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arguments against preschool? - Page 4

post #61 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by boomingranny
fuller - I hear you over here. My dd has been in daycare/preschool and now goes to public school (she will be 8 soon). I know she's ruined for life! lol

Anyway - I read somewhere that in other lands, the "preschool/daycare is evil" argument is almost non-existent.
That's wonderful of you to bring up this different viewpoint. Would you mind linking or quoting so that we can all share?

Quote:

Why? beyond the cultural and social differences maybe it's because there is a standardized high quality childcare system that parents have faith in. Instead of the rapacious arguments, why oh why can't y'all put a little more energy into lobbying, voting and grassrooting for daycare/preschool that you can have faith in? or does that cut down on self-righteous patting on the back discussions?

Cheers
I read somewhere that in other lands, the "formula is evil" argument is almost non-existent. Why? Beyond the cultural and social differences maybe it's because there is a standardized high quality formula manufacturing system that parents have faith in. Instead of the rapacious arguments, why oh why can't y'all put a little more energy into lobbying, voting and grassrooting for better quality formula that you can have faith in? or does that cut down on self-righteous patting on the back discussions?

I'm sure you see my point. Formula, in the absence of alternatives for parents, is a lifesaver -- for gay fathers, for example, or for mothers who have had breast cancer, or other conditions that make breastfeeding an impossibility. Similarly, day care/preschool can be a lifesaver for single parents, to choose one among many possible examples.

However, on its face, formula is not better than breastmilk. Preschool is not better than homeschool.
post #62 of 154
Hmm. The thing is, for some kids (maybe more than we want to admit) preschool and school in general might actually be a lot better than being at home. If at home you are exposed to abusive parents, drug/alcohol use, constant TV, erratic meals and general unpredictablity, preschool might be the one place where you could have a comfortable routine, relatively stable adult caretakers, good food, and even some exposure to pre-reading etc. skills. This is why Head Start has been shown to work really well in many cases., and why public school can save some kids' lives.

It's really tough. Our culture works well for people with the individual resources and wherewithal to forge ahead for themselves individually, but as a wider society we tend to say "Too bad, why don't you just get a job," to people who can't do this for whatever reason. The countries that have public, high-quality child care and preschools tend to be democratic socialist societies, like some places in Europe. Canada and Japan also have these. The point is that the whole society supports the care and raising of children, and is willing to devote the resources necessary to do it well. (A friend is living in Japan right now and she says it's the most mothering-friendly place she's ever seen--tons of publicly-funded options that are really nice and widely-used.) Not to mention that all of these places have national health insurance--how many people could stay home with their kids in the U.S. if we had public health insurance for the middle class?

Homeschooling represents the best and the worst of the American style of doing things--both the great, creative individuality *and* the rejection of serious effort to make things better for the many people for whom this individual approach is not a realistic option.
post #63 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuller2
Hmm. The thing is, for some kids (maybe more than we want to admit) preschool and school in general might actually be a lot better than being at home. If at home you are exposed to abusive parents, drug/alcohol use, constant TV, erratic meals and general unpredictablity, preschool might be the one place where you could have a comfortable routine, relatively stable adult caretakers, good food, and even some exposure to pre-reading etc. skills. This is why Head Start has been shown to work really well in many cases., and why public school can save some kids' lives.
Headstart does not work really well. Their own studies show that the beneifts of Headstart disappear by the second grade.

However, I might agree that in cases where the households are dangerous, being anyplace is better than home. But what about the other 18 hours of that day that they are not at Headstart/PS? Not to mention weekends. That why I would rather we were spending our efforts lobbying for more FAMILY support rather than holding pens to help kids get away from thier families.

And while I choose not to send my kid to school at this point, if I were single, I certainly would if that were the only way to make my family work.
post #64 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by yoopervegan
Headstart does not work really well. Their own studies show that the beneifts of Headstart disappear by the second grade.

However, I might agree that in cases where the households are dangerous, being anyplace is better than home. But what about the other 18 hours of that day that they are not at Headstart/PS? Not to mention weekends. That why I would rather we were spending our efforts lobbying for more FAMILY support rather than holding pens to help kids get away from thier families.
My MIL was the West Coast Coordinator for Head Start for a long time and we had a conversation about it the other day.

