Preschool for my 3 year old??? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 23 Old 05-05-2008, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Mamas ~

My ds turns three this month and I am feeling a ton of pressure to send him to preschool. I did not have plans to send him... I am a sahm and I was planning on involving him in a children's group once a week that is free and doing other fun activities with him and doing preschool in another year....

A little bit of background.... we live in a very small community and have the choice of only two preschools... one that I do not like and the other one is 'okay' but is in the high school which makes me nervous to imagine my little three year old in a huge school... although the director has told me that it is very safe....

Anyway.... it is a bit costly and was also not in the budget for this year.... so my ML offered to pay for the whole year and is pressuring me that my son will not be emotionally healthy in school if he doesn't go to preschool this year????

I guess I thought that I had completely made up my mind! Am I making the wrong choice in keeping him home? He is on target for all the three year old milestones.... ...

What would you do??? What do you do????

Thank you!

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#2 of 23 Old 05-05-2008, 02:23 PM
 
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I would do what I think is best for my DS, ignoring outside noises. I have been in your position with my DS. Everyone we know, family and friends, asked us when we would put DS in preschool ever since he's 3. To those who really cared about my feedback, I explained that we prefer to educate him at home. To those who just asked casually, I answered: "No, he's not in any preschool" and left it at that (to the bewilderment of the person asking).

With my DS, the need for socialization in preschool was very apparent to outsiders. When he was 2-3 years old, he was very shy and would not mingle with other kids. It didn't help that he's a sensitive child who prefers to think and read over wrestling with other kids. However, by 4-5 years old, he began to come out of the shell and without any prompting, he would now approach other kids to make friends and play with them.

Sorry for the novel. My point is you should do what you think is best for your DS and your family. Parenting is not a democracy, other people don't get to decide for your DS.

What we do with DS are activities that are fun in areas of his interest. His main obsession since he's 2 is aviation and space. So we have memberships to the science center, the local children's museum and the aircraft carrier museum. Both my DH and I WAH, so our schedules allowed us to take our DC to these places during the weekdays. DS is 5 now and he learns way more than the average 5 year olds. But best of all, he associates learning with play and daily life, something that I feel preschools could never teach.

Good luck with your decision...

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#3 of 23 Old 05-05-2008, 03:12 PM
 
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I don't think preschool is in any way necessary or even good for a child, especially at three years old. I never went to 3 year old preschool, and I managed to adjust to school just fine, right? I know what you mean about the pressure, though. People seem to think that if you're not putting them in preschool, they must be spending the days cooped up in a closet or something.

There are so many wonderful ways that you and your 3 year old can get out and learn about the world and build friendships with other people and other children, without the expense and pressure of preschool. Especially if you don't totally love the preschools you have to choose from, you should listen to your heart about what is right for your child.

Of course my own story totally contradicts my opinion... I myself was totally against preschool, and swore I wouldn't send DD, but wound up sending DD anyway. See, what happened with us was that I got pregnant with twins when she was 2, and spend months on bedrest and then once the twins were born it was so horribly difficult for me to get out of the house much with all three of them especially since I'm chronically ill. Poor DD really wasn't getting any chance to get out and interact with the world, so preschool seemed at that point like a wonderful idea. I found a school we love, and she's been very happy there and gotten a lot out of the experience. But had I not had such a complicated situation to deal with I would never have sent her. I would have gotten her involved in some little children's groups or whatever, taken little field trips, spent lots of time outdoors with her, let her spend long hours looking at books and playing with toys, and helped her get to know the neighborhood kids and play with them, and that would have been exactly what she needed to grow and thrive and learn.

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#4 of 23 Old 05-05-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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I "home school" as I am accused of doing, with my 3 and 4 year olds. I even will agree that I do although since they are 3 and 4 it is baffling. My kids were playing in the park the other day with a 6 year old, and we were the only families there, and the father asked me how old my kids were and said, "You homeschool then?" I asked him why he thought that, and he said their general demeanor. Well I'll take it as a compliment since they were all playing nicely and speaking articulately.

I take them to gymnastics, dance, choir, church; they will learn Spanish starting this summer from native speakers, and we'll keep it up indefinitely; they play on the computer and are read aloud to and do some Hooked on Phonics work sporadically. They count without ever sitting at a desk to learn it; they ride two wheelers without training wheels all over town; my 4 year old is joining the summer swim team at our pool this year, having taught herself freestyle and backstroke over the last six months with minimal input from me by watching the other swimmers, motivated by wanting to join the team.

If it ain't broke ...

