User - posted on 03/04/2014 ( no moms have responded yet )
So I am trying to decide about preschool for my son next year. He will be 4 in April. He has been at a Waldorf preschool since age 2, but for a variety of reasons, I feel he needs a change from that school and I am trying to decide what to do with him for next year.
He is a spirited child, and has had some issues with self-control and aggression, but does pretty well when we keep his daily routines constant, when we keep his diet in check, and when we are able to get him to sleep enough. He has also had a lot of separation anxiety. Even after being at the same school for nearly two years, he begs not to go and still often cries at drop-off, although he does pretty well with that the rest of the day.
I have two options, with pros and cons to each.
1.) A Reggio Emilia daycare/preschool. I have visited and applied there. I really like the people, curriculum, everything. I think it would be a fun, engaging place for him and he would get to be with kids his age. The only downsides are the high cost, which would mean I would have to go back to work to fund it, and the worry that he will have to adjust to being away from me again, at a new place.
2.) Bring him with me to a Waldorf-based home daycare where I have been volunteering. I really like the lady who runs it - she is an acquaintence, and the curriculum is pretty good, too. He came with me last time, and he enjoyed it. The downside is that the kids are younger. There would be 1 or 2 girls on the same level as him, developmentally, and the rest would be 2-3 year olds (7 kids total, with 2 teachers, plus me.) I would really enjoy getting to spend this time with him, and to be a part of his early education in this way. I do worry about his transition into Kindergarten. He may have a harder time separating if he's used to being with me, but maybe it's better for him to deal with that when he's a year older. Will he learn all the social skills he needs to interact with other 5 year olds when he gets to Kindergarten? I've read that kids actually learn social skills better from adults than from kids their age but some say they need to practice with peers their age, too. He does have a 7 year brother, too. The real upside for our family is that it would be a work-trade, so we wouldn't have to pay anything. I'd be there, basically doing a job I really like, and still being with him.
Both programs are play-based, but will teach him what he needs to know for Kindergarten (colors, shapes, story comprehension, etc. and both have circle time, books, art, and an hour of outside time each day. Both programs would be from 8:30-3:00. What would you do? Any Kindergarten teachers out there with advice? Thanks!