Thursday, February 12, 2009

To Preschool or Not to Preschool????

OK - I need your help.

Megan will turn 3 this June. What do all you mommies out there think of 3 year old preschool?

She would go 2 days a week for 2.5 hours at a time. Remember, of course, that she is a gifted child who already knows how to count to a million, paint works of art she calls masterpieces, read at a second grade level, etc. (some of these skills may be slightly exaggerated) So clearly, she would already know most of what they would teach her academically. (I'm being serious now.) I do want her exposed to other kids and the concept of listening to another adult. (hopefully a little better than she listens to me.)

Would it benefit her enough to spend a decent chunk of change on this early part of her education? Or should I just save the money, continue the excellent job I'm doing at home stimulating her little brain (by letting her watch "noggin" - preschool on TV for 12 hours a day . . . so kidding folks!) and send her when she is 4?

It is such a big decision to send my little baby off to school. I think I might cry just thinking about it. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, help me!


Anonymous said...

Hi There. I definitely think you should let her go. Research shows how drastically important it is to let small children out into the world and have alternative experiences as early as possible. Having her be in a situation where she is exposed to many children her own age will be far more important than even listening to what the teachers have to say, etc. Small children absolutely need exposure and as much nurturing as possible.

I did not go to a daycare center or preschool. My father worked construction and was a substitute school teacher, so when he wasn't teaching or was laid off, I spent my days at home with him. Otherwise, I went to my neighbors house and stayed with her. She never talked to me or tried to nurture me in any way, and my father would certainly talk to me/etc. when i was at home. but it is just sooo totally important for kids to get out there with other kids and with other adults and learn about the world early.

there is a recent study that said that children should hear up to 50,000 words a day (not counting television!) for proper brain development.

anyway, i'm rambling. Good luck!!!


Danita said...

I do not think it is neccessary, there are other ways to get her around other kids than with just preschool. Sign her up for dance classes, gymnastics. She would have tons of fun & much cheaper!

I have my 4yo in preschool, i am not against preschool. My older daughter did not go to PreK though and was VERY smart for her age, new her numbers, letters, etc by age 2. & she went to kindergarten knowing how to read, she did great going into kindergarten & is in 2nd now with all straight A's & in accelerated programs. I put her in combo dance to keep get her around other children & also in playgroups.

Andrea said...

I definitely think its great to get your child into preschool as early as you can... but where she's already intelligent for her age, she may run into being bored if she goes to the same school for 2 years. I chose not to put my daughter in preschool until she was 4 for that reason... But she absolutely loves it, and now I kind of wish I would have sent her when she was 3, too! If not just for the friends and the experience.

Kati Sue* said...

Hey girl! I am having the SAME issue.

After reading and talkin with preschools in the area, we opted out of preschool this year, but she WILL be attending next fall.

Our reason is that she is already above and beyond the expectations for 3 year old preschool, she is involved in activites outside of the home including story time at the library and ice skating.. and she will be doing dance this fall. Plus, she has playdates 2-3x a weeks so social skills aren't a problem.

The biggest factor is that we cannot really afford it. Technically I could probably scrape up the $150 a month for 2 days for barely 2.5 hours.. plus I missed registration. Who knew it would be over in the beginning of February?!

If our financial situation we different.. I would be 100% for sending her, but I just can't and it breaks my heart... but at the same time I know that she will still grow into a great, smart, and talented young woman no matter what!

best of luck!

Mary said...

I say let her go.....not that it's crucial, but especially with a new baby in the house, I always wanted to feel like I gave the new little one some one-on-one time. And she may be jealous once the new baby arrives and need to have her own experiences. Emma goes twice a week and she loves it (and so do I!)

One word of caution though, I started off paying $500 a month for twice a week private school, and have since changed to a small church preschool program (still with certified teachers) for only $195 per month.....both Emma and I like it much better. It's not as strict, no uniforms, more fun, they go to chapel, and still do all the preschool academic stuff. Even if Megan could do calculus by 3rd grade, what's the point? I've found that kids just want to be normal. Even when we KNOW they're spec-freaking-tacular, they still want to feel normal when compared to their peers.

