Preschool or no preschool?

Carla - posted on 12/13/2011 ( 64 moms have responded )

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I have a 3 year old boy who will be 4 in February. We also have a 16 month. We are debating on sending him to preschool or not. I have stayed at home with him since he was born. I just recently started babysitting. All of the kids that I have so far are under the age of 2. He is a very smart little boy and does work with me usually. I am more worried about the social aspect and getting him in the routine for school. When we have play dates he is usually a very well behaved. The only problem I have is when him and his cousin get together. They have always fought since they were little. They are only 6 months apart. He does go to speech now at our local public school. He goes two days a week but he is only there for 30 mins each day. Any suggestions or advice about preschool or not would be great!

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Jenna - posted on 12/14/2011

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I am completely deadset against preschool unless there is a developmental reason to send him (such as a speech delay). It is simply a falsehood that kids need exposure to other kids at that age in order to be successful at school. Besides, there are other ways to get exposure than to pay for someone else to teach him the basic academic skills--like taking him to a park to play with other kids or forming a playgroup with friends who have kids of similar ages.

I have taught all of my kids the basics (ABC's, basic reading, math--counting to 20, shapes, colors, patterns) myself and every one of them have been beyond successful in kindergarten. So much in fact that teachers ask what preschool I used. The need for preschool outside developmental issues is simply not true.

Laural - posted on 12/20/2011

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Pre-school is a waste of money and teaches kids bad habits. I stayed home with my kids and taught them myself. We are home schooling now and my girls are way ahead of where they'd be in a traditional school environment. They also regularly associate with children who are respectful and have good manners. Pre-school isn't for everybody.

Laural - posted on 12/20/2011

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Sherri, I disagree. When I attended school it was full of bullies and children that lacked discipline. I was painfully bored in every class because no teacher realized I should be put ahead in coursework. I finally excelled when I could take college-level courses in high school. I got a full, four-year academic scholarship to college and went on to earn an MBA, which I also did not have to pay for.



So, yes, I say traditional environments may be lacking for some students. I have one gifted child who is way ahead and there is no way I would subject her to a traditional school environment or pre-school. Anyone who wants to go that route can; but other choices are out there. Just because "everybody" sends their child to pre-school doesn't mean it is the right or best choice for your own family. Our pre-school age neighbor boys swear and hit each other out in the middle of the street, nearly every day, until it gets too cold for them to be outside. Obviously they have learned nothing important from a behavioral standpoint from attending pre-school, nor would I want my young children around kids like that.

Molly - posted on 12/15/2011

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I think there's this stigma about kids being socialized with children their own age. This especially applies if you are NOT going to send your kids to school. Socializing in the "real world" often is not with exact peers but people older and younger than yourself. By not sending your kids, you don't have to expose them to additional illnesses, kicking/biting/hitting, pecking orders and more. I don't think it's right to start a child in the system this early. The reason why you're not sitting for kids this age is because many preschools are FREE. Many families are where both parents work. It is cheaper to get the kids into schools sooner. I personally feel education starts (and can end) in the home. I don't want my child to be in a school system where he cannot hug/touch his friends or express his dislike for another person. It sounds like YOU and your husband need to decide what is best for your family and how you plan to school them.

Jenna - posted on 01/06/2012

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And perhaps I have such strong feelings too because I happen to be trained in child development. Besides, I've found that many teachers who are trained in child development don't always seem to turn to that training and aren't going to give my child the exact right kind of teaching he might need because she has other children to deal with AND she doesn't know or care as much about my child's needs than I do.

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Kim - posted on 03/27/2012

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To be honest I would send him to Pre-school to help with the transition into Full time school. It will be harder on you and your son when he does go to school if you keep him home with you up until he goes to school. Usually children adapt very well to different situations and if your worries are that he will not get on with some other children, I am afraid that is what kids do. It is all part of them growing up and becoming more independant with themselves and their thoughts, ideas and desicions. All you can do is let him go a bit and let him grow. I know it is hard but who doesnt want him to go to pre-school is it your seperation anxiety or your sons'. Talk to him and ask him what HE would rather do, listen to your child's own thoughts and feelings. Hope this has helped, please keep informed, thanks, Kim xx

Courtni - posted on 03/20/2012

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I say preschool if you can. I am a sahm of a 3 year old, and while I know he is a smart child, I don't believe I have the knowledge and experience to teach him everything he needs to know by the time he gets to kindergarten. Also I think he may have a speech delay and spending 2 days a week in a preschool has been recommended by his pediatrician. I recently found one for 65 bucks a month and he goes for 3 hours twice a week. I'll be checking it out tomorrow. I also think having a little separation from me is a good thing. He's an only child and loves playing with other kids, but none of the kids in our neighborhood are his age. We also have no family here to help with his care. Pretty cheap to pay 65 bucks for some extra education. he's worth every penny and since I am not a teacher, I won't allow myself to hold him back from something that can be very beneficial.

