to have our son with his peers, but we still had to acknowledge his delays. The staff at Building Blocks helped in both areas. They adapted the Kindergarten work to his level. He learned his alphabet (both upper and lower case), the sounds that each letter makes, and recognized his numbers to 20, by the end of this school year. He has been included in everything, from daily routines to Christmas and end of school concerts. He has been taught how to be just one of the kids! In order to keep our son’s academics up, we chose to keep him in Building Blocks for the smaller teacher/student ratio, 3 afternoons a week, even though he is attending a public school in the mornings (a decision we made so our son could learn the school routines before starting Grade 1). The staff continues to encourage him to try the difficult tasks, in a non-threatening way. Without Building Blocks, we feel our son would not be as far advanced as he is. We have nothing but praise for the school and all involved. The only thing we want to know is “WHY DON’T YOU TEACH HIGHER GRADES?”!!!
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It is my great pleasure to tell you about how completely satisfied our family had been with the Building Blocks program and staff. Both my children attended Building Blocks for a year of pre-school and a year of Junior Kindergarten. One of the most important things they took away with them is a love of learning and a positive attitude about school. The teachers are nurturing and kind and above all patient. They gear their instruction to the level of the child yet maintain high expectations for each student.
One of the other important things the children got from Building Blocks is a solid foundation in phonics. I feel that this is an extremely important tool which will only enhance the language arts programs they will encounter in the public school system-there’s no guarantee that letters and sounds will be taught so thoroughly at one’s local school. Both my son and daughter were enthusiastic about learning to read at Building Blocks because the staff also made it fun. My daughter is now at the stage where she is reading every sign and bill board she sees…I’ve never been so aware of all the “exits” around me. I highly recommend Building Blocks to any family with young children. There was never a day when either of my children was not excited about going to school.
Erica is in the Junior Kindergarten class and comes from Mississauga 3 afternoons a week.