Early Literacy in Preschool in Buckeye Arizona

What to look for in a Quality Preschool Program

Play based preschool in Buckeye Arizona located in the West Valley

Choosing A Quality Preschool

Preschool is a magical time for learning! Children between the ages of three and six are filled with wonder and excitement about the world around them. During these early years their brains are developing more rapidly than any other time in their lives! You see their eagerness to learn in the way they observe everything around them and ask questions. This is the perfect time to introduce them to school and give them a life-long love for learning. The question is… How do you find a quality preschool that will truly nurture this important time in your child’s life? Here at The Iliad Academy Preschool in Buckeye, Arizona, we believe there are several key factors to consider when enrolling your child in preschool.

Factors to consider when choosing a quality preschool

When you begin searching for a preschool it’s important to examine your family and child’s needs. Listed below are five common factors that can impact a family’s decision regarding which preschool their child will attend:

cost of the preschool

-the schedule (i.e. is it all day, half day, two times a week or four?)

the curriculum or educational philosophy of the school

-the ratio of adults to students


As a family, it’s important to decide which factors are most important. Once you have an idea of what your budget and schedule allow then it’s time to start researching online and booking some tours. A school’s website will offer a great deal of information about the staff and curriculum. Take some time to understand the school’s philosophy as it will impact how the curriculum is implemented. There are many schools that are play-based, some that advertise as STEM schools, others that are faith-based, and the list continues… read about the curriculum so you can ask specific questions about how those ideas are applied in a real classroom environment. It’s great to have science experiments but what does that look like in a room filled with three year old children? How does the school handle any behavior concerns? A Director at a quality preschool would be able to explain how that happens at her school without any hesitation.

At The Iliad Academy we believe in the Love and Logic approach to classroom management. We also use the Preschool Core Knowledge Curriculum. Please feel free to explore our curriculum on our website at: http://iliadpreschool.com/preschool-curriculum/ or contact the school to find out more about our program.

Touring potential preschools

Now you’re ready to tour potential schools! Visiting a preschool is a gift! You personally witness an environment created for the sole purpose of: nurturing a positive learning experience, fostering friendships, and promoting kindness. An environment tailored for the inquisitive minds of three to six year olds. Keeping that idea in mind, it’s important to look for some important key elements.


Are the books, toys, and learning tools available at a child’s height? When you look around the room, does everything appear clean and organized? Look at the playground and the equipment being offered to the children, is it age appropriate?

Curriculum in Action

Now that you know the school’s philosophy, find out what the classroom plan is if your child is having an emotionally difficult day. How is your child supported while still allowing learning to take place? Take time to find out how music and other specials are integrated into your child’s day. Find out how you can help your child prepare for their new environment. Discuss the ratio of students to teachers in the classroom. Take your tour as an opportunity to walk through the school like your child will. Hopefully, by the time you have left the school you will have all your questions answered and feel confident about enrolling your future preschooler.

Finding the Right Preschool

Once you have found the right school you can start emotionally preparing your child for her first day. Discuss a drop-off ritual, pick out a lunch bag and water bottle, and talk about the activities your little one will enjoy when in school. Preschool is one of the best gifts you will give to your little one. You have done all the hard work looking for the right school, now, enjoy the rewards of watching your child grow.


Additional Resources:

Parent Reviews of The Iliad Academy: http://iliadpreschool.com/iliad-preschool-testimonials-and-reviews/



Social and Emotional health of a preschooler in West Valley Arizona

Is My Child Ready for Kindergarten?

Buckeye Preschool Child enjoying solitary play in the classroom and emotional support from his teachers

Kindergarten Readiness

When is the right time for a child to start kindergarten? Should the decision be based solely on age? Should it be based on academic abilities? Should it be based on social skills? When a child’s preschool year is ending, many parents find themselves asking, “Is my child ready for kindergarten?”. Kindergarten readiness can vary from school to school when it comes to academics. One constant is the social and emotional development necessary to thrive in an elementary school environment. Social and emotional development, like many milestones, are specific to each child. Emotional development is a skill that can be nurtured and supported but not tutored or rushed. It’s also important that the emotional development within the very important first five years take place in an environment where a child can feel successful.