Christine - posted on 01/27/2012

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i think per school is great, i think its a great way to get your child ready for school. it will help your child interact with other and learn. i would start off with half days and work your way up to full days

Paulette - posted on 01/26/2012

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Dear Carmen,

I'm not as structured as Jenna (Jenna excellent job indeed). To start, I have a book case full of a large variety of books, along with some great educational DVD’s (colors shapes & counting, letter sounds, and phonics by Rock'N Learn.. many more at rocknlearn.com), and educational toys & instruments. Two books I like are Science Play & Math Play by Hauser for ages 2-6. I also use skill appropriate flash cards. Because I'm an Artist, we do a lot of hands on fun arts-my favorite is hand painting and a type of Etch A Sketch, and mixing colors. He has a kid’s clock to learn about time. We are also working with the calendar. In the morning I allow him to cross off yesterday and we say what month and day it is. For Spanish, we may watch a Spanish cartoon/show so he can hear pronunciation. After a few programs he started asking me how to say some words in Spanish (I'm not Spanish but luckily for me I remember some of it from school). Certain days we go on trips...he will guess until he figures out our destination... Kid’s museums, parks, zoo, and craft shopping, nature walks etc...I try to make all our experiences a learning opportunity.

Johnny - posted on 01/26/2012

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Preschool is absolutely the right choice for some children. But not all. You really have to know your child and focus on their individual issues.



Preschool was horrible for me. I was behind developmentally (born late in December, didn't get the right kind of at home teaching, just a dumbass, who knows?) but there was not enough support to help me. So I became afraid of school, extremely anxious, and scared of learning. I was a bookworm who learned to read at 4 but couldn't talk to anyone. Luckily, the intervening years eventually cured me of those issues and I went on to get a graduate degree. But I actually think that I would have been much happier emotionally if I had skipped preschool altogether.



My daughter, on the other hand, loves preschool. She is extremely social, comfortable in her own skin, loves the atmosphere, and asks on Saturday morning why she can't go to school. We do lots of fun activities, reading, puzzles, games and adventures at home. Along with plenty of time for her own unguided playtime. But there is just obviously something she gets from the environment in school. I know it was the right choice for her.



I would think about what your child will experience in the preschool setting, visit a few, and then decide if it is the best for him. Perhaps even see if they will let you bring him for a little orientation to see how he manages. Two of the schools we looked at for my daughter offered that option. Best of luck!

Jenna - posted on 01/26/2012

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Carmen B.,



There are three websites that I use regularly, both to print out sheets and to let my kids do interactive activities on the computer.



http://www.preschoolexpress.com

http://www.first-school.ws

http://www.starfall.com



I also have looked through the Carson-Dellosa website's preschool items and purchased some dry erase books for the kids to practice writing letters and doing mazes and dot-to-dots. They have some really good activity books.



I use Saxon Math Homeschool, the kindergarten curriculum, to teach math with. I purchased the teacher's book, the student's calendar book, and all the manipulatives that came with it. It was around $150 for the initial purchase, but I've used it three times already.



I use another Carson-Dellosa book for science, called the Giant Science Resource Book. It's actually for grades 1-6, but there have been some useful things in it.



We grew butterflies last year, which I ordered off the Internet (actually saw them on KidsWoot.com and ordered from that, but now that I have the kit, I can reorder the larvae whenever I need to).



I also have a book called "The Preschooler's Busy Book" by Trish Kuffner that has a lot of fun activities that are interactive and learning-oriented.



I teach my kids one letter each week during the school year and follow the math curriculum as it is written. I do a formal sit-down preschool with my preschoolers three days a week during the year, but it really only takes about 20-30 minutes to do, unless it's a bigger activity that is planned. They pick what science we do based on my Giant Science Book and then we'll check out library books on the topic or visit zoos, museums, etc., if there are any.



That's how I do it. The Preschool Express website has a calendar for older preschoolers and one for toddlers that give ideas on daily activities to do with them every day each month, and I've utilized those calendars in the past (I haven't done it in the last two years though).

Carmen - posted on 01/26/2012

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Paulette and Jenna,



Are there any specific books you used for teaching your kids? I need to do more about teaching my kids, one of them will be 3 in April and the other will turn 2 in July.



Thanks

Paulette - posted on 01/23/2012

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I started working with my now 3yr old son as soon as possible. I sang him many songs as his little eyes looked up at me, the same songs I sang him in my belly. I made sure to surround him with colors, words/letters, numbers, and learning pictures asap! We play a lot indoor and out, all while learning. His social skills are great as I observe him while playing at the park.

