Let me just start by saying that if my husband and I ever decide to have a 4th child, we'll have to check with Tami first and make sure there's a spot available!
Gan Gurim has been a big part of our lives since 2010. I stumbled upon Gan Gurim through a series of web searches. Although there is no shortage of Jewish preschools in the area, finding a Hebrew speaking program wasn't an easy feat. My husband, Israeli, had been speaking only Hebrew with our son since birth, while I, an American, only spoke English.
Although we were excited to have found a Hebrew immersion program, we wanted to make sure that this preschool was one we would want to send our child no matter what. We didn't want to send him to a less-than-perfect preschool just because of the Hebrew. Well, what we found behind the doors of Gan Gurim blew us away. There was no question that this was the PERFECT place for our child and the Hebrew immersion was just the icing on the cake.
Gan Gurim is truly a home away from home. The warm, loving environment makes kids feel comfortable and parents have their mind at ease as they go off to work each day. There is no question that this is indeed a preschool, not a daycare. My son was truly learning, but all in a fun and relaxed environment through hands on experiences. The children spent time outside playing and going for walks exploring nature and observing the changing seasons. Arts and crafts wasn't focused on the final product, but rather the experience of creating something and experimenting. Field trips peppered the school year and several class parties allowed families to meet each other and develop friendship. My older son, having "graduated" from Gan Gurim years ago is still friends with many of the kids he met there and we still meet up with the parents and families from Gan.
Two worries I had when starting Gan Gurim was about cooking food "family style" and how my kids would adjust to an English speaking school after leaving Gan Gurim. Both of my concerns were 100% false. Cooking for the 12 kids at Gan Gurim proved to be a lot easier than I anticipated and so much better than having to pack lunch everyday. We had a couple dishes that became our trademark and my son was exposed to so many different types of food and a variety of flavors. He ate foods that I never could have convinced him to eat at home. The transition to public school also was quite smooth. The experience of learning another language only increased his ability to learn and read English in kindergarten, not decrease it.
Tami was one of the first people I told when I became pregnant with my 2nd and then my 3rd child. I wanted to make sure my spot at Gan Gurim would be reserved for when they were old enough to attend! Each of my three children have loved going to Gan Gurim. They developed from toddlers to young children and became fluent speakers of Hebrew all at the same time.