An Extra Year of Preschool vs. Repeating Kindergarten

West Valley preschool student working at his social and emotional levelThe Gift of Time

The best place to start when considering if your child is ready for kindergarten is with his preschool teacher and at The Iliad, the preschool director. At The Iliad Academy we are fortunate to have a director, Eve Cunningham, who has over three decades of experience in the classroom. She has touched thousands of families and understands the dilemma many families face when trying to decide if their child is ready for their first year in elementary school. Something she often hears are parents expressing they want to at least try kindergarten and if it doesn’t work out then they will have their child repeat the grade. It’s important to note that an extra year of preschool allows your child to continue to grow academically while still providing a pace set by your child’s emotional intelligence. Kindergarten, even with accommodations, is a planned school year that must move ahead to reach year end goals. Simply, kindergarten is not preschool. If your child needs more time to develop socially then that means when they enter kindergarten they won’t be surrounded by their social peers. Preschool is an environmen

t where a child can receive the extra emotional support he may need as well as be surrounded by peers who are also at a similar place with their emotional development. Your child can continue to be academically challenged while his emotional intelligence is nurtured as well, creating a wonderful environment where the whole child is educated not just the mind.

Other concerns about a second or third year of preschool is the preschool part-time schedule. The Iliad Academy offers the option of four days a week which can help your child by providing four days to practice those social skills in a loving school environment. The four days offer a time to practice mastery of academic tasks while navigating friendships. Another concern about an additional year can be financial. It is important to find out what your local school’s policy is regarding repeating kindergarten. Some schools require parents to pay for the second year of kinder. Many parents don’t realize that until the first year is over and then, wish they had given the gift of time to their child and offered them an additional year of preschool.

The purpose of the additional year of preschool is to allow the child’s emotional intelligence time to mature under the guidance of nurturing educators who can help facilitate problems that arise at school. The Iliad Academy offers a ratio of 7:1 which allows for more one-on-one with students creating an educational environment that helps your child understand how to communicate peacefully with his classmates, how to work next to friends, and solve problems both independently and with a teacher’s help.

Social and Emotional Intelligence

A child’s ability to thrive at school is not solely based on his or her inherit intelligence. There are many children who are extremely intelligent who need the extra time in school to understand and process the social aspects of being a part of a classroom. Sometimes parents may feel that their child is exhibiting some social concerns because they aren’t being academically challenged when the reality is that their child’s academic intelligence and emotional intelligence are not aligned. The child needs the gift of time to understand how to communicate with his peers and function in a classroom setting. The extra time allows the child to understand how to make friends, work among their peers, and what to do when they have a problem with a classmate. This emotional intelligence lays the ground work for solid personal relationships at school, allowing the child to thrive both academically and socially. For the child to feel connected to his peers and enjoy attending school.


Lots of research is being done on emotional intelligence in early education and the impacts on a child. Ultimately, the decision to allow your child to have another year is a very personal family decision. The Iliad Academy teachers and director always work to meet each child and families needs. If you’re concerned or just have questions about your child’s emotional development please reach out to the staff. These social and emotional skills are part of the fabric of our school and we strive to make our school a place where children can learn and grow both academically and emotionally. If you would like to read more about social and emotional development we encourage you to visit these websites:



Why is Preschool Important?

The Importance of Preschool

Scientists and teachers agree that the best way to start your child’s educational journey is by enrolling them in a quality preschool. The first five years of your child’s life is all about creating a positive foundation. During those first five years their brain is experiencing a tremendous amount of growth. It’s during those first five years that parents and educators can work together to create positive associations for a child with school. It’s important for a young child to feel safe away from parents in a school setting amongst their peers, and to begin to grow socially, emotionally, and academically on their own.