Today I can say I feel my son is way above average compared to his age group. He can count to 100, by 5's and 10's, and add simple #'s... can pronounce most words because I taught him his phonics at 2 and made sure he got it...knows more complex shapes to decagons..knows basic colors in spanish. He loves hot wheels..We even have a game we play called name that car. He can name more cars that I can now..lol.

I do not think he is a genius or near perfect.(but perfect for me :-) He do not want to write his letters, so I'm not pushing him...1's and 0's are ok for now..lol. He has changed his mind and decided that #2 potty training is not for him and he'd rather poop in his pull-ups. I've decided when the weather is hot, pull ups are gone and big boy undies are back on. But bottom line is..If you are willing to put in the work and can stay home, the rewards are endless. If you can not handle the responsibility, do what's best.

P.S. I put my son in school last summer and he started having behavior issues and getting sick every week, even caught conjunctivitis. I pulled him out after a few months and he is back to normal.. I will put him in pre-K for a few hours while I study for grad school (art ed) and feel confident that he is more than ready for school. If I wasn't a single mom I would home school my DS longer.

Kris - posted on 01/23/2012

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I went thru this last year with my son and decided to send him to preschool and that was the best thing I have ever done. He is so ready for school now. If he hadn't gone, I would have to say he wouldn't be ready for school.

Preschool makes a huge difference in a childs development, they are ready to take the big step to school much easier then ones who haven't gone. They learn loads more and make friends with peers their own age and not just family members. It also helps with seperation anxiety as most children who haven't ever been away from their parents find themselves in and the last thing you need as a parent on their first day of school is to witness the heart breaking episodes of seperation anxiety.

School is a big place and the place they will spend most of their week at without mum or dad and children I feel need the buiding blocks of kindergaten to help them to cope with school.

Kinder offers a huge range of activities and will get the ability and will learn what real school is going to be like. It dont handle all things that a school does, but they start to adjust to mum and dad not being there and them being in an enviornment with other children to learn and better their development.

Many children will struggle with school and kinder prepares children for that big step from being at home all the time to being away from home for most of the week.

To send a child to kinder you as a parent will learn whether or not your child will be able to cope with school, they will tell you if and if your child is not ready and this will save the child the embarassment of being kept down in Preps.

One of my brothers didn't go to kinder he went straight to school and he wasn't ready. He should have had the year at kinder before school. He was kept down twice in preps and that has affected him as all his friends progressed to other classes and he was staying put. To this day those years had affected him deeply. He left school early, which if was never kept down he would have been in year 12. He just couldn't cope and to this day still it has some impact on him especially when he looks back at the 2 years of prep school photos. He feels useless and feels like he was a reject as he was kept down in preps, but not once, twice as he wasn't ready for that big leap to school.

To me this impacts on my children also, that is why I suggest and recommend taking your child to kinder. if you can't get into a kinder, try and find a daystay/childcare centre that offers 4 year old kinder to help better your childs skills and give them a positive start at school.

Dusty - posted on 01/14/2012

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I would definitly recommend sending him to preschool. Even though you say he's very smart & you do work with him at home, you should still send him for the social aspect. He's getting to the age now where he should be able to have a circle of friends, & preschool would really help with that.

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I used to be a preschool teacher, my son (3) has just started at preschool. I chose to send his to help develop his social skills. He has a 8th old sister, and no cousins. We see some friends for about an hour once a week. We still do. I think children should attend some preschool before they start kindy so they have an idea of what to expect when they start, in a less structured environment.

Jenna - posted on 01/13/2012

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You all keep saying to each his own but then go on and bash not sending your children to preschool saying that preschool is much better for them. I happen to disagree that preschool is better for all children.



There are definitely situations and instances in which preschool would be a more appropriate place for the child. If you look at my very first post, you'll see that's what I wrote. However, many parents blindly send their littlest ones off to school when they don't always need to because they have bought into this notion that preschool is essential for their academic development. I just don't think many parents even bother considering if it's the best place for their child, they just go with what the crowd is doing and think that is what's right just because everyone else is doing it.



I know that not all parents have teaching degrees. My mom didn't, but she managed to teach me the basics before starting kindergarten. I was already reading and doing basic math by the time I entered kindergarten and never went to preschool. She also never sat me down and taught me with a direct teaching method. It was all done through playing with me and helping me learn and understand my world as she navigated me through it. When I asked questions, she answered and helped me learn ways to find answers myself as well. I was always a very successful student, straight A's. I also excelled in my participation with extracurricular activities and had many friends. My own children are proving that they are the same way.



It can work, preparing them for school at home. It doesn't have to be formal. In fact, if you can look at how your child learns (and there are many books on the subject--that is something they don't always teach you in a teaching degree, that children have different learning styles) you can make them even more successful by helping them in their own learning way than a classroom teacher can who has to work with many different children and often has only one way of teaching a certain skill or subject.



