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To pre-school or not to pre-school....?

Farelle wrote: I think I've asked you all before how many of you have sent or are sending your kids to pre-school and how old they are...but as the day is too quickly approaching here, I need to ask again bc I am STILL undecided!!

My 3-1/2 year old is supposed to start on Tues but I still don't know if I want to send him or not. I'm just not ready to let go of him. Is that wrong? I just feel like I only have so much of this precious time with him and before I know it he will be in kindergarten all week long and then after that he'll want to spend all his time with his friends and will I look back and regret this time that I could have spent with him? I am even more confused about it right now bc a family down the street from us just suffered a horrible and tragic loss last week when their 16 year old daughter was killed in a car accident. It has just made me even more clingy with my boys!

What are everyone's thoughts?

Boys r us replied: I think all kids need some preschool prior to going off to school..they need that structured environment and social interaction. I think it's important!

however..that said, I didn't send either of my boys until they were 4.5. They entered preschool knowing everything that they would "learn" there..but I knew they needed that classroom environment before kindergarten. Worked perfectly! They both got 6mnths "experience" before real school!

C&K*s Mommie replied: Our oldest went to preschool, or K-4 when she was 3 a few months shy of turning 4. If the school is truly a preschool, and not a daycare in disguise then I'd let him go. Is he excited about starting school? If so, then I'd let him get all the joys of pre-k in that he can. There is no harm in not sending a child to preschool, they will not learn any less or be anymore behind a child who did go- it is all up to you. I say that our 4yr old (who just began K-5) started her "real" school the other day. Since K-4 aka pre-K was optional.

moped replied: Well we were in the same boat last week, but have decided to wait until he is 4 for a few reasons..........

I am going on mat leave soon and will be home with him anyways, and it is a bit pricey when I am going on a much lower salary after having baby

The ones I spoke with said that for 3 year olds it is a lot of play and gym time, but not real learning structured........he gets this at home

And I want more time with him so i am selfish!

I think it is just fine to keep him home til 4 - I am sure he learns a pile from you and DH and is right on track with developments etc, so i hope you make the decision that is right for everyone!


My3LilMonkeys replied: We are not going to this year. We simply can't afford it. She's learning a lot of the basics at home anyway, so I don't think it's hurting her from that aspect.

However, Brooke is in the sticky situation next year of either getting tested into kindergarten early (she won't be 5 until October 23 and the cutoff is Sept. 1) or being almost 6 when she starts. If we decide not to try and test her in early, we may consider trying to squeeze a preschool or pre-K into the budget. She does get some social interaction, but mostly with kids older than her and in groups of 5 or so. I think she'd benefit from the interaction and structure.

luvmykids replied:
Same here. Macie is learning just fine, blew the twins' teacher away when she spelled her name for them laugh.gif I figure she's learning plenty at home for now, she's well adjusted and social thanks to church and some other things we do, and one year of preschool is plenty so she won't be going until she's four.

luvbug00 replied: no preschool for mya. she did fine in kindergarden. wink.gif

Our Lil' Family replied: DH doesn't want Thomas in pre-K but I would like him to go. But he won't go until after he turns 4, just for that one year.

mysweetpeasWil&Wes replied: I'm sending Wil to preschool at 3 years old. He's ready IMO and so is mommy. I actually don't feel that I'm offering him the benefits that he would receive in school, plus I really think more structure is important for him right now. Simple structure, but following directions, sharing with others, things like that, seem to be not working at home. I actually see preschool as just added playtime with your peers. We do a lot of that through playgroup, but I like that it's teacher lead and they are throwing some educational factors into it (which we at playgroup obviously don't know how to do). Plus, with Wil's speech delay, they will be working with him twice a week and I know that's more than I can really do for him right now. I'm looking forward to the one-on-one time with Wesley too. It's really a win-win for us all. If he doesn't like it, I take him out. That's why I completely agree with the statement that it won't hurt them to go and it won't hurt them not to go. If you are not sure, why not try it out and see how it goes?

moped replied:
I think Wil will benefit from it Rae!

When does he start?

Kaitlin'smom replied: Kaitlin started at a little over 3 yrs old, mostly because she was board at the sitters in the morning with no other kids there. She loves it and just started pre-k enriched this year as she did not make the K cut off. I think its good for kids to go even if its 2 days a week. Now had I been at home with her we probably would have waited longer to send her, maybe till this year to get her used to the school setting before K.

Boo&BugsMom replied: My two cents, as a preschool teacher:
Every kid is different. Preschool is more about socialization and structure more than anything. Parents can teach, and should, the academics at home. Preschool doesn't have to be a "preschool" program either. You can send them to a structured childcare center, or get the child involved in groups with structure and other children. Some kids need it more than others, and other kids thrive well without it. It all depends on the child.

ALSO, just because a child who is 3 has a hard time leaving mom, doesn't mean the child will cry when they go off to K when they are 5. A 3 year old's social/emotional skills are WAY different than that of a 5 year old. Tanner has been home with me since the age of 2. At about 2-3 he had a hard time leaving us even for Sunday school. He went to Kindergarten Kamp at school this month and barely made a sound, ran to the teacher, and said "see ya mom". It's the age, not that they need to be "away from mom".

I would contemplate based on what you think your child needs. Every kid has different needs. Based on my experiences, as long as you keep structure, academics/love of learning, and firm rules at home, and the child has socialization opportunities elsewhere, preschool isn't really necessary. JMO. You know your child best, and what you think would benefit him or her the most. Tanner has been home with me for 3 years now, and he's going into K with everything he needs (and more) socially, emotionally, acedemically, and otherwise. Not to toot my own horn. laugh.gif wink.gif

mysweetpeasWil&Wes replied:
We leave for vacation this Friday, so he won't start until 9/11. Yeah, not the best day in history, but he doesn't know the difference. We bought him a new backpack last week and he seems really excited to start. wink.gif

Farelle replied: Wow!! I totally expected the opposite from everyone! I figured I was the only one who was contemplating keeping him home. There seems to be so much pressure to send them and I rarely come across parent's who choose not to. I think I am going to keep him home and really make a better effort to take him to shorter programs for the next year. I'm sure if I look hard enough I can find some programs where I can go and kind of hang out in the "shadows" while hr does his thing. Or maybe some place where he only goes 1 day a week, just for the's so hard and I know I'm being selfish but I'm his Mommy, I can be selfish and keep him all to myself as long as I can!!!! He'll have the rest of his life to himself, right now he's mine!!! wub.gif

holley79 replied: Annika is in a private dayhome right now. I will be sending her to a 7th day Adventist Church nursery school after the new year. They have nursery school cams in place so I can check on her. I feel, for Annika, this is best because then she will be around other children her age.

Boo&BugsMom replied:
Exactly! And also, they will have SO much transition in life when they actually do get to school, why make more transitions that may not be necessary? smile.gif

moped replied:
I agree!

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