She said that when Head Start began, they did not advocate preschool for 3 year olds. They would have professionals go into the home a couple of times a week to help the parents and the children together.

Then the 4 year old program would have the kids in a preschool environment a few hours a week only.

The changes came about when many in the Head Start target clientele had to have both parents work full time. Head Start couldn't continue to serve its parents in the way it thought best because both parents were working so they had to modify their approach.

So while it might make you feel good to put down Head Start, it would be best if you knew the facts and the background before you do so.
post #65 of 154
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post #66 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkpmomtoboys
My MIL was the West Coast Coordinator for Head Start for a long time and we had a conversation about it the other day.

She said that when Head Start began, they did not advocate preschool for 3 year olds. They would have professionals go into the home a couple of times a week to help the parents and the children together.

Then the 4 year old program would have the kids in a preschool environment a few hours a week only.

The changes came about when many in the Head Start target clientele had to have both parents work full time. Head Start couldn't continue to serve its parents in the way it thought best because both parents were working so they had to modify their approach.

So while it might make you feel good to put down Head Start, it would be best if you knew the facts and the background before you do so.
Nope. Not putting it "down" at all. I know it serves a purpose and I am very glad it is there for people. While it has been shown that it does not give kids a "head start" academically, at least not past the second grade, it is a lifesaver for many families that need full time childcare. In fact, my own child would be in it if I were single since there is no other program in our area that is affordable for low income households. My point being that there is no need for preschool if you do not need the childcare component. The OP does not need childcare and is trying to find out if preschool is something her child MUST go to in order to be successful in a school environment later and I was just pointing out that studies show that there is no strictly educational benefit to going to preschool.

And that is why if I had limited time for lobbying or support of certain areas, I would be MORE interested in helping to legislate more support (specifically financial) for families that now have to be dual income due to finances. I agree that the family support classes and other support for families that Headstart provides is far superior to nothing if a family needs it.
post #67 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by jkpmomtoboys

So while it might make you feel good to put down Head Start, it would be best if you knew the facts and the background before you do so.
And um.....no it does not make me feel "good" to put anything or anyone down. But thanks for suggesting that. Does it make you feel good?
post #68 of 154
"The point is that the whole society supports the care and raising of children, and is willing to devote the resources necessary to do it well. (A friend is living in Japan right now and she says it's the most mothering-friendly place she's ever seen--tons of publicly-funded options that are really nice and widely-used.) Not to mention that all of these places have national health insurance--how many people could stay home with their kids in the U.S. if we had public health insurance for the middle class?"

expanding on what fuller said about the democratic/socialist countries with good childcare and family/community friendly policies. I would like to see the good ol' US be this family friendly. My cousins in Danmark have what I think are ideal situations. Good quality childcare outside the home and support for the family during infanthood is imho optimal. I think we have failed ourselves by demonizing childcare and shaming mothers who choose to put their children into daycare/preschool. It does take a village to raise a child, both a public and a private village. Public policies that support an optimal healthy, loving and supportive community. My own support system is on an informal basis only. However all the energy that is spent in dividing and conquering would be better served working for the better of all women and children without women mandating to other women what their choices "should" be.
post #69 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by fuller2
Hmm. The thing is, for some kids (maybe more than we want to admit) preschool and school in general might actually be a lot better than being at home. If at home you are exposed to abusive parents, drug/alcohol use, constant TV, erratic meals and general unpredictablity, preschool might be the one place where you could have a comfortable routine, relatively stable adult caretakers, good food, and even some exposure to pre-reading etc. skills. This is why Head Start has been shown to work really well in many cases., and why public school can save some kids' lives.

I'm totally willing to grant that. However, I am going to be bold in saying that these situations do not represent the norm for most children. Since most children under 5 are in day care or preschool, I would venture to say that the majority of them are not being helped.