When a parents asks, "Should I send my child to preschool?" too often the only answer they get is a loud YES without stopping to consider that maybe, just maybe, a child can be very successful not having been to a formal preschool and spending that extra time beside their parents, learning at home, the way children used to be schooled at that age.

Krista - posted on 01/13/2012

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Jenna King - I cant say I agree or disagree with your opinion BUT I must say that you are wrong about one thing. You said preschool doesnt help kids get ahead any better than we do. It is a FACT that children learn the best at younger ages. The earlier a child is introduced to education the better. Yes I agree that many parents are able to do the same job as a teacher but many cannot. I am a very hard working stay at home mom but I just cannot get my son to sit down with me and listen. Him and I but heads. My son works very well with his tutor and learns things that I would NEVER have thought to teach him.



Not all parents have a phd in child pychiatry and not all parents have a teaching degree. Many of us parents are great at raising children, teaching them right from wrong and how to be good people. But some of us like myself just SUCK at teaching them educational things that they are required to know to get ahead in life.



Remember ladies - This is a suggestion board - NOT a "bash the mother beside you" board.

Krista - posted on 01/13/2012

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It is obviously your own call. No other parents or teacher can tell you what to do. My son didnt go to preschool only because we couldnt afford it at the time. I have always been a stay at home mom so to dish out 1000$ a month for him to go to preschool while I was home seemed like complete nonsense.



Now, I must say, my son is in senior kindergarten and he is behind educationally. We now have a private tutor come to our home a couple times a week to help him out. Other than his educational progress, he is fine. He is VERY social and he has never really been around many kids growing up. My son is an only child as well.



My last opinion - kindergarten standards are WAYYYYY to high for these little guys! My son is expected to count to 30, count by 10s, 5s, 20s. Read full books, write full sentences etc. I think thats rediculous. But who I am to judge the school system.

Andrea - posted on 01/13/2012

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I agree with so many of the moms. I disagree however with Jenna. I work from home for and educational company and have all these activites and have a business of my own and tend to all of my children, WELL and I AM NOT LAZY!!!!! I give my child penty of actvities, structure and he went to playgroups, play dates etc but was not getting what he is getting from a scructured school environment everyday. To each his own. If you decide thats good for you dont say the next person is lazy or its bad if they decide to put there child in school.



Regardless of if you have a degree in child develoment or not I have plenty of friends who are educators and see the benefit as do I of children getting a head start and more social skills around other children. They are around there siblings all day and need to learn to interact with other people. I have a three year old that started preschool this year. He is so bright but his speech was not up to par because he reverts to what his younger sister and brother were doing. And was asking me why he couldn't go to school.



I stayed at home with him and his twin brother and sister and he was not around a lot of other kids his age. Preschool has been WONDERFUL and he is progressing so much and I am so glad that I did it and cant wait to put the other two in this upcoming school year because my twin son refuses to talk as well and I believe as well as his speech therapist that its from not being around more children all the time. Children learn from other children bottom line. Play dates are not going to cut it. Plus the kids these days are so more advanced and the schooling as well from back when we were in school.

Sherri - posted on 01/06/2012

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I am also not saying that in your case it would have been better Jenna. However, in many situations it is and really it has nothing to do with being lazy. Many parents need to work, have many other children or have many other commitments. So before you just assume a parent is being lazy you need to know every individuals circumstances.

I had a 3yr old (now who is 13)that I put in preschool because he needed how to separate from me. I couldn't even leave him for a split second or even with my husband his dad with out him blood curdling screaming to the point I can't believe the neighbors didn't call the police and he had a brother that was 18mo's older. I didn't put him in for the academics he had learned those at home but he needed the structure and how to interact with other people of authority besides mom. It made all the difference in the world. By 4 I was finally able to leave him and he was happy and content. Had I not done this he never would have been ready for Kindergarten.

My oldest ( now 14yrs) wanted to go to school literally he begged and begged. Even though he had learned all the academics at home and had many many friends he just wanted to go to school. So I did what was best for him.

My 3rd just refused to want to sit for me and learn anything he wanted no part of learning at home. So for his own good I sent him to learn and learn how to listen in a school environment. It completely made him ready for Kindergarten and he quickly caught up because he realized all the other kids knew more than he did and he hated it. So he finally got on board with learning just didn't want to do it with mom. Who by the way is an ex preschool teacher herself.

Jenna - posted on 01/06/2012

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Sherri--I'm sorry, but I don't see any of the things you posted as being something I can't do with my child at home. That is why I oppose preschool. I find that many parents choose preschool because they are simply lazy and don't want to deal with giving their children enriching activities to do OR they are afraid that somehow they can't do a good enough job. I've also looked at many preschools and have found almost all of the ones I've seen to be lacking in something I can give my child better at home, one-on-one. I also noticed how many had academic items posted that were just plain wrong, like a handmade poster of digraphs that did not contain digraphs. And having to manage many children at one time puts the teacher in a position where classroom management trumps one-on-one time and often not as much learning can happen because time is spent simply managing behavior.

