Is Preschool the right choice HELP!

Ami - posted on 08/22/2013 ( 5 moms have responded )

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Okay so I left my career for my now 3 1/2 daughter; this was a choice I made happily and I have no regrets about it. I have watched as people I mentored have gotten promotions and positions that at one time in my life I dreamed about. After having my daughter there is nothing more important than her do I miss my work? I won’t lie yes I do but I don’t have any desire to go back to who I was before.

Here is my major dilemma, because of where my daughter’s birthday falls she just misses the cut off for kindergarten where she would be starting school in 2014 she can't start kindergarten until 2015, thus if I put her in preschool this year she would have 2 years of pre-school (which is part of my question). Here are some of my points and maybe I can get your help and experience on this matter.

-Is two years of preschool beneficial or would my daughter get bored?

-She is socially a little awkward (at least I think so) because she is an only child and I am a way too over protective parent.

-I can go back to working on a consulting basis once she starts preschool or kindergarten but am I being selfish?

-I don't want to let her go to preschool for another year because she is the only child I am ever going to have and this time is so precious to me but again am I being selfish?

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Sylvia - posted on 09/07/2013

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Preschool is fantastic because it helps your child get over that social awkwardness and every child craves having friends especially when they have no siblings. In Canada, all kids have a chance to do 2 years of preschool. First year it's twice a week for 2 hrs, second year it's 3 times a week for 2 hours and then it's kindergarden, everyday 3 hrs. A child is gradually eased into going to school full time - I think it's great. Kids never get bored because they get different kids in classes, different circumstances... it's good for them AND you, especially if you are overprotective like you said. What's two hours in a day twice a week? Or is your preschool full day? Find something that is part time. But it's no crime if you only decide to do kindergarden. Tons of parents do that, too. Cherish every moment with your child cause you will never get it back. So if you want to spend more time with your daughter, trust me, no friend can replace that in her life. It won't be long before she is a teen and telling you that she hates you or wants to be left alone. This is what I am being told and I try to remember that. Don't feel selfish that you want to spend more time with your kid. :)

Angela - posted on 08/25/2013

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I teach preschool ( or I did... I am now a stay at home mom) and most of my students do 2 years. The first year is to really help them get acclimated to their new environment. They will learn basic social skills, and how to follow routines and get use to a highly structured day. My 3 year old will be starting preschool this September and I am extremely nervous but I know that the first year will prepare her for her second year of preschool.

Sarah - posted on 08/23/2013

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Both my kids did 2 yrs of preschool and I plan to do the same with my third. I am also a stay home mom. The first year of preschool is a lot about learning socially. This is the first time they are in a school setting without you. This is a BIG step for some. They are learning how to share, how to work together, how to listen to others, how to follow in a line, how to listen to a teacher and follow directions. How to follow a routine, how to sit quietly without touching their neighbor. All these things that first need to be learned before a teacher can actually teach. This is one area where you can see the difference in kindergartners who attended preschool and those who did not. The second year of preschool is more about learning and making sure they are prepared for kindergarten. They work more in depth on shape recognition, letter recognition, number recognition, how to write their name, how to write their letters, etc. These are many of the things I did when I was in kindergarten, but now are being taught in preschool, so when they get to kindergarten they are then on to learning how to read and do math.

As far as what you should do that is something you have to decide what would be the best for your child. You have to look at what your child will need to be successful and how you will meet those needs. Some people do not send their kids to preschool at all. Some feel that they can teach them what they need to know at home, some feel that kids attend school soon enough that they don't need to start any earlier. Some just do 1 yr of preschool. One thing I would mention if you are looking at just doing 1 yr of preschool is that if the preschool is a 2 yr program (offers preschool classes for both 3 yr old and 4 yr olds) often times those that were in the 3 yr old program get first choice for the 4 yr old program. So you run the risk of the class being full before they open it up for new 4 yr olds coming into the program.

Lynn - posted on 08/23/2013

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First, a disclaimer: I don't have experience with preschool in the US (yet). Is there a structured curriculum that gets repeated with each school year? Or is it more of a play-based environment? I don't have advice, but I can share my experience.

My son is nearly three and has been in a pre-school-like setting for a year. It has been AMAZING for his social development, and he learns so much from being exposed to other adults and children who talk about the things we talk about in different ways. He also gets to discover things beyond the limits of my imagination. At his age it's definitely all about loosely structured play, and when he starts the official British pre-school in November I believe it's just a little more structured. But I think it's the playtime and interaction with others that he enjoys the most anyway.

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Chet - posted on 08/24/2013

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A child should not get bored at a good preschool. That said, only one of our four children went to preschool. Preschool is not necessary for the vast majority of children. Don't think extra time at home will be for you. Your daughter will probably be better off - developing a strong secure bond, enjoying lots of close one on one time and all of the experiences you can offer her yourself. If you want to feel good about keeping her at home for an extra year read Hold On To You Kids by Dr. Gordon Neufeld. Often, when it comes to preschool, daycare or grade school people confuse social skills with institutional skills (a child's ability to be a cog in a wheel, stand in a line, sit in a circle, settle for 1/20th of the teacher's attention, turn to peers rather than to adults, etc). As for social skills... one of our four children is a little socially awkward. She's socially awkward because she's socially awkward. I know some very outgoing only children. Kids are who they are. Whatever decision you make about work you aren't being selfish if you find a work-life balance that suits your whole family. I worked a small amount even when our children were infants, but when I was at work they were with other family members who loved them dearly and I felt good about the relationships that were being fostering when they weren't with me.

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