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?