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Depressed...Pre-School Selection not working...

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I'm so frustrated and disappointed that the pre-school that we chose isn't working out.


We're living in a foreign country (Germany) and I wanted DC to go to pre-school to learn the language. She'll be 3 in September, which is the local age for beginning. I am (was) also going to language classes in September so we started DC a little early by going 2 days/week in the pre-school we selected. We did this to get DC gradually ready when I had time to really "nurse" her through the process because I hoped to have her go full time by September 1st.

It's not working out.

1. I'm starting to question if DC is really ready at all. She's really small (23 lbs.) and is getting really tired after only 2 hours WITH me there. So, that's one big issue.

Oh! AHHH!!! This is SUCH a long story.

Basically, they are a Waldorf "inspired" school, private and very small - all of which I loved. BUT, they aren't following many of the programs that they mentioned and the various teachers are there at irregular intervals. (all of this indicated very little stability, which I feel is really important!)

Also, they don't seem to be helping my DC integrate with the children OR bond with the teachers. I'm worried that her basic needs (toilet, food, water, safety) will not be cared for let alone that she won't enjoy herself.

This just "stinks"! I KNOW what I have to do but I'm just so disappointed. It's really late to find her another school and I really wanted to take classes as well. I hate the idea of pulling her out because of stupid stuff like insulting the school and the other *wonderful* parents who send their children there.

I also know they are going to tell me to come in September when the school year officially begins with new students. There are some benefits to doing this but now I have such a bad feeling that I don't think I'll overcome it even if September is great.

Then, I know you'll understand me with this - I'm having this anxiety that my standards are too high and "nothing will ever be good enough". I know this is how I'll be perceived by some members of our family. This is the first time I've had to deal with this challenge and it's adding even more pressure.

Anyway - I could *really* use some support with this. Thanks for reading my story.
post #2 of 16
Oh I am right there with you! Shoshie will be 3 in October and I have gone back and forth on the preschool/Kindergarten issue.
I know she'd like to have a steady presence of kids in her life, but I don't know that she's ready to be gone for 4+ hours a day. And I'd miss her.
Sometimes I think "yes she needs to go, it will be good for her, she'll have fun and if she goes to the German Kindergarten, she'll be bilingual."
And other times I'm thinking "no, she's too little, and too sweet and the other kids will crush her and if no one speaks English to her all day, she'll be alienated and lonely."

At this point I am leaning toward keeping her home another year and re-evaluating at that time. I'm actively seeking out homeschooling websites and printing off stuff for her all the time, and I am starting a chapter of API and god willing that will bring the other weirdos out of the woodwork! I can't be the only parent who pays attention to their kid!!!!!!

Anywho, I'll see you in a few weeks!
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Yes...see you very soon! We're very excited. (what's API, btw?)

Another thing rolling around in my mind (I'm obsessing over this) is that I worry that I'm, in some way, using this as an excuse to not go to language class. I really do want to go but it was stressful last time, August is packed for us (school starts Aug. 9th) and it's expensive.

BUT, I really do need to go and DH and some friends are being "more" than encouraging - like "you HAVE to go!"

Urgh...I've got some many issues floating around in my mind. One of which is that I fear this will NEVER be easy -- that I'm always going to have issues like these.

This is HARD. I honestly don't know where one issue ends and the other begins.

I've got:

I'm not entirely sure Aya's ready (but I can't tell because the pre-school is not a good fit)

I don't like the school but I worry that "nothing is going to be good enough"

I don't feel "up" for this stress right not - too much going on

I want to start school but I fear I'm looking for an out

I want to do this with the maximum amount of stability because I want to be there for Aya when she starts but I worry that there's NEVER going to be a perfect time

I'm not sure what's my "real" motivation is here because I really wanted some quality - CHEAP child care so I can learn - I think I thought Aya was ready but now I'm worried that I am clouded by MY needs
post #4 of 16
How many hours a week are your language classes? Have you considered trying to find a German mum who would be interested in swapping care? Then your child could have playtime in German with a friend or two her age, and perhaps vice versa. Or you could swap both care and language practice time for the parents. Just a thought...
post #5 of 16
Go with your gut feelings, this school doesn't sound like it is for you. I had similar misgivings about my ds" ps and it just got worse and worse. Find another school that fits your values and wil take better care of your dd.
post #6 of 16
"I'm not sure what's my "real" motivation is here because I really wanted some quality - CHEAP child care so I can learn - I think I thought Aya was ready but now I'm worried that I am clouded by MY needs."

Oh, I could have written this. I am not agonizing about pre-school, but about stopping homeschool and sending them to school. I have lost touch with my real motivations for wanting to do either. I am, like you, completely clouded and conflicted about this. On the one hand, it seems silly to be worried as I am, and on another hand, it seems very serious indeed.

Trust your mothering instincts-- imagine what the perfect situation would be for all, and try to obtain it.
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks, everyone. I've got to sit on this for while but I sure appreciate your advice and commiseration! This feels like the hardest spot I've been in so far.

On some level I feel like I'm ready to do something for myself. I really think it started because I thought DC was ready. Now, I'm questioning that AND my motivations.

It's not SO bad to focus on her for the next six months but I just feel so guilty about not following my path by making "excuses, excuses"...

I'm frustrated by knowing that none of my options will be ideal. I really need to spend some time accepting this reality. It's hard though because expectations are coming from all sides - and many sides within myself.

So far to grow; so far to go...
post #8 of 16
I have to agree with the others in trusting your mothering instincts, i am in the USA and have alot of experience with Waldorf and W inspired things, it all depends on the teacher, if it is nt a positive thing or not a good fit i would pull DC out.....you could even just tell the other families that DC was just not ready for preschool.