As far as the social aspect, kids can get that by being part of a playgroup or a church group, they don't need to go to a preschool for that. And kids who have siblings close in age don't even need a playgroup. They learn social skills by interacting with their siblings. Besides, I don't believe children need friends more than they need their mothers at that age.

And I'm personally a little annoyed that people think the only place a child can have access to all the things you mention--a walk outside, a variety of playthings, access to activities for letters and numbers and shapes and colors, etc.--is a preschool classroom. Why couldn't all those things be found at home and be done at home? Again, it boils down to laziness and a parent's fear of thinking they can't do the job good enough, which is nonsense.

Sherri - posted on 01/06/2012

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Your right Jenna preschool as nothing to do whether they will go to college but it does give them a leg up and research has proven this.

* Practice with social skills. By taking part in sing-alongs and story time, hands-on art projects and simple experiments, dress-up and building-block sessions, two- to five-year-olds gain experience taking turns, following directions, and cooperating with their pint-sized peers. One of the other benefits of preschool: Social butterflies who may be bored at home can spread their wings in a group setting, while wee wallflowers who aren’t born minglers may blossom when they’re part of the preschool pack.
* Introduction to the basics. Preschool benefits include exposure to letters by singing songs, to numbers through counting blocks, to language skills during story time, to basic math concepts through cooking, and to colors through finger-painting — all fun (and sometimes messy!) activities that boost kids’ curiosity and knowledge in a pressure-free way. Your child will also glimpse botany, biology, and geology during nature walks; shapes by putting puzzles together; and the seasons through collages (and just going outside!).
* Learning about the wider world. The more your child plays, explores, and sees for himself, the more he’ll learn. At preschool, the opportunities for discovery are limitless. At the water table, he’ll figure out that some objects sink and others float; on an autumn nature walk, he’ll see that leaves dry up and fall down; and in the playground, he’ll learn that trikes are easier to ride on smooth surfaces and harder on rough ones.
* A chance to create. Preschool teachers have lots of arts-and-crafts projects up their rolled sleeves. Your pint-sized artist will have more chances to channel his inner Picasso at preschool than he’d have at home (plus, you won’t have to clean up after him!).
* Lots of fun. Sure, you have loads of toys, books, and activities at home. But at preschool, your little one will have at his chubby fingertips a plethora of playthings — a veritable wonderland of fun and games (and don’t forget, at this age fun is the name of the game).
* Expert direction. While you are your child’s first and most influential teacher, he (and you) will have lots to learn, too, from the professionals (who happen to be trained in child development).

THURSDAY, June 9 (HealthDay News) -- Children enrolled in a full-time preschool program that sees them through elementary school have a better life 25 years later than children who were not in preschool do, University of Minnesota researchers report.

Children who went through preschool have higher incomes, higher education levels, a higher socioeconomic status and are less likely to abuse drugs or be involved in criminal activities, the investigators found. They are also more likely to have health insurance coverage.

"These effects haven't been found before for public programs, so the findings are encouraging to provide access to high-quality programs through public funding for kids at risk," said lead researcher Arthur J. Reynolds, a professor in the university's Institute of Child Development.

Preschool also seemed to be especially beneficial for males and children from high-risk or impoverished families.

The report was published in the June 9 issue of Science.http://health.usnews.com/health-news/fam...

Jenna - posted on 01/06/2012

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Yesterday I found out that the lawmakers in our state are considering making preschool mandatory. After reading the responses on here, I thought I was in a huge minority of parents who didn't think preschool was necessary until I read comments on the message board about this possible law. I was pleased to find that many parents see the wisdom in keeping their kids out of preschool and preparing them for school on their own. Kids will be in school for a long time, why rush into something earlier than necessary? They will still learn to be social and all their academics if you don't put them in preschool.

Paul & Donna - posted on 01/06/2012

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I agree with Jenna and Laural. Your children can flourish at home with loving care. I'm a grandmother and have cared for my 5 1/2 yr old granddaughter, by choice, but due to unfortunate circumstances, and she is way ahead of her schooled friends. At home, we've learned not only reading, but are enjoying two math curicullums, playing the piano, will start violin soon, are learning to sing in French and Latin, and loves to be read to, including the Bible! My granddaughter, Kylee, can bake, take care of chickens, stack wood in the fireplace for Grandpa to light, and loves to help out. We do plenty of arts and crafts and is learning to sew. We are going to start a sewing club with her seven year old friend. Kylee goes to a horseback riding class with children of varied ages (5-12) and ice skates. We go to museums, the aquarium, the zoo, and the botanical gardens multiple times per year. We get to snuggle up together and read a pile of books nearly every day. And we visit her great-grandmothers, one in a nursing home. Considering her unfortunate family circumstances, she is very happy. One mother mentioned how good the ratio of teachers to children is in her pre-school, but authorities and research show that one on one is best. Anyway, as Dorothy said, "There's no place like home."