Independence and Social and Emotional Growth

Buckeye Preschoolers Social and Emotional Development

To create a solid foundation for learning a child must first feel nurtured and safe. They need to know they are in a place where they have friends and adults they can trust. In a quality preschool, like The Iliad Academy, we focus on creating a classroom environment that supports and promotes our students’ growth. We are always looking for opportunities to help a student learn how to enter a playgroup successfully. We’re looking for opportunities to help with conflict resolution in a peaceful manner. We’re encouraging children to try new things and teaching them that it’s okay to make mistakes and get messy. We’re also teaching them how to express their feelings with words and how to make healthy friendships at school. When there is a solid social and emotional foundation then a child can focus on learning more about the world around them, more about letters and sounds, more about numbers and puzzles. When the child feels safe and valued, then they can prepare to enjoy all aspects school has to offer. The Iliad Academy focuses on building up a child socially and emotionally so their mind is free to grow and explore.



science and discovery in preschool

Preschool offers a great introduction to literacy, numeracy, and curiosity! The Iliad Academy focuses on a hands-on curriculum. You won’t find worksheets or flash cards in our classrooms. Instead you’ll find us studying the Butterfly life cycle with live caterpillars and exploring the parts of a plant by allowing the class to grow their own in a cup! The class learns sounds through their daily morning message with their teacher, through learning the letters in their name and their friends’ names. The class will explore numbers through hands on manipulatives and puzzles. During center time each child has access to a writing center equipped with scissors, tape, glue, colored pencils, crayons, and more! The child has everything available to them to explore letters and numbers at their level that they can take from the shelf and enjoy. Teachers observe the class and interact with them at the various centers to help enrich their vocabulary with the various tools their using and feed each student’s curiosity by offering more detail and information about the tools in the classroom. For example, in the science center the teacher may observe a student exploring the various toy insects with magnifying glasses and point out the number of legs an insect has, the patterns on their wings, or mention that there are entomologists who study bugs as a profession. Each play center is an opportunity to expand the child’s mind intellectually and socially. The Iliad teacher is there as a guide to help each child along their journey of discovery.


Gross Motor Skill Development

Preschool Gross Motor Skills Playground

In addition to fine motor skills being developed in the classroom, a preschool, like The Iliad Academy, offers free play as well as structured group games on the playground. A quality preschool will offer opportunities for a child to play outdoors and explore climbing, running, and time with friends. During structured games children are exposed to fun group games where they can cheer on their friends, hear their friends cheering for them, and learn from each other. They also practice waiting their turn, good sportsmanship, and how to follow the rules of a game; these are necessary skills to thrive in an educational environment with other children. Preschool lays the groundwork for understanding the rules of the playground. What is allowed, what is safe, and how to have successful friendships both in the classroom and at recess.


Long-term Benefits of Preschool

Early Literacy in Preschool in Buckeye Arizona

Preschool is an important time when early brain development begins. During the preschool years there are many synapses formed in the brain that will benefit a child during their elementary years and beyond. Statistics have shown that children who attended high quality preschools not only do better in school but also go on to earn higher salaries. Preschool is the foundation for future social and academic interactions. Brain development between birth and five years old is a once in a lifetime opportunity to build your child’s emotional and academic intelligence. For more information about our program please visit: http://iliadpreschool.com/preschool-curriculum/








Mommy and Me Toddler Classes in West Valley Arizona

The Iliad Preschool Academy in Buckeye, Arizona Now Offers Mommy and Me Toddler Classes

Mommy and Me Toddler Classes at The Iliad Academy Preschool

Everyone at The Iliad Academy Preschool is excited about our latest addition, A Mommy and Me Toddler Class! This class has been dreamt about for years, and with the new location at Yuma and Verrado Way inside the Desert Hills Church, it is finally a reality! Director, Eve Cunningham, has always seen a need and desire in the community for a class that helps bring families together with their children to discover new and exciting ways to help their child thrive, prepare for preschool, and connect with other families. Read more “The Iliad Preschool Academy in Buckeye, Arizona Now Offers Mommy and Me Toddler Classes”