Quote:
It's really tough. Our culture works well for people with the individual resources and wherewithal to forge ahead for themselves individually, but as a wider society we tend to say "Too bad, why don't you just get a job," to people who can't do this for whatever reason. The countries that have public, high-quality child care and preschools tend to be democratic socialist societies, like some places in Europe. Canada and Japan also have these.
I think you're right. In America, we have a constant and uncomfortable tension best expressed by the motto on our own coins: "E pluribus Unum": from many, one. The schizoid division between our desire to retain our individualism, our "unum," as it were, resists all desires to form us into part of a community, our "pluribus." We are constantly told about the importance of community, but as soon as community conflicts with our individual desires, community loses.


Quote:
Homeschooling represents the best and the worst of the American style of doing things--both the great, creative individuality *and* the rejection of serious effort to make things better for the many people for whom this individual approach is not a realistic option.
The problem is, I am not willing to beat my head to a pulp against the brick wall of public schooling when it's my own child who will suffer. Without going into needless detail, my kid would present a problem for a teacher in a public school classroom and her curriculum would require major modifications. Both personally and vicariously, I've seen that school districts around the U.S. are completely unwilling, for the most part, to accomodate, so for us, homeschooling is the only option that has any hope of working. Ironically, I'm a teacher. As a teacher, I am actually trying to "make things better for the many people for whom this individual approach is not a realistic option," because my classroom is literally the only thing I can control.

But back to the OP -- I agree that HSing is not an option for everyone. However, I believe it is a viable option for many people and what holds them back is fear, for the most part. The OP sought arguments against preschool, of which I think there are many, and in doing so, I hope she was able to alleviate some of her concerns.
post #70 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by boomingranny
I think we have failed ourselves by demonizing childcare and shaming mothers who choose to put their children into daycare/preschool. It does take a village to raise a child, both a public and a private village. Public policies that support an optimal healthy, loving and supportive community. My own support system is on an informal basis only. However all the energy that is spent in dividing and conquering would be better served working for the better of all women and children without women mandating to other women what their choices "should" be.
No one on this thread has demonized mothers who put their children in preschool. IRL, it is the mothers who don't put their kids in preschool that face the most pressure and criticism. But other than that, I agree with your statement, and it is why I don't jump on the "we need more quality childcare" bandwagon.
post #71 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Wow. You and I differ quite a lot on this issue. I believe that minimizing the risk that your child will be molested (or, more benignly, neglected or abused) is one of the most important things I can do for my child as a parent. Count me in as Queen of the Bubble People, frankly, at least until my child is past the high-risk age for sexual molestation and can a) defend herself b) say "NO" with real authority c) be old enough to have her opinion respected in a court of law.
Yeah, OF COURSE I want to protect my child from being molested. I just don't want to have a mindset that every adult working in childcare could be a potential child molester. By the way, I was molested at about 7 years old by a kid who was a few years older than me. It's quite possible to be molested when you're older than 3. And no, it doesn't have to happen at school. My point is, sometimes molestation can be prevented and sometimes it can't. I will do everything in my power from preventing anything like that happening to my little girl. I think it starts by building up her sense of self-esteem and trust in me, as well as being able to allowe her to branch out and interact with other people. Within boundaries that I feel are reasonable, of course.

I have mused on another thread about the possibility that so many small children we encounter have received the "stranger danger" message to the point where they don't even want to interact with other kids! Many, many times L has approached kids between the ages of 2 -7 years old and they act scared or aloof.
post #72 of 154
Quote:
Homeschooling represents the best and the worst of the American style of doing things--both the great, creative individuality *and* the rejection of serious effort to make things better for the many people for whom this individual approach is not a realistic option.
There's a book called Anyone Can Homeschool. I think this is true. Not "Anyone Will Homeschool." Obviously there are plenty of people who don't want to. But I think that most of the people who want to homeschool but don't think it's a possibility for them could do so. I know homeschoolers who are married, who are single parents, who have family support and don't. I know homeschoolers who are well off and those who are struggling to pay bills.
post #73 of 154
I am struggling with this one. My DD is very social and loves to see other kids and do "activities." However, I must admit in a rather red-faced way that I kind of think she is perfect right now and I have these fears that preschool is going to "mess her up." For example, she knows virtually nothing of "characters," TV, junk food, Disney princesses, etc. She has never heard people being rude and smart-alecky to each other. I don't think she even knows that she could push or hit to try to get her way. She is so charming, sweet and innocent in so many ways, and I dread what she could "pick up" at preschool--I so like her the way she is now. In fact, one mom I am friends with specifically said "Don't send (DD) to preschool--we've been trying it, and our DD is a lot like yours, and we are really upset at the changes and are pulling her out." Well, yeah, so that didn't reassure.