Laural - posted on 01/04/2012

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Kylee, I didn't go to pre-school; yet I somehow managed to get a four-year academic scholarship and, later, my Fortune 500 company paid 100% for me to complete my MBA. I imagine, using your logic, that my kids (who did not attend pre-school) will be total losers, just like me.

Jenna - posted on 01/04/2012

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Oh Kylee, I'm laughing right now. Not one of my brothers or I went to preschool (there are six of us). We are all college graduates. Out of the six, four have multiple degrees (masters', law school, etc.). Four out of the six of us make more than 100K per year. All six of us speak at least one foreign language, with three of us speaking more than one foreign language.

This isn't because of preschool. This is because education was important to my parents and it influenced how they parented. I would care to wager that your non-preschool/non-college attending cousins also had parents for whom education was not a priority, and possibly those same parents are not college educated themselves.

Graduating college really has nothing to do with preschool.

My kids have not been to preschool and they are some of the most successful students in their classes at school. That's because I expect it of them, and kids generally rise to the expectations of the parents.

Kylee - posted on 01/04/2012

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First off I come from a really big family. Lots and lots of cousins my age and we all live in the same town. I had 2 years of preschool and started Kindergarten at 5 almost 6. The cousins that went to preschool at least for 1 year in my family have all went to college and did very well in their schooling. The cousins who did not go to preschool all struggled through school and 1 even dropped out. They also tended to hang out with the bad crowd. Present day I have 2 boys who are 5 and this is their 2nd year of preschool and they love to go. My kids already knew how to count, abc's etc before they went to preschool but have improved on everything while going. They can count in English and Spanish, have a wide vocabulary, are very good at socializing, are way more confident and independent than they were before they started school and the lost goes on. I have seen nothing but good things come out of going to preschool. the teachers also send home folders throughout the year. In the folder is an activity that they do monthly. One is cutting, self portrait, name writing,etc. It is awesome looking back to Aug to now and see how much more improved they have gotten in everything.

Cassie - posted on 12/29/2011

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My son is 4 and in preschool and he loves it! He has made new friends and is comming out of his shell. I can see a major difference in him since he has started. Now when he starts kindergarden next year he will already have an understanding of how things work.

Nicole - posted on 12/29/2011

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I vote yes for preschool. I mean unless you cannot afford to, then you just gotta do what you gotta do. But I plan on sending both my kids to preschool at age 3. Unless of course financial issues come up.

Keri - posted on 12/28/2011

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Our son is an only child (so far) and I'd have to say putting him in daycare/preschool was the best thing. My working situation changed and it was necessary, but his language and motor abilities just skyrocketed after a month. I don't know how good preschool is at establishing a routine for elementary school, but it exposes kids to a classroom-like environment. Our son proudly brings home his daily work, saying he did/made it for us. He knows some basic Spanish too (we live in AZ, so it will come in handy). Play dates are great, but only last a couple hours whereas (elementary) school is from 9-2 or 9-3 or whatever and most school districts have switched to all-day kindergarten. I have no suggestion about the cousin - my son's only cousin lives in MI. When we do see him, he's always acting up and taking our son's toys - but his parents recently got divorced and there's been a lot of backlash from that. In short, I say yes to preschool!

Rebekah - posted on 12/27/2011

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I enrolled my son in preschool (2 days a week) after his 4 year old Birthday and he is doing great! In fact, if it wasn't so expensive, I'd probably send his sister after her 3rd Birthday.

Another option might be a drop-in childcare. We're members at our local YMCA and so both my kids spend about 2 hours a day in the Y-play while I'm working out. It's just enough time to for them to pick up on some social skills without costing us an arm and a leg.

Paul & Donna - posted on 12/27/2011

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Dear mothers who are in this preschool dilemma, Your dear children need you for a long time in order to grow up to be secure and happy people. With you is the very best place for them. If you are struggling with this, please read " Better late than Early" by Raymond S. Moore and Dorothy N. Moore. It is astounding. And then be strong enough to stand on your own convictions to raise your own children. I wish all of you young mothers the very best.

Amy - posted on 12/26/2011

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2 or 3 day a week pre-school for a 4 year old is a fantastic introduction to school and what's more it's fun! I'm not a fan of long daycare but preschool/pre-prep/kindy (4/3 year olds) is an important stage I believe. I know we call call them different things it different places. Don't stop him from going because you don't want to let him go (examine why you are against it - is it your issue or his?)