And that is not to say that I have all the answers. With two close together, it is easier to get care by having someone come to me than taking them to the preschool, for about the same price. I have good support.

If I didn't, I might really value 3 hours a day, three days a week.
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#5 of 23 Old 05-05-2008, 03:28 PM
 
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Certainly it's not necessary, but our boys go to a cooperative preschool that we all LOVE, and they can start 2 mornings per week at age 2. Our 21mo is dying to be able to go! It's just fantastic...all of the staff have a very gentle child-centered approach, and our children just can't wait to go to school. And they love it when it's Dada's turn to be "parent helper".
So if you find the right preschool, it can be a really wonderful experience for everyone.

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#6 of 23 Old 05-05-2008, 03:35 PM
 
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Before you even consider preschool, read "Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers".

The PP has it right - "I don't think preschool is in any way necessary or even good for a child, especially at three years old. " There is no earthly good reason for it at all. Friends can be found anywhere, academics are best left until later, family bonds and attachments are best not broken at this young age...

The only thing kids in preschool really 'learn' earlier than non-preschooled-peers is how to line up. Plus, there are studies that show the earlier 'school' starts, the more social problems kids have in the long run (aggressive behaviours, etc) -- in large part probably because of the peer-oriented attachments it fosters.

Anyway, read that book.

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#7 of 23 Old 05-05-2008, 04:52 PM
 
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If you do not want to send him, don't! I think it is far more important to have that time at home with family. My son is almost three and it continually surprises me the things he picks up on. He is so impressionable, and I don't want him in an environment where I really have no idea what is being taught or said to him. Not that school is bad, but three is so very YOUNG for it! Why can't we just let our kids be kids for awhile before we start the school frenzy?
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#8 of 23 Old 05-05-2008, 10:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you thank you thank you Mamas for all the great advice!!!! I really really appreciate it so much! I want to do what is best for my son and what feels right in my heart.

I told my mil tonight that we are going to hold off and she couldn't help herself by telling me that it was the wrong choice...

thanks again Mamas!!!

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#9 of 23 Old 05-06-2008, 12:17 AM
 
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sounds like you've made up your mind, but can i add one thing? i was just reading in the christopherus waldorf kindergaten-age (3-7) homeschooling book i was given (yea!). donna simmons was funny in saying that the waldorf kindergarten was modeled on the home environment and now parents are trying to model their home on the waldorf kindergarten. she was saying that noone needs a home school program for kinderg. as long as they keep a nice rhythm in their home and have a repetoire of stories, songs, verses, etc, but she wrote the book for those that want it.

home is where it's at!!

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#10 of 23 Old 05-06-2008, 12:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks Mama Where can I get more info on that??? Are there exact suggestions??? Thank you

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#11 of 23 Old 05-06-2008, 01:30 AM
 
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I went to Montessori at that age. And I LOVED it.

It's not like the kid goes all day. It's normally 2 to 3 hours a day 3 to 5 days a week. I remember it being a really fun time. It was nice to spend time in a different place with different toys.

So personally, we'll send DD when she gets to that age.

But - I don't think it's necessary. I think that kids can get plenty of social interaction other ways.
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#12 of 23 Old 05-06-2008, 01:38 AM
 
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Our co-op preschool is totally nonacademic, a short day and well, I get to stay as long as I want every day if desired...

PERFECT for my little one who wants CONSTANT friends over to the house (and a Mom who is a bit messy and scatterbrained about inviting people over)

Necessary? No WAY! But our commute is a 4 minute walk... my 17 month old son plays with the toys during drop off and I get to spend a few minutes chatting with the other parents.

Great experience for us! And we've all made a bunch of friends. If our choices weren't great? we'd keep her home and I'd get off my butt and become more social (and clean the house for company)
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#13 of 23 Old 05-06-2008, 07:45 AM
 
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I balked at sending my first but ended up doing 2 mornings a week ( 2 1/2hrs per day) He LOVED it ... new toys new activities new skills. All 3 of mine have started they year they turned 3 No I wasnt ready but they had tons of fun and made new friends and so did I. If you MIL is paying I would give it a try in the fall.

Jeana Christian momma to 4 sons Logan 18, Connor 15, Nathan 6, and bonus baby Jack 1
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#14 of 23 Old 05-07-2008, 01:10 AM
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It sounds to me like you really do not want to send him. I think you should keep him home, involve him in a few actiavities and find a play group if you don't already have one. Not only is it the best thing you can do for him, parents who still value their right to homeschool need to exercise it, because the government is infringing on it more and more and would like to have every child in their care.
I'm sure your ML will feel better if you talk to her about it
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#15 of 23 Old 05-14-2008, 03:32 PM
 
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i think the website is just http://www.christopherushomeschool.org/ . hopefully that works. there's also http://www.waldorf-at-home.com/forum...isplay.php?f=2 or something like that--google would pull it up.
hth!

