HS-ers: Do you send your kids to preschool? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-23-2006, 07:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I have 3.5yo twin boys I plan to hs as an unschooler, and I feel we're already on our way. I currently have no interest in sending them to preschool, as I don't see the point. However, this summer they attended parks/rec "camