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arguments against preschool?

post #1 of 154
Thread Starter 
I know this has been discussed before, but I've searched through three forums now and I cannot find what I am looking for. Are there any really good arguments against sending children to preschool? I mean in books or articles? My dd is just not enjoying preschool and this is the second one she has been in this year. She only goes because dh thinks she needs socialization. I want to be able to counter him with actual research or a scholarly opinion ("I read this book and it said..... " type of thing.) I was a teacher before she was born and I know that kids don't "need" preschool but dh thinks she will be lonely without it (we do playdates but sometimes only one a week) and he thinks she will be behind if she goes to K without it. I never went to preschool and I could read by 1st grade so I don't think his argument is that great. But, scientist that he is, I think a published opinion by an expert will hold more weight for him.
post #2 of 154
If she is unhappy at preschool I would take her out. Like you said, kids don't need preschool. My DS goes because he wants to go and enjoys it. If you are worried about your daughter being lonely, add more playdates, take her to the park, zoo, children's museum, library story time, join a class at the local YMCA, join a playgroup... There are so many other places to meet other kids and Mom's!!!! Just do what is best for DD.
post #3 of 154
Miseducation : PRESCHOOLERS AT RISK by David Elkind. I read this book a long time ago but absolutely love it. Let me just preface this by saying I run a preschool in my house. I think it is great for the parents, but the kids would be just as social/smart when they hit school age if they were left to explore their own environments. So as you can see, I am all over the place on this one. Elkind has another book that was good to...The Hurried Child I think. Good luck with your husband.
post #4 of 154
I don't have any book suggestions or articles but I think you need to follow your heart. If she is not enjoying it and you think you should take her out then do it. Preschool is not necessary and many believe that children of this age are too young to be away fromt their family, even if it's only a few hrs a week. There are so many other ways to socialize you child. And if preschool is your child's first introduction to school and learning and she has a negative experience how will that be helpful in the years to come? You can easily work with her at home doing the same type of things that traditional preschools tend to do. Play games, sing songs, go to the park, read stories help her practice writing her name, identify colors and shapes and letters. And then find opportunities for her to be around other children if you and dh think it's needed at this time. As far as preparing children for kindergarten I honestly think preschool just gives them a chance to be away from mom, interact with other children respectfully and learn to take direction from another adult who is labeled their teacher and thus a mini experience of how their future education in institutionalized schooling will be. Not necessary IMO but like I said go with your intuition. Your DH will understand, especially if he knows she is not enjoying it.
post #5 of 154
Read "The Comprachicos", an essay by Ayn Rand. She touches on the subject, but mostly she was against the Dewey school of thought, ie "progressive preschool/daycare"... she liked the Montessori (sp?) method better.

Also, "Dumbing Us Down" by somebody (look it up on Amazon). It is more about older public schooling, but it still applies, I think.

I won't send my kids to preschool for the same reason I dislike daycare. I feel like it exposes kids too early to the "pack mentality", and they learn too well to "blend in" and go along with the others. I worked in daycare and preschool, and what I was there made me decided not to send my kids. Other kids can be cruel, they hit, they spread the ideas they learn at home. When my child is a little older, she can make sence of the way others live, but early on, I don't want her exposed to ideas and behaviour she might pick up on. God forbid she think GI Joe and Coke are regualar kids things! Also, I think kids learn MUCH better from more intense interaction with their parents, and in a classroom, there are many more kidds to divide the teachers' attention. Playdates are great, especially if you can find kis who are raised similar to your own, but you don't know who you're dealing with in daycare.
FYI- To be fair, this comes from someone who really thinks public schooling is a farce, and I'm is very biased toward homeschooling altogether, so bear that in mind.
post #6 of 154
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all the kind words and advice. I put the Elkind books on reserve at the library. I am a public school teacher (or was before dd) so I guess I just bought into the bs that the government gives to us about kids needing preschool. Plus, my dh really is worried that our daughter will be socially isolated. We live in a neighborhood without sidewalks and have no kids her age nearby. Since he and I both grew up with siblings and lived in neighborhoods with lots of kids, he wants her to experience being with kids. But, I agree that there are plenty of places to take her that involve fewer kids. We do playdates weekly and if we quit preschool, we would have more time for that. And, maybe I would not have to go back to work next school year! Dd just does not like the large group chaos that is preschool with 18-20 kids. I wish we could afford Waldorf. I've heard such wonderful things. Oh well.......
post #7 of 154
I think if you plan on sending your child to some kind of "organized education away from home then preschool is a really big consideration. But if you plan on homeschooling... I don't see why you would send your kid. I'm always totally perplexed when I read/hear of parents who plan on homeschooling but send their children to preschool.
post #8 of 154
Wow, I'll definatly be checking into those books. DH is he(( bent on sending DS to preschool and then homeschooling him. I don't understand his reasoning, but o'well.