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#16 of 23 Old 05-14-2008, 03:39 PM
 
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Phooey! Millions and millions of children have grown up without any preschool, early education, enrichment programs and have been more than adequately prepared for life. Socialization is NOT being with a bunch of people your own age in an unnatural setting (school). It is growing up with a variety of people, all ages, all walks of life, doing all different kinds of things, ect. Personally I think more harm than good comes out of MOST (NOT all!!!) preschool settings. The children are less supervised than they would be at home, giving less opportunities for learning, are exposed to more germs/illnesses, and also exposed to things you may not want him/her to learn quite yet.
Furthermore, many preschools have a major focus on 'early education' which means the kids spend less time free playing (what they SHOULD be doing at 3-4-5) and more time with structured crafts/games/work sheets/ect.
Let him play. Answer his questions. Expose him to things you find interesting. Follow his lead on things HE finds interesting. Put books around the house, go to the library. Get outside a ton. Play with nature. He will be more than fine!
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#17 of 23 Old 05-14-2008, 03:43 PM
 
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It sounds like you just need reassurance for a decision you already made in your heart. I never sent my ds to preschool (he's 4 1/2 and starting in the fall for the first time), he wasn't ready, I didn't like the schools in the area, etc. My dd on the other hand, is almost 2 and is considerably more social, loves to interact with kids, and since I am in school (getting my MBA) and have had a hard time finding reliable sitters, she is going to go 3 hours a day 3x's a week. I was petrified to do it, but found such a great little school, so warm, so inviting, they bake and sing songs and do tons of art and the kids were so happy so I decided to do it, its a new experience for me, but I think it will work out (like my dh says "its only 9 hours a week" and that is what made me realize that I was freaking out for such a little bit of time)

But as you can see, I made different decisions for different kids without listening to the outside world!

good luck!
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#18 of 23 Old 05-14-2008, 04:04 PM
 
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We plan on homeschooling our children and will start going to homeschool drop in's around town and making homeschool friends when ds is 3, the usual age for preschool. I think this is a good time as most of his friends aren't going to be homeschooled and will start preschool. I don't want him to feel left out but and I'd like to give him a version of 'school' even if its only going to a class once a week.
I hear of lots of kids that are screaming to go to school just because all their friends are, so I want to avoid that.

When I heard that kids in Finland don't start any school until they are 7 years old and they have a extremly low drop out rate and high test scores, its given me even more argument on keeping my kids home past 3 years old.
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#19 of 23 Old 05-14-2008, 04:53 PM
 
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It all depends on the child. Our ds was a child who would have happily been at home until he was 5 with no preschool. Our dd is an extrovert and we simply cannot meet her social needs at home.

So no, preschool isn't necessary. It can be nice. It can be good for a child who is needing the outside socialization. And you might want to think about this when he turns 4.

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#20 of 23 Old 05-14-2008, 05:09 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Himom View Post
My point is you should do what you think is best for your DS and your family. Parenting is not a democracy, other people don't get to decide for your DS.
Follow your gut. Your DS will be fine at home for another year.

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#21 of 23 Old 05-14-2008, 06:17 PM
 
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Just a side note, the great thing about preschool is they never "have" to go. It's not like primary school where they need a doctor's note.

I would be nervous with my 3 y/o in a high school too.
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#22 of 23 Old 05-15-2008, 01:03 AM
 
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I agree with what everyone else has said. Just wanted to add, that I do think some type of preschool or Mother's Day Out is very beneficial prior to going to kinder. But age 4 is fine for that too.

If you are homeschooling, thats a different ball of wax. But as someone who works in a school, the kiddos that didn't have ANY school like experiences before kinder on the whole tend to have a rough time adjusting. Its hard to leave mom for the first time ever for a whole day all week long. KWIM?

If you can put him in a Mother's Day Out or preschool for a few hours a couple of times a week the year prior to kinder, I think it will ease his transition. Again, just my opinion.

XOXO
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#23 of 23 Old 05-15-2008, 05:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you Mamas so very very much for all the great posts!!! i really really appreciate it so very much! Thank you for taking the time to help me with this! I am going to follow what my gut says and what feels right for him.

Thank you again!

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