Elizabeth - posted on 12/25/2011

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I think it depends on the child. My oldest desperately needed the interaction and outlet that preschool provided. However, my current preschooler does not needthe same interaction. He is very mellow and is excited to learn from mommy. He gets social interaction at church and playgroups.

Elizabeth - posted on 12/25/2011

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I think it depends on the child. My oldest desperately needed the interaction and outlet that preschool provided. However, my current preschooler does not needthe same interaction. He is very mellow and is excited to learn from mommy. He gets social interaction at church and playgroups.

[deleted account]

I LOVE preschool. My girls went for a year and 2 months (put them in at the end of one year... then all of the next). They didn't 'need' it academically (started reading at 3.5 among other things) OR socially (we attended several playgroups every week), but it was a great growing experience for all of us.

Of COURSE they pick up negative behaviors from other kids, but they will do that anytime they are socialized w/ other kids that behave differently then they do. That's no reason to keep them away from other kids. You just have to keep parenting.

My son is currently in preschool only 2 days/week and he has grown SO much just since August.

What really sticks w/ me is in a mom's group I went to when my girls were little. One of our guest speakers was the guidance counselor at a local elementary school and he came to talk about school readiness. The question was asked of him if he saw a difference in the kids based on which preschool they went to. His answer was no, but that the biggest difference he noticed was in the kids that had no preschool experience vs. the ones that had. Granted, that's a generalization and there are SOME exceptions either way, but hearing that just reaffirmed the belief that I already had that preschool IS important.

Vicky - posted on 12/22/2011

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I have worked in preschools and with children ranging from birth to 8 years. I have 3 children of my own too. I am all for pre-school. Being a full time mum is hard work and yes you as a parent are not just his main carer but teacher too. Pre schools offer so much to children and at 3 i remember my boys reaching out for child interaction. Ofsted and EYFS base of learning is though free play within the setting. Staff structure the planning on a guide. They have 6 areas of learning which they accomadate for and plan with what the children want to some extent, changing day to day activities.
Your child's allergies will be met with the provider of the setting. They will work with you and make sure his needs are met. I have been in settings with a whole range of allergies and as long as you inform them of his specfic needs he will be fine.
Yes, ok... Bugs, viruses and other illnesses do go round and he will probably pick up everything going around for the first 6 months. Although him being poorly is not nice, it will make him stronger in the long run. It will build his immunity up for when he reaches school age. ie. chicken pox, hand, foot and mouth. they are all better to have younger because they normally affect you worse when older.
You will have support from staff and also get to meet new friends yourself.
If you are still unsure, why not phone up some local pre schools and arrange a taster day. If you live in the uk. You will probably be entitled to 15 hours free of sessions via the government.
I hope this helps to some extent.

Laural - posted on 12/20/2011

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Bad habits at home carry right on into school years. Many of my friends, who also home school, have had the same experiences themselves or with their children. I am sure many traditional schools are just fine, but many do not provide an optimal learning experience. So, let's agree to disagree.

Sherri - posted on 12/20/2011

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Well that is sad for you Laural but that is certainly not the case everywhere. More specifically it is definitely 100% not the case here.

Our school has many gifted classes and programs.

Also just because as I said it didn't work for you or you opt a different route. You can't knock traditional schools by lumping them into your individual experience they are magnificent for others.

Your neighbors children I can guarantee without a doubt they learned the behavior from home not preschool. You seem to be assuming an awful lot without a heck of a lot of proof except for your individual experience.

Sherri - posted on 12/20/2011

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@Laural please don't knock traditional schools. There is nothing wrong with them just because you opt not to go that route.



And wow you really don't know what you are talking about there is nothing bad that they will learn. There is no possible way it teaches them bad habits. It is a tool that assists in getting them ready and prepared for a school environment.

Erica - posted on 12/19/2011

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My son is a June baby so we opted for preschool to help prepare him for kindergarten especially because he'll be one of the youngest kids in the class. He's a very smart boy and we knew he'd have no problem with the learning aspect if the teacher could actually get him to sit at his desk and LISTEN instead of play....... I'd rather his learning curve be in preschool. :-) Anyway, we put him in preK this year and it has been WONDERFUL. The first month or two were a lot of reports about how he was doing well but needed to work on his listening (yeah, we know), but he has learned what is expected of him at school and is comfortable with new teachers and has friends......it's just been a wonderful experience. We don't qualify to have him go to preK through the local school district so we have to pay for it (he goes to a church preK) and I was hesitant to enroll him because it seemed like a lot of money to be spending when I'm AT HOME with his sister, but it has been SO worth it. We'll be sending our daughter when she turns four too.