As for the OP, I never went to preschool and I think I'm fine.
post #9 of 154
Gordon Neufeld does a whole workshop on this - I can't recall if he goes into it as specifically in his book "Hold on to your kids" but in the workshop he explained how pushing kids into peer attachments too early will compromise their later development.

He used kids in preschool as prime examples; saying that unless the child forms a strong attachment to the teacher, they experience a great deal of stress. Also that the children most resistant to being away from their parents are the ones at highest risk.

It was because of the workshop I attended that we held dd out of preschool and only started her in a parent participation class 2X a week once she was asking to go.

The book is fantastic too though and gives some great strategies for helping your child attach to future teachers.
post #10 of 154
LLL publishes a book about preschool- it's pretty informative. It describes the history of preschool and that was enough for me to decide no preschool here.
post #11 of 154
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by pjs
LLL publishes a book about preschool
IF you mean Playful Learning, I found it at my local library and have put it on hold. I searched the lll catolog and that is the only book I found they have related to preschool. Hope that is the one!

ceilydhmama - I have Hold on to your kids. What a great book! I sent Mothering mag a letter a few months back, when I first bought it, suggesting that they review it in the magazine. Everyone should read it!
post #12 of 154
Ditto to the two posts for "Hold Onto Your Kids".

This book was amazing and I'm so glad I read it! I will be buying a copy after this one goes back to the library to re-read and highlight. Also, this is a good one to put in the family library and pass on to the next generation.

To sum it up (the book is packed with information so I will not do it full justice), children should be attaching to family first and then branch out from there into family friends and then your community. Time alone is important, developing a comfort with one's own self is crucial for maturity. Peer interaction should be supervised, kids should always have a sense that the interaction is family based and not a seperate activity away from the other family members. Steer clear of places that seperate your family or politely refuse to seperate (church, parties, family events, etc). The book does a good job driving home it's point that socialization is over-rated and most people find socialization nice because it occupies them and makes life easier. Children need and thirst for attachments, direction and social cues. These huge responsbilities should never be left open or expected to be filled by other children and temporary care-givers. The damage is huge but doesn't manifest itself for a few years so most people will dismiss the connection during the early years of the child.

There's so-so much more to this book. I hope you find some information that helps! There's been some great book recommendations!
post #13 of 154
Check around in the homeschooling forum. Just a few months ago a big study came out, I believe by U.C. Berkeley, stating that kids in preschool more than a certain amount of hours a week were worse off socially than kids who weren't in preschool.

Also, check out www.besthomeschooling.org. She's got links to soooo many great articles.
post #14 of 154
18-20 kids is a lot for preschool. But I think that the real issue is that she doesn't like it, and that the feeling has persisted for a while, and you are the main caregiver (I am guessing), and you don't want her to go.

I think it would be hard beyond a homeschooling-promoting organization to find general anti-preschool evidence. It has been found-as far as I have read-to be good for most children-but every child is an individual.

post #15 of 154
post #16 of 154
Yeah but that study talks about being in preschool more than 6 hours a day. That's not preschool; that's day care.

For socialization arguments, you could talk about finding a homeschooling group that's made up of preschoolers/kindergarteners. As for being "behind" when you start K, I would pull a list of the Kindergarten "standards" and talk about ways you could teach them at home, if she doesn't already know them.

Good luck!
post #17 of 154
Originally Posted by jkpmomtoboys
Yeah but that study talks about being in preschool more than 6 hours a day. That's not preschool; that's day care.

For socialization arguments, you could talk about finding a homeschooling group that's made up of preschoolers/kindergarteners. As for being "behind" when you start K, I would pull a list of the Kindergarten "standards" and talk about ways you could teach them at home, if she doesn't already know them.

