Preschool

Jack’s daycare friends keep disappearing.  They aren’t being kidnapped, but they are being transitioned (can you tell I work in corporate America?) to preschool.  He’s lost three friends in six months and he is starting to notice.  He told me last week that he was sad that his friend Arthur had a party and that he will miss him.  I told him it makes me sad when my friends go away, too, and that thought seemed to distract him from his sadness.

I didn’t go to preschool.  I was a daycare kid until my first day of kindergarten, and I was completely prepped and able to read by then.  This may be why I don’t understand the need for preschool.

Personally, I see drawbacks to preschool for our family.  For one, preschool is expensive.  Not only does a parent have to pay for preschool, but also the care for their child after preschool is done for the day.  When I did a bit of research, I found that preschool alone costs as much or more than daycare.  I can’t imagine paying for both!

There is also the fact that preschools have less caregivers per student than daycare.  In the quest for better education for our children, one of our biggest concerns is student:teacher ratios.  Why would I give up the 1:3 ratio Jack experiencing now?  It doesn’t make sense to me.

Jack’s daycare is so awesome!  They go on field trips, make arts and crafts projects, sing songs and read books.  They learn the alphabet and counting.  Jack knows that water starts with w!  He can count past 13!  Additionally, his daycare is right next door to another daycare and they all get together for activities.  He is getting just as much socialization as he would get at preschool.  And you know what?  That all sounds just like my kindergarten experience.

So then, why preschool?  I am not convinced it is needed in our case.  Perhaps it has to do with our family circumstances and the fact that Jack has a park ranger, a children’s librarian, a sports fanatic/technogeek, and whatever it is that I do (workaholic?  internet junkie?) in his life – and those are just the parental figures.  I’d say he’s pretty well-covered and will probably be better off without preschool.

I recognize that this might be a controversial choice, but for now I think we’ll go sans preschool.  What is your family doing and why?

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Comments

  1. We’re not doing preschool either, though in our case it’s because we don’t want our child in a structured learning environment (and the reasons for that are far too many to try to summarize in a blog comment). He’s learning at his own pace and since I stay home with him (not to mention the fact that we plan to homeschool), preschool wouldn’t make any sense.

    P.S. For some reason this shows as written on the 3rd, so it’s below the adventure post.
    .-= Annika´s last blog ..Another post about my 1996 journal. =-.

  2. Your daycare sounds better than preschool! Especially the child/adult ratio which is very important at his age. I didn’t send my kids to preschool and they were very prepared for school, with one of them reading in kindergarden. I applaud your decision!
    .-= Grandmere´s last blog ..Just in time! =-.

  3. Do Ellie and I get a say in this?

  4. I agree with my mom: your daycare sounds so much better than most preschools.

    We are not sending our children to preschool at this time. Our main reason is that any sort of structured learning environment is not necessary at this time in their lives. And since our pre-school-aged daughter is not showing any signs for needing the other element of pre-school that people defend all the time(socialization –she gets that through hanging with our friends’ kids and her cousins, handling these interactions beautifully) we don’t see the point.

    My gut instinct is that for most people, preschool is a status issue. They get some jollies out of talking about academics, or saying their child goes to such and such place, or they are just succumbing to the peer pressure of everyone else is doing it. For many people, preschool is a great improvement on their day care situation so that’s cool, too. I honestly believe preschool is beneficial to a lot of kids – my niece in particular started thriving once she went whereas before she was extremely clingy to her mother – for our family, it’s not necessary.

    Bottom line is parents need to be in tune with their own kids and their own situations and decide what’s best (as usual). I’m afraid our daughter would be stifled by attending one of the preschools in our area. As long as I keep letting her lead the way on what she wants to learn and see and do and play, we’re going to be just fine.
    .-= B´s last blog ..Block =-.

  5. We did a very casual preschool coop for Little Red and I’d like to do the same next year for Boy Blue. I don’t feel that he was missing anything when he started the first day of school without two years of structure preschool. Your daycare sounds like the stuff of dreams. I applaud your descision to buck the trend and stick with what you feel is best for your son. Only the parents really know what’s best in their individual circumstances.
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Orbitz =-.

  6. I think this is a good idea, actually. Nowadays, I think we try to rush children into structured learning environments too soon. I know we will need to do this same comparison when T gets to be that age.

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