Kelly - posted on 12/19/2011

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My oldest is 14yrs old and never attended Preschool. She is an A Honor Roll student who loves to read. In fact she has been reading since the age of 2 1/2. My Son, never went to Preschool and they were really surprised when he went in for his Kindergarten readyness test how good he did. He is now in 2nd grade and doing great, we also couldn't afford to send him, as the time/cost aspect of way off. My youngest turned 4yrs old in October and I may send her, but it wouldn't be until next year, since she doesn't start Kindergarten for 2yrs because of when her birthday is. She is doing great with numbers and letters and actually even writes better than her 8yr old brother. I have a nephew who is 1 month older than my youngest and he attends preschool. I think my daughter is more advanced without the schooling, so for him it may be best.

It's all up to you, as you are the parent. Will it benefit him, can you afford it and so on. It may benefit him is he has a speech problem though.

Tracy - posted on 12/17/2011

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My son will be 4 in March and he LOVES preschool. He always asks if there is school today. He makes crafts and makes friends. It lets him know that he's ok in the care of others when mom or dad are not around. He knows he gets dropped off and that I will return to pick him up when class is over. He knows to respect his teachers and to play nicely with others. It also gives him structure to his day. I say YES to preschool.

Christy - posted on 12/17/2011

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BTW my daughter is in part time pre school 2 days a week, 5 hours at a time and it's $110.00 a month. There are 27 kids in the class and 3 teachers, and they take super care of the kids. There is one boy that is allergic to peanuts so we can't send our kids with anything relating to peanuts for lunch.

Christy - posted on 12/17/2011

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Can you do a part time pre school? Or a mother's day out program at a local church? It's usually about 4-5 hours a day, 2 or 3 days a week. This is all assuming you plan to send him to kindergarten the following year. I don't agree with some of the responses here stating you shouldn't do it b/c of his food allergies. What's going to happen when he gets older and ventures out on his own for shorter amounts of time, and eventually longer amounts of time? I think it is good for both child and mother to spend some time apart each week. It is healthy for both parties.

Crystal - posted on 12/16/2011

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I am going to do preschool next year. I am only doing it cause he is all ways with me or my mom. I have went to the gym and tryed leaving him with the daycare there and he cryes the whole time. So I am doing it to get him use to momy leaving and coming to get him at the end of the day. Pluse he is an only child right now, we are expecting, and so he dont realy know how to act around other kids. I am hoping it will prepare him for when he has to go to kindergarden.

Sherri - posted on 12/16/2011

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Preschools are all extremely knowledgeable on food allergies and it is no different then sending them to Kindergarten. Your child's allergies really shouldn't even be a consideration as a reason not to send him.

Sally - posted on 12/16/2011

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How severe are his food allergies? Even it I believed preschool was a good idea, I would never send my allergic child there. No metter how good the teachers may be, toddlers are fast and sneaky and eating the wrong cookie could kill my button.

Carla - posted on 12/16/2011

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Thank you all for your suggestions! My husband and I don't agree on this situation. He thinks that he doesn't need to go to preschool. Were I think it would be good for him even if it was just two days a week. One of my biggest hesitation is his food allergies and the money. I am very surprised at how even the responses have been.

Paulette - posted on 12/15/2011

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I am also torn over sending my 3yr old son "back" to school. I tried it for 2 months and it was terrible. He has no issues with socializing and fit in quite well socially. I observed how well he got along with children at the park and how gentle he is. His day at school was spent just singing, playing, eating, and napping..the latter two he despised. The first week he developed a flu..the week he returned he is infected with conjunctivitis, then developed a reaction to the antibiotics. After his return, another flu. That was it. I do plan on getting him into a different school for a few hours a day. I will start reenter grad school next semester and need to dedicate 4 hours a day. We do a lot of playing and learning basic skills all day. He can read almost any word, can count to 100, knows all shapes, colors, math skills..well I don't think he would have learned any of that in any toddler/preschool. I'm only doing it because of grad school. What bothers me the most about sending toddlers to school is, you don't know if someone is mistreating them, all the negative behavior they pick up, and their delicate immune system. Private school is my ideal, because I do not intend to institutionalize my son in a system he must conform to. I agree with others, saying you know what's best for your family.

Ashley - posted on 12/15/2011

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I am all for preschool. Something that prepares them for a new routine with structure and fun is great. Plus I have found that the teachers have become very important to him and he is always excited to tell me about his day!

Katherine - posted on 12/15/2011

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I'm surprised at the responses on here to NOT send him to preschool. I say YES! It's important that he socialize with other kids his age, and have structure. Like Sherri said, the Kindergarten teachers will thank you! I sent my daughter and she loved it!

Sally - posted on 12/14/2011

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Kids who attend preschool tend to be "better" at school until the second grade. They also tend to have more behavioral problems through their entire school careers. The quality of the preschool can make a difference to both those statistics. I personally saw no point in institutionalizing my kids any sooner than I had to. Luckily for our family that will be IF they decide to attend college.

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