But I'm a little horrified at myself for thinking this. I also know I can't keep her innocent of these things forever. I don't plan to homeschool unless I feel I have no alternative. I do think we have much to learn from people who are not like ourselves. I'm worried that I'm being overprotective.

My instinct right now is to keep her home with me a little longer (she's only two). I do live in a universal pre-K state. It's all very hard to figure out, and I find it difficult to locate unbiased research. I looked at some of the studies cited here, but I feel like many of them are coming from sources with an agenda.
post #74 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by mommytolittlelilly
Yeah, OF COURSE I want to protect my child from being molested. I just don't want to have a mindset that every adult working in childcare could be a potential child molester.
Mommy, does anybody want to "have a mindset that every adult working in childcare could be a potential child molester"?

I don't want to have to acknowledge this to be true. I believe, though, that if I were reluctant to acknowledge the reality that yes, every adult working in childcare could be a potential child molester, I am potentially putting my child in danger.

Think of it this way. Let's say there were a pair of happy wildebeests in Africa. Their wildebeestie wisdom has taught them that some of what appear to be logs are actually alligators. What alligators like to eat the most are wildebeests, and of course they go where wildebeests are actually going to be rather numerous; specifically, the local watering hole. One wildebeest is suspicious of all logs. Not all things, mind you -- she has learned that rocks are sometimes turtles, but that turtles represent no harm to the wildebeests. She's learned that sometimes branches are insects, but that those too represent no harm. However, she is suspicious of all logs because they could potentially be an alligator.

Another wildebeest doesn't want to have the mentality that all logs could be alligators.

Which approach do you think tends to ensure survival more often for which wildebeest?
post #75 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by loraxc
I am struggling with this one. My DD is very social and loves to see other kids and do "activities." However, I must admit in a rather red-faced way that I kind of think she is perfect right now and I have these fears that preschool is going to "mess her up." For example, she knows virtually nothing of "characters," TV, junk food, Disney princesses, etc. She has never heard people being rude and smart-alecky to each other. I don't think she even knows that she could push or hit to try to get her way. She is so charming, sweet and innocent in so many ways, and I dread what she could "pick up" at preschool--I so like her the way she is now. In fact, one mom I am friends with specifically said "Don't send (DD) to preschool--we've been trying it, and our DD is a lot like yours, and we are really upset at the changes and are pulling her out." Well, yeah, so that didn't reassure.

But I'm a little horrified at myself for thinking this. I also know I can't keep her innocent of these things forever. I don't plan to homeschool unless I feel I have no alternative. I do think we have much to learn from people who are not like ourselves. I'm worried that I'm being overprotective.

My instinct right now is to keep her home with me a little longer (she's only two). I do live in a universal pre-K state. It's all very hard to figure out, and I find it difficult to locate unbiased research. I looked at some of the studies cited here, but I feel like many of them are coming from sources with an agenda.
I am concerned with this as well. This is not the largest slice of my personal pie chart of reasons not to send my child to school, but it is certainly one of them.

I would prefer that my daughter's personality, preferences, choices, values, and ethics be more firmly cemented before taking on the weight of other people's pressures to conform to a societal norm. I see sending her to school like building on a wet foundation: if it is not dry, it will crumble.
post #76 of 154
Wow, I'm amazed that this is a such a hot topic.

My son goes to what is essentially a preschool. It's a lab run by the local university to allow college students to get experience developing children's programs and working with children. It is heavily supervised. In the infant/toddler lab, there is one student for every two children. Plus there is at least one student teacher, and the administrators are all in nearby rooms. The building is actually a house. There are six (or maybe eight) children in the group at a time. They give a printout of all the activities they do (with a theme each day). I like the way it's run, and I don't see anything wrong with taking my son there. He has always had a little bit of trouble with separation from me, but he quickly gets interested in other things and has a good time. He started there when he was 7 months old, I think. He goes twice a week (3 hrs each time). The program is only in effect while the students are in school, so we didn't have any class over the winter/Christmas break (nor will we have class all summer).