Ethan knew his phonics and numbers by 18 months because I was nuts, and all it got him was behavioral problems later on because he was bored. I've learend my lesson to back off and just let them play.

America's Next Top Mommy said...

I put my two oldest in pre-school at three and was on the fence for both, mostly because I was hesitant to pay the Harvard Law School tuition that they charged.

After a few months I just couldn't deny the changes (all good) in them and how much they'd learned. I think kids simply learn better when they are exposed to both home and school because the teachers can often times teach in angles we would have never thought of at home.

Plus, the day my daughter came home and told me that she made "the bestest friend in the world" I thought that she couldn't have been any cuter or sweeter if she were covered in head to toe puppies and drizzled with chocolate syrup!

Bee and Rose said...

I am an "old" mom so my situation was easy for me...I chose to keep them home until kindergarten...and they're still home because I homeschool!lol! That being said, my daughter (and son) are both gifted students. They made friends through various activities, church, etc.

However, you have to trust your gut on this one! Some children benefit greatly from pre-k. It is nice to have the "me" time. I was lucky to have family around when I needed that. I just felt that they were only little for a little while and I wanted their learning and experience to come from me and our family. That's just my experience. I have many friends who've sent their kids to pre-k with no problems at all. Again, it's really what you feel inside that matters:)

Sondra! said...

Keep her at home. The things she will learn from you and her new baby will last forever. If your child has a loving home and is exposed to other people (ie Church) she will be fine. Soon enough she will be gone. None of our boys went to preschool and they are all in the top of their classes, gifted program and our oldest won enough scholarships to pay for his college!! yay

Any teacher will tell you that a child from a loving home is going to excel.

Ruth Dunkman said...

I'm not sure what is right for your family, but I can share my own experience. We sent the kids to Montessori School when they were three (David had just turned 4, because his birthday is in August), and have always been happy with our choice. Child-led education means that the teachers follow the lead of the kids and respect the work that the kids are doing (and they call it work). When we observed other preschools, we noticed an emphasis on what we called "herding behavior"--namely kids being interrupted constantly and encouraged to participate in the activity of the moment. Montessori schools were much quieter--the kids would choose what they were interested in working on, and they would be given large chunks of time to do that work. Of course, there were times when all the kids had to stop their work, put on their coats, and go outside to play, etc., but that was not the emphasis. I think the foundations of my kids' abilities to value education, to think and to concentrate were set during their years at preschool.

Amanda - The Mom Job said...

Just my experience:

My 3.6 year old is now enrolled in 2 days a week Pre-K. He goes from 8:30 - 11:30 and it is at our church. Being the eldest (with one younger sibling at the ripe age of 13 months...), Conner was a little "stalled" in his "make friends without kicking their shins" developmental arena. So, we figured preschool would be just the remedy for his ... um... delicate "issue". Needless to say, we could not be more pleased with the progress he has made. His teacher referred to preschool as "people training" as he has learned valuable things like:
how to stand in line
how to stand in line quietly
how to raise his hand to ask a question
how to raise his hand to ask a question quietly
using "please", "thank you" and "you're welcome" when necessary
how to sit in a chair
how to sit in a chair for longer than 20 seconds
how to ask to go to the bathroom to someone other than myself or my husband
as well as The ABC song, His alphabet (as long as LMNOP is one letter...), Jesus Loves Me, and that Lucy is the prettiest girl in the whole world besides mommy...

I am a SAHM too, so we were concerned about sending him away at a rate of $150 per month since I can keep him at home for "free". However, we think they social skills he's come away with thus far are invaluable. He has become more open, talks more often (instead of running away to hide as in the past), is more polite, respects other's property more often and will actually play WITH another child rather than beside them.

Good luck with your decision!

The High Family said...

My advice:

Do your research...visit all the schools and choose the one that you feel the most comfortable in.

I did this with Ryan and he absolutely LOVED going to school. We went with the Goddard School.

Once we had Kara, we decided to take him out (too expensive) and he is home with me again but I am on a mission to find an affordable preschool that he can attend a few days/hours out of the week.

Trust me, you will LOVE having (even if it's only a few hours outta the day) that one on one time with baby and your daughter will love getting attention from her friends and teachers. It's a win-win situation.