There is a community that comes with a Waldorf school and boy do i know what it is like to leave the community , i also understand the need of time to yourself to take a class or something....i like the idea of trading off child care or just flat out paying someone who is like minded. Good luck in your decision
post #9 of 16
This sounds so hard! It sounds like you will take a lot of flak for not going with the original plan. But sometimes we have to do that. It can be so hard to sort out when we just know something isn't right, versus when we are being overprotective. One thing I can say, is that I think 3 is still awfully young for many children for preschool (many 3 year olds are fine with it too). But when I think of children's development, I don't think they necessarily need 2 whole years of preschool JUST to get ready for k-garten or the rest of their lives in schooling. Yes, one year can be helpful, but sometimes we grown ups can overdo it. Of course, there are those children who do no preschool at all, and still adjust fine to k-garten. It all depends on the child. But it sounds like it would be very hard for you to prioritize your own learning at this point, when you're not feeling at least good about the learning situation your dd is in. I think that's just how we are as moms. Our children come first. Follow your heart.
post #10 of 16
I never read in this forum but was looking for info on Montessori and saw your post. This must be such a hard situation for you.

You sound very confident in your gut feeling that this is the wrong school for your dd, so I would definitely let go of that plan, regardless. Maybe you should look into the Tagesmutter option, where dd is at someones home with just a few kids. Usually someone can recommend someone trustworthy. Or look into 'Spielgruppe'. These are groups for 2-3 yo, getting quite common, they are smallscale and usually 'safer' than Kindies. Most of them are not daily, some are, in some it's your choice.
You sound pretty insecure about your German class. Why do you want to learn German in the first place, and why does it have to be expensive, and why can you only start every 6 month. There should be more options available, have you looked elsewhere.

I would tell the Kindie and everyone that you don't feel right with regular Kindie in general (I know that most Kindergartens have very bad safety by US standarts, by any standart, really, I've been down that path), look into the other options. Your dd, just turning 3 in Sept, would be one of the youngest anyway. If and when you find care you are comfortable with, maybe try and do something other than schooling for yourself to see whether that;s an issue or not.

And good luck!! I know how hard this is, and I've made the mistake of putting my dd through a hellish Kindie experience. Still feel awful about it. With dd#2, 2 weeks younger than yours, I will not repeat the mistake. 1 year in her life means everything while I just get put down for another year of procrastination. That I can deal with.
post #11 of 16
Did you find your daughter a new preschool? I'd love to hear an update if that is okay!

Hope you found a better school..or no school at all.
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 
I’ve decided to keep her out until the New Year but I haven’t told the school yet. I’m totally stressed about how to handle the situation especially because we signed a contract. I’m going in this week and I’ll let you know how it goes. This sure would be easy if we weren’t dealing with a cultural and language barrier as well. Thanks for thinking of us, I’ll post an update soon.
post #13 of 16
I think the point the school made about waiting until Sept. to decide is a good one. Sometimes schools are just so much more laid back and unstructured during the summer and because of vacations the teachers schedules are erratic. This is how it was at my ds's school this summer. If I had first enrolled him in summer I'd have the same concerns as you. However, it's a totally different program during the school year when there are more children. The classes are divided into age group and the kids are always in thier proper class (or outside with the same group of children) and the same teachers are working day after day in the same classrooms at the same time. Also, the activities and skills the kids are learning are much more structured.

So that's my take on it. I'll be it will be a lot different and more to your liking in the fall if it's anything like our school.
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 
Well, I'm a mess with the school thing. I think I *must* have the dates mixed up because I went there the day before the start of school and the place was deserted. So, I dropped a note of on Saturday and there was no sign of school starting.

Also, I made a bit mistake with Aya. I discussed the things that I didn't like about the school in front of her. Add that to a long list of mistakes I won't make a second time.

Anyway, the note explained that Aya would not be starting in September, that I was going to make some steps towards pre-K readiness and that I would speak to them over the phone when they had a chance.

I have NO idea how strange a note like this is in Germany! At least I'll benefit in this way from being a foreigner, LOL!

I have a meeting with another Waldorf school in September but I'm now more open to her taking her time ~~ somehow the 3 year old standard here was influencing me. I'm over it!

There is the learning more German issue left *for both of us* but I think we can find some ways together. Hey, I learned a new word just by writing the letter to the school, so, hey!
post #15 of 16
2 ICM!!!

Comon down here and we'll teach you some German.

I think you totally have the foreigener wildcard, and you should not stress over this!! I think you did fine leaving the note there, and whenever the place opens someone will probably call you. I find it a bit strange, however, that you don't have a number of a contact person already since you've been going to the kindi for a while.

I was stessing a bit over the kindi issue as well since we left just when Rhea was supposed to start school and I had made such an issue over her being the first in line since I thought i'd be back at work in October. I called the woman who had sent a letter we were admitted and she was totallly relaxed.

Wow, and Rhea had her first day today, it was soooooo amazing. The women were so nice and the atmosphere so extremely relaxed. They baked Broetchen and played and sang. I stayed the whole time just to enjoy, and I'm sure Rhea won't mind me leaving tomorrow.

Btw, most kids will pick up your feelings toward something whether you talk about them in front of them or not.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
Hey, Dahlin'

Welcome home!! I hope you had a wonderful time. Yea, the kindi thing is a mess but I'm dealing with it...more relaxed now that I realize that even if I had done everything "perfectly" Aya still wouldn't be ready.

I’m really glad to hear that Rhea had a good first day! Sweetie!! Is Sarah back also?

Let me know about your trip. I had such a nice time with you all ~ let's do it again soon.

Thanks everyone!
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