Occasionally, I have felt guilty about leaving him, simply because I know that he likes to be with me. But otherwise, I have none of the misgivings that have been mentioned here. I feel that he is safe. I think that the discipline used there is okay. (BTW, I've been in playgroups where parents don't discipline their older toddlers who harass my son - that sort of thing isn't as likely to happen in his preschool class, AFAICT). I use the precious free time to do a multitude of things - work out, go to medical/dental appointments, nap, clean, visit the coffeeshop in peace, whatever. I have no family here, and my husband often works late. Even when he is home, it is difficult to get him to take care of our son for very long - and I honestly think that the preschool people give DS more attention than DH does. Sad but true.

I'm surprised at how much people are speaking out against this. It's such a small amount of time in the 24/7 scheme of things.

ETA: I've thought the same about my son getting "messed up" at the aforementioned playgroups...seems as though there are always a couple of aggressive kids there, which bothers me. I haven't felt that way about his preschool though.
post #77 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by zannster
(BTW, I've been in playgroups where parents don't discipline their older toddlers who harass my son - that sort of thing isn't as likely to happen in his preschool class, AFAICT).
snip

ETA: I've thought the same about my son getting "messed up" at the aforementioned playgroups...seems as though there are always a couple of aggressive kids there, which bothers me. I haven't felt that way about his preschool though.
That has been my experience at playgroups too. Even kids with crunchy parents My kids do go to school but the only negative experiences they had were at playgroup where the parents didn't supervise their kids.

My 4 yo does go to preschool and he enjoys it. It's a very happy place. Different from homeschooling yes, but I think that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages.
post #78 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by TEAK's Mom
This thread comes at a good time for me. First, CB, thank you for articulating so many of my reasons for not putting TEAK in preschool. I am so tired of all of the pressure to put her in.

There is one woman we encounter at the library every week who never fails to tell me how poorly socialized TEAK is. Mind you, she once said this as TEAK was reading a book to her own younger sister (ABKA) and to this woman's own younger child. My poorly socialized child was holding the book so that the little ones could see the picture and pausing so that they could fill in words here and there.

I think that people actually feel threatened by my three year old daughter and the fact that she doesn't attend preschool. Why is that? Are my choices neccessarily a judgement on theirs?
Oh now that's just ridiculous. That woman, not Teak's mom I mean

It's perfectly fine NOT to send kids to preschool for goodness' sake. I can understand why someone wouldn't.
post #79 of 154
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Baudelaire
Perhaps you and I differ on our understanding of what "a short amount of time" is. To me, it means no more than approximately 2-3 hours. Isn't it the case that most preschools run for more than that amount of time?
I think this has been said before but IMO anything more than 2-3 hours/day is daycare. Some preschools do have a daycare program as well but I would define "preschool' as no more than 9 hours a week. (3hours/2-3 times/week)

I like the description of preschool as a type of playgroup (sorry- I forgot the poster's name).
post #80 of 154
Well, this is a pretty wide-ranging discussion!

We have not done preschool with dd, for a variety of reasons, some philosophical, some practical, some happenstance. Most parents' choices regarding preschool represent some configuration of these reasons, and I can't really make any sweeping statements about the rightness or wrongness of their choices. I do feel strongly that any statement that presumes that all 2-5 year old children (aka "preschoolers" in common parlance) "need" or "are always better off or worse off with" preschool are wrong, since I don't know anyone whose life actually reflects such stark parameters.

Boongirl, I totally applaud your wanting to read more and find some support out there to validate your own instincts. However, I would suggest that the best reasons for your decision will relate to your own daughter, the preschool she's actually attending, and how it fits in your family's life.

...and to send you off on a wild goose chase, there was an interesting little article last year some time on the BBC News website about Finland. Apparently it's the most literate country out there, and children don't start school until they're 7, instead benefiting from lots of time with the literate adults in their lives...
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