This post and giveaway are sponsored by KinderCare. Thanks, KinderCare!

I am one of those people that has to extensively research every major decision. The amount of time I spend researching gets bigger with the enormity of each decision. Mike always makes a joke about how long it takes me to explore all the options. For example, house hunting took us two years because I spent at least half of that time investigating different lenders. So it shouldn’t surprise anyone to hear that I’ve spent the last six months looking into preschools for Annabel. I have deposits at three different schools because I don’t want to pick a place for Annie until I’ve seen every. single. option. for preschools in our area.

KinderCare invited Annie and me to come take a tour of the school in our area, and of course I said yes. The timing couldn’t have been better because they were one of the last schools left on my list. I have to make a final decision about Annie’s schooling ASAP. Summer is almost over, I can’t believe it.

When we arrived at the school, Annie was invited to watch a big science-based performance that was being put on in the big activity room. I worried that maybe she’d be anxious about watching the show alone while I toured the school, but she literally ran down the hall to the activity room without even looking back at me. I don’t know why I wasn’t expecting that.

The school itself was really nice – brightly lit, with lots of windows and tons of kid-created artwork on the walls. Outside of each classroom door was a giant sign that outlined what each class was learning every day. I thought that was great, because Annabel already gives me the dreaded “I don’t know” when I ask her what she learned in swimming or gymnastics. And while I was pleased with how cheerful and activity-packed each classroom was, what I really wanted to see was an actual class in session. Luckily, Annie was able to sit in on a class, too.

circle time at kindercare

Annie acted like she’d been going to preschool there for her whole life. She sat on the rug during circle time and quickly picked up the morning song and dance routine. I don’t think she even realized I was there until the end of circle time, when she caught a glance of me and yelled, “MAMA! I’M SINGING WITH MY FRIENDS!” We’re going to have to work on that whole talking-out-of-turn thing.

After circle time, the kids were able to go to the different learning centers throughout the room. I thought Annie’s head might explode from all the options (Beads! Dress up! Legos!) but she started with painting before she ran around and tried the other stations.

painting at kindercare

stringing beads at kindercare

The kids were in the middle of a science unit, and Annie was able to take part in learning how a solid can become a liquid (with powdered juice mix and water).

turning solids into liquids at kindercare

turning solids into liquids at kindercare

When it was time for us to leave, Annie was NOT PLEASED. She wanted to stay and “learn play,” as she called it. I was really happy to have the opportunity to watch Annie in the classroom. It not only let me see what a typical class was like, but it also allowed me to see that Annabel is more then ready for preschool. It’s taken away all my anxiety about her starting

Every day since our visit last week, Annie has asked me if she can go back. When I said to her, “But Annie, won’t you miss me and James when you’re at school?” she replied, “No, Mama! Because I’m growing and I have to learn stuff so I can teach my baby brother.”

KinderCare has two awesome events/giveaways going on right now. First, KinderCare is holding Open House events at all of their learning centers across the country on August 13th, 2013. Families are welcome to visit during the Open House to see what quality early childhood education looks like and get to know their local KinderCare teachers and staff. I highly recommend checking them out, because if you tour your local KinderCare between now and October 18, you’ll be entered to win one of five scholarships for one calendar year of free tuition for one child at a KinderCare or Knowledge Beginnings Center. Pretty awesome! Visit to see the Official Rules and find a center near you.

The second giveaway is for a $500 Amazon card for all of your Back-to-School essentials! I will be hosting a twitter party for KinderCare on Monday, August 12th from 6:30 – 7 p.m. PST, and anyone who signs up below AND participates in the twitter party (using the #TourKinderCare hashtag) is entered to win. Woo hoo! You can read all about the terms and conditions for this party and giveaway here.

Yay preschool!

KinderCare Twitter Party Sign Up
The first field (Link Title or Blog Title) is where you should enter your Twitter ID: @mamaspohr (example). In the second field, entitled Link, you should enter your Twitter URL: