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My daughter started at Bamboo Grove this past spring and she has grown in leaps and bounds at this wonderful and and warm Montessori school since then! She had been attending another pre-school, play-based, where the environment was chaotic, and focused on just minding the children then fostering the individuals they were becoming and my daughter (and myself) had ongoing issues with teachers. Within weeks of starting at Bamboo Grove, the improvement was nearly a 180 and she looked forward to going to school everyday. I can't speak more highly of the teachers and the quality of the education she is receiving there - I pinch myself that she gets to go to such a great place - and I have a strong appreciation for the efforts they are taking with her: and it shows! There is a strong sense of purpose and professionalism that starts with Agnes, the director and is apparent with all the teachers and programs they offer. Jill
Re: Moving to Oakland in 2 weeks, need preschool ASAP
Welcome to the neighborhood! Definitely check out the home based Montessori preschool Bamboo Grove. Their websitehttp://bamboogrovepreschool.com has their contact information. I am not sure if there is an opening right now, but you should definitely call to ask. This is a great school for working parents - their hours are 8 to 6 and their holiday schedule is reasonable (they don't shut down for two or three weeks in the summer like many preschools do). My three year old is there and my older daughter is a graduate. We love the director, Agnes, and her teachers. They provide a Montessori curriculum in a cozy and loving environment. They have a music teacher and a dance/drama teacher come in once a week. Their outdoor space is not huge, but they make the most of it and the kids tend a garden and spend lots of time outside. The older kids cook once a week and serve whatever they make to the younger kids. One teacher is teaching the kids Spanish and another Mandarin. Feel free to email me with any questions. Martha
Re: Daycare center in San Leandro
Although your post is focused on San Leandro, you mentioned that you work in Lake Merritt... If you are open to daycares there, I would strongly recommend Bamboo Grove, a home-based Montessori preschool. Although most kids are two and older, the director will occasionally accept babies on a space-available basis. My daughter attended there and we were delighted with the setting and quality of care. Montessori Mama
Re: Urban Schoolhouse and/or Bamboo Grove in Oakland
I don't have any experience with Urban Schoolhouse, but I have been very happy with Bamboo Grove. My three year old daughter is there now, and my kindergarten daughter is a Bamboo Grove graduate (she was there for two years). I am a big fan of Montessori in general and in how it is implemented at Bamboo Grove. At my kindergarten daughter's parent teacher conference the teacher commented on her independence and confidence, and I think the Montessori style of work has helped foster that. Agnes, the director, and her teachers provide a warm and loving learning environment for the kids. The two rooms are filled with Montessori materials and the children choose to play with whatever interests them. They also have circle time and outside playtime like most preschools. The bigger kids cook on Friday, then serve the food to all of the other kids. They might make fried rice or a chicken dish. They have a music teacher and a dance/drama teacher once a week. Those teachers are fabulous and both of my daughters have enjoyed their programs. The outdoor space is not huge, but they make the most of it and the kids spend a lot of time outside. They have a garden where they grow vegetables and flowers (and the kids eat the vegetables and offer extras for the parents to take home). I am happy to answer any specific questions you might have, feel free to email me. Martha
Re: Montessori preschool for 2 years old
I think I have a Montessori preschool that meets all of your requirements. My two daughters (ages 2 and 4) attend Bamboo Grove Preschool in the Grand Lake neighborhood of Oakland. The website is http://bamboogrovepreschool.com/ and you can get the contact information there. It is a small homebased school and they take kids from about 18 months to 5 years. The younger kids are in the same classroom as the older kids. There are times in the day when the younger kids are in a separate room, but for most of the day they are all together. I also know that they are flexible on including the younger kids if they are interested in an activity. For instance, on Fridays the older kids cook (real food in a real kitchen!). Sometimes my two year old is interested and she participates along with them.
The kids do not need to be potty trained, and they will help potty train at school (my two year old is actively potty training right now). The teachers are very warm and nurturing. I often arrive to pick up my girls and find one of them curled up in a teacher's lap reading a book. I feel that my girls get a lot of loving care in addition to the Montessori curriculum.
The only point in your list I can't address directly is about choosing 3 days. I know that some of the other students are there only 3 days, but I don't know about the availability of that. My girls are full time.
Feel free to email me with any questions. Martha
Re: Small home based Montessori type program
I highly recommend Bamboo Grove Montessori Preschool. My older daughter graduated two years ago and my younger daughter, two years old, is currently enrolled. Its a terrific home-based Montessori program that doesn't feel institutional like larger preschools (only 12 or so students) yet still provides a wonderful balance of art, pre-k learning, cooking, dance/movement, and science. Bamboo Grove also did a great job in preparing my older daughter and her classmates for kindergarten in both public and private schools. I would contact Agnes, the owner, to find out about current or summer/fall openings. Bamboo Grove is located in Oakland near the Piedmont border. Here's the contact info: Bamboo Grove: A Montessori Pre-School 987 Scott Street, Oakland, CA 94610 (510) 834-8196 bamboogrovepreschool.com Best wishes, Happy Bamboo Grove Mom Jenny
Re: toddler-to-preK program in Oak/Pied/Mont area
My two daughters are at a home-based Montessori that meets just about all of your specifications. Bamboo Grove is in the Grand Lake neighborhood, just a few blocks from Piedmont. They have 12 kids, aged 1 - 5 years. I have a two year old and an almost 5 year old there now who both love it. In addition to the typical Montessori activities and circle time, they have lots of time to play in the backyard (it isn't a huge space but they make the best of it), they garden, cook, and do art projects. They have a teacher come in one day a week for Creative Dance/Drama, and a music teacher on another day. They do take field trips occasionally, to the library, zoo and the California Academy of Sciences in the last several months. Their hours are full time. About the only thing they don't do on your list is provide lunches. Snacks are provided. For more information see their website, http://bamboogrovepreschool.com/ and feel free to email me. martha
My husband and I both work full-time outside the home and moved to Piedmont this past year. We are planning to place our boy/girl twins in preschool in the fall (they will be 3 and 1/2 then) but the co-ops in Piedmont with PT schedules are not an option for us. Their primary childcare to date when we are working has been in our home with my mom and/or a nanny. We need something convenient in terms of location in order to pick up and drop-off timely with our work schedules. Any input, positive or negative, on any other schools I may be missing that are less than 3 miles from ''lower'' Piedmont would be much appreciated!! Thanks! -Piedmont Mom of Almost-Preschooler Twins
Its small size (I think 12 kids) might be an easier transition than the big schools for your kids. There already is a set of boy/girl twins there so I know that is not a problem.
It is a full day schedule and most of the families have two working parents. They don't take as many days off as other preschools (for instance no two or three week summer break).
The contact information for Agnes Ballesteros, the director is on their website, http://bamboogrovepreschool.com Feel free to email me if you have any questions about the school. martha
Re: preschools in Downtown Oakland/Lake Merritt area
I can highly recommend my daughters' home based Montessori preschool in the Grand Lake neighborhood. The website is http://bamboogrovepreschool.com/
I have two daughters there, a four year old and an almost two year old. I can see that they are both challenged and have lots of fun. They come home with fun art projects all the time and they are both often singing songs that they learned at school. Two days a week they have special instructors come in, one for music and one for drama and creative movement. I haven't observed the music class yet but I have seen the drama teacher and she is wonderful and the kids have a ball with her.
They also cook on Fridays - the older kids cook a real meal (like chicken stir-fry or a pasta dish) and then serve it to all of the kids.
If you would like to ask me any other questions feel free to email me. martha
Re: Need Recent Reviews of Oakland Preschools
I know the original inquiry mentioned some specific preschools in Oakland, but I wanted to also encourage consideration of Bamboo Grove Montessori, which is an exceptional preschool located in Oakland between Grand Lake and Lakeshore, close to Piedmont. I know parents who have sent their kids to Ducks Nest and other larger preschools, so while I don't have personal experience, my sense is that the ones you mentioned, which seem to be all fine schools, are at the same time, like a private kindergarten where there is fundraising expectations, lots of holidays and even summer days when the school is closed, maybe even homework, etc. When you're already paying good money for preschool tuition, those extra burdens can be stressful. So I encourage you to also consider Bamboo Grove Montessori. Because it is small, they are more flexible with parents' schedules and each child gets truly individualized attention and lots of nurturing. Bamboo Grove currently has several openings for children 2 years and up. The teachers are absolutely terrific, especially Agnes, the owner, and take their role with each child seriously and are incredibly professional, kind, and warm. My daughter who just started kindergarten at a private school in Oakland thrived at Bamboo Grove (formerly named Creative Childrens Learning House), which did a wonderful job preparing her for ''big school.'' With a total enrollment of only 14, it doesn't have the institutional feel of larger preschools. Also, you don't need a ''name brand'' preschool to get into competitive private schools in case that might a concern. I whole heartedly recommend Bamboo Grove. Do check out their fantastic website: bamboogrovepreschool.com -- and feel free to email me too with any questions. Jenny
Re: Need a kind Preschool for a 2.9 year old boy
I'm sorry to hear that your son is having a hard time at his preschool. It sounds like he must be in a large school. Have you looked at home based preschools? The smaller size might be better for him. I can highly recommend my daughter's preschool, Bamboo Grove in the Grand Lake neighborhood in Oakland. They do have one or two openings now, and they really work on teaching the kids how to cooperate and be respectful of their peers. You can get more information at http://bamboogrovepreschool.com/ Martha
Re: Good Pre-school in Grand Lake Area in Oakland?
Hi - I don't know if its too late to respond to this question, but if the parent is still looking for a great preschool in the Grand Lake area, I highly recommend Bamboo Grove Montessori Preschool. We have a child enrolled and another one that just graduated. Please check out the website at http://bamboogrovepreschool.com -- Its worth visiting. Our children have thrived there. Jenny
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