Good luck!
Many preschools in our area are 6 hours a day. Most of the kids in ds's preschool are there for 6 hours, but I pick ds up much earlier. (And really, even if a preschool is shorter, how is it not daycare? I personally think much of "school", even up through the elementary years, is daycare. Heck, kindergarten is full day here - sounds a lot like daycare to me.)

I don't have time to find the other links that I have seen over the years, but I can give you my personal experience. Before ds1 started preschool, he was very well "socialized." He shared, took turns, was sensitive to other's feelings, could function in a group of children or one on one, etc. He has been at a small, play based, wonderful fantastic preschool for almost 2 years now. He is more aggressive, gets angrier more quickly at other kids, is more focused on "winning" or "going first", and has been known to shove a kid out of his way. He says things like "you're stupid", "you need to get out of here," "you're not my friend anymore," etc. These are all "socialization" behaviors that he learned at preschool. And he went for an average of 3 hours a day, maybe 2-3 days a week. I can't imagine a more wonderful preschool, director, or teachers. I have truly learned so much from just watching the teachers in action. But there is nothing they can do about the peer socialization that happens within a group of 3-5 year olds, and it's not pretty. Every single time I drop ds off or pick him, and I mean EVERY SINGLE TIME, I see an incident of a child being excluded, a child being told they aren't invited to a birthday party, a child, a child feeling hurt, a child feeling anxious because they aren't quick enough to keep up with the game, etc. And even though the teachers are quick to address it and are very attentive, they can't see everything. Heck, I only have two kids and I can't see everything all day.

Again, I love ds's preschool, but in the end wish we hadn't sent him. I think he would have retained more of his wonderful natural sweetness if we hadn't. And I felt this at the time, but allowed myself to be pressured into it.
post #18 of 154
Originally Posted by oceanbaby
Most preschools in our area are 6 hours a day. Most of the kids in ds's preschool are there for 6 hours, but I pick ds up much earlier.
wow! I've never heard of 6 hr per day pre-school. I think that's overkill. If it were necessary because both parents had to work then maybe it would be better than say reg daycare. When my dd was in preschool it started out being 2 days a week for 2 1/2 hrs a day and then last yr she went 5 days a week, 3 hrs a day.
post #19 of 154
Uhhh...I'd actually be hard-pressed to find any good reasons FOR preschool other than, for example, being a single parent with no relatives who can watch your child.

Here are some reasons against.

1. It separates you from your child.
I realize that not everyone will agree with this sentiment, but I have never understood the mentality of someone who wants to send their child to preschool unless they absolutely had to. I've heard the arguments like, "Oh, I need the time to myself..." which seems to me very sad and I wonder why those who regularly and often feel this way had children to begin with.

2. There is nothing they teach your child that you can't teach better.
I am going to be bold and assert that there's nothing that a preschool can teach your child that you can't teach them better for a number of different reasons:
a. It ain't rocket science.
b. The teacher-pupil ratio is better.
c. You care about your child's mastery more than the teacher does.
d. The teaching goes at your child's pace.
e. If the teaching method or curriculum isn't working, you can easily fix it.

3. The "socialization" is damaging.
Very rarely do children of preschool age treat each other with respect and courtesy. Rarely do they share; rarely do they include unpopular, different, ugly, or foreign children in their play; rarely do they acknowledge that others have feelings to be respected.

All of this is completely normal for children of that age; nevertheless, this is not an environment that I believe is a healthy one. I believe it encourages selfishness and a herd mentality which is focused on excluding those who are different (and minimizing those aspects of oneself that are different so that you basically try to "pass").

Conformity is prized before any other virtue, basically. That's not something I want to teach my child.

4. It costs lots of money.

5. There is a high turnover in the business.

6. You increase your child's chances that she or he will be the target of a sexual predator.

7. The values of your specific culture and your specific family are undermined or (at best) watered down and diminished before your child has a chance to form a solid sense of values or a solid personality.

Those are the basic issues I have with it. Hope that helps.

post #20 of 154
I personally don't think pre-school is really necessary for many kids. You'll find articles to support either pov on this decision. I think it ultimately just depends on your child, your family situation, and the preschool if it is beneficial.

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