I don't think Pre-school or daycare or anything like it is ever needed if you are an engaged attentive parent. If your kids needs are well taken care of at home (eg.. they aren't eating junk and watching TV all the time) they will be fine. This kind of huge groups of same age children is a new concept, and personally I think its better than being with neglectful (or just plain BAD) parents, its really not that good either. My son tends to get overwhelmed in large groups of toddlers, but in small groups of mixed age people he is very very happy. We do go to play group once a week, and he enjoys it, but if its too crazy he gets upset and we leave and as soon as we are out the door he's back to his happy self.
He has a 3 year old cousin (they are 18 months apart) that he sees 2-3xs a week and he adores! They are like brothers and feel like that's the kind of relationships with other kids that are natural. Kids of other parents that mom/dad interact with, cousins, siblings etc. Its unnatural to gather 20- 2 year olds stick them in a room as say "get along, and play with each other" kids aren't physiologically ready for that! What is normal though is community, immediate family, extended family, people in your neighborhood, people at the park. If you are attentive to your child and teaching them basics along the way they will be fine. In fact I think being exposed to all the normal things in a day mom would be exposed to is more helpful to them than being in a preschool all day with other kids. That's just me though.... I have no idea if our son will go to school. It will be based on his personality, and what schools are available to us. But right now at 18 months old he's happy, healthy, friendly, and already loves learning. When he started pointing at letters I started teaching him thier names and sounds, he knows about 4 letters already and has never been to daycare.
OMG Fizgig! Love love love your username! And thank you for the report. Will be posting to Facebook with a blanket statement so I don't insult anyone. Ha!
I have nothing against people who put their kiddos in daycare. I have considered it myself several times. I just wish it wasn't one of those "necessary" things about child rearing that isn't *actually* necessary. Come to think of it... the same thing is said of formula-feeding. My BIL actually asked me when I'll wean of breast milk to formula. I replied "never!" and got a weird look! O_o
But this is off topic! Thanks so much for the replies and bring more on, if you know any studies!
Mama + Daddy +DD (12/20/09) =
Expecting #2 in September!
My 2 year old is in daycare twice a week. I think it's good for him because he learns things from the other kids and the teachers. And he gets plenty of intellectual, physical, and social stimunlation. But I think staying out of school would be fine too. In fact, the first daycare we tried was terrible. He was younger (18 months) so that was part of it - he just wasn't ready to spend time away from me with people he didn't know. It was incredibly stressful on all of us. But the bigger problem was the daycare.
If you choose to put your kiddo in daycare, just pick a good one. It makes all the difference. It's not even fair to compare home vs daycare. The comparisons should be between good daycare vs bad daycare and good parents vs bad parents.
As far as socializing goes, I do not think that kids need to be away from parents in order to develop friendships with other kids. I've seen it happen with my own son on playdates and with family. He can play with friends while I sit on a bench nearby. I firmly disagree with the notion that kids under age 3 "need" time away from their parents. That's complete BS. You know what's more likely? The parent needs time away from the kiddo. The parent needs real adult socialization and can't get that with a toddler hanging around. I found that for myself. I needed the opportunity to really use my brain to learn something new, to feel intellectually stimulated - and that's something that is virtually impossible to do while caring for a toddler.
But for whatever reason, a lot of people believe that little toddlers need to spend time away from their parents. This is similar to ideas that they need to sleep in their own rooms, etc. There's not really any scientific evidence that proves all this time away from parents is good for them in the long run, but it's part of our culture and therefor may be a good idea to do simply to help your child/family fit in and receive less criticism.
New report examines effects nationwide of preschool on kids' development
Eh. I don't think there is very much value at that age. Later, yes, I think part-time really high quality play-based preschool is wonderful. However, I would never send a child full time and never choose a developmental or head start place. Or choose a place that used punitive time outs or whatever.
We go to a Reggio school that is really wonderful i.e. painting with found and homemade pigments, child led tasks, fine motor skills are usually wire work with beads and pliers, no sugar, collaborative art, real clay etc. Disputes are resolved with discussion.
But if you don't have access to the really good kinds of school, then I think a home environment is probably better quality. A LOT of preschool are really daycare in disguise and many of them are pretty lousy.
Right now, at 28mo my DD is Velcro'd to me in most social situations and wouldn't do well in daycare/preschool. I know she won't. I'd have to let her cry a couple of times to get her "used" to it and I don't feel comfortable with that AT ALL. I didn't do that kind of thing when she was a baby and don't want to now. Everytime I even talk about it with anyone I get the "they won't do well in school" spiel. That's IMHO because the schools (public) in my state really suck overall. I reply with that and get agreement from most.
Going to check out that Berkeley study now...
Mama + Daddy +DD (12/20/09) =
Expecting #2 in September!
I've been reading books on Montessori and home schooling and now I pretty much think all "traditional" schools are more harm than good.
If I were to send my son to a preschool it would probably be montessori so he wouldn't be expeced to socialize with other children and would be in a mixed age group.