Wednesday, June 13, 2007

TO SCHOOL OR NOT TO SCHOOL

Need some advice.
A few months back, Bob and I began looking into pre-schools for Grace. They are all the same schedule, 2 days a week for 3 hours The price ranges were similar, all being way too expensive in my opinion. Then we thought more about it and decided instead we would put our money into dance and gymnastics classes for her instead.
I never went to pre-school and neither did Bob. We both made it through life just fine. But it seems times are different now. All the mommas I know are have their 3-year-olds enrolled in school. They go to 3-year-old preschool, then 4-year-old preschool, and then on to Kindergarten. I've been thinking more about it lately and am wondering if we should enroll her. Are we being bad parents if we don't? When school starts in the fall, G will be just over 3 1/2. If we wait until next year, Denny could go to 3-yo school and Grace could be in 4-yo preschool, and I could get a nice break twice a week. What to do, what to do.

7 comments:

Mollie said...

Ahh babe, that is a tough. I'm thinking the same thing as well. My situation is a bit different though. My theory is based on the child's need. Grace might get just as much stimulation and learning from taking gymnastics and dance as she would school. Does Grace seem bored at home? Do you think preschool would fill in something that she's currently missing? You know her best and there are no wrong decisions in this. Key is that she's happy. Sorry I wasn't more help.

Kara said...

It is hard being the parent and making all of the life altering decisions for a person isn't it?! We didn't have Chloe in any kind of preschool. She did dance and soccer and art classes, but no preschool. Janey on the other hand did do 2 years of preschool. Mostly because we have a great program here that is through the vocational high school. It is their child developement program for juniors and seniors. They "teach" with the direction of their adult teachers 3 and 4 year old preschool. It is a great program for both the young kids and the high schoolers. Plus, it is a mere $3 a day. I can handle that. 3 year olds go 2 days a week and 4 year olds go three days. We couldn't handle the cost of other preschools either. We did decide to be a one income family so I could stay at home w/the kids. Some of the costs were so obscene, I would have had to return to work. Totally defeating our main purpose. I notice a difference in the girls, but who's to say it has anything to do w/preschool. They are completely different kids. Chloe is the free-spirit who likes to do her own thing and Janey is more of a down to business type of gal. I will say that in our area the things they are wanting kids to know before entering kindergarten seem unreal to me. They move them along so quickly where maybe preschool would be beneficial. But on the other hand, Chloe who didn't have any preschool is doing fantastic in school, loves math(has even begun fractions in 1st grade!Yikes!)And is a great reader. She will be in 2nd grade and is reading chapter books. I don't recall being able to do that at 7 years old. Oh, but I didn't go to preschool either!! I say do what feels right to you. If you, like us, don't want to shell out hundreds of dollars a month for preschool, don't. You are not a bad parent if she doesn't go to preschool. Just introduce her to things at home. Read to her and spend time with her. Some advice I was given is The best thing you can give your child is your time. Sorry I rambled, but I hope I was able to help a little bit.

Carie said...

Yes, this decision is a rough one. As Mol said, there is no right/wrong answer. From a teacher's point of view - I would say either preschool or find out the things that they do in class and do them at home. Kids all seem to have a head start these days..its crazy. Obviously its so different then we went to school. Kindergarten teachers can usually tell which kids went to preschool and which didn't. It will actually be a question on their kindergarten enrollment form. If you can go over the same stuff with the kids at home while the dance/etc classes give them socialization...I think that its an equal trade. The kids to worry about are the ones who don't get the attention at home and don't go to preschool...they end up being behind socially and academically.
Good Luck with what you decide. Your a good mom and you know your kids, so whatever you two decide will be right!! My best advice as a teacher...read, read, read, ...read to your kids every and any chance you get.. let them see you read...have them read to you!...get them excited about reading!!! Good Luck!!

Jennifer Lynn said...

It is entirely your decision. My mom teaches pre-school and I notice a definate difference in kids that attend. I haven't decided if I will wait until Seth is 4 and do just one year or not. I do know that as a teacher those kids that did attend pre-school did much better as incoming kindergarteners. They knew their letters and sounds and how tow write their name. It is a lot to think about, but in NYS kindergarten isn't just play, it is a lot of academics so preschool lets them play, etc. It is also a good transition of a couples days to a whole week.

Mayren said...

i'm studying to be a 2nd grade teacher and think children should get as much learning before kindergarten as possible.
Now that being said ---
How you school your children pre-kindergarten is up to you. I know locally in So.Cal a bunch of mommies got together in a small trustable group to actually preschool the group of 5 kids themselves. Each mommy takes a day of the week. The kids learn the structure of what is to come from regular schools and the mommies get a day off each week.
Just an idea if you want to venture into the "best of both worlds" option.

jenica said...

i think that a lot of it depends on whether or not you really want/need that break. i haven't preschooled any of my kids, but we do a lot of school type activities here. i taught them their letters, colors, shapes, etc.

then we set up a co-op of sorts with another couple of families where i taught science and the other mom taught math skills. by the time we were done our 4 year olds were doing simple math and knew the 5 classes of animals. it was good for them to socialize with the other kids, plus we had a lot of fun. i think that my 5 year old is ready for kindergarten and might be a little bored even because she knows how to read and do math already.

but i don't know that's the right answer for everyone, or even the right answer for me with other children. it totally has to be on child by child decision. but social pressure doesn't exactly help does it?

*lovies*

Crimson Wife said...

I would highly encourage you to check out Diane Flynn Keith's Universal Preschool website before enrolling your kids in preschool.

Also, check out the study done by Stanford University that found children who attend preschool, even for only a few hours per week, displayed *MORE* negative social behaviors as compared with children who stay at home.

Unless you need childcare to work or school/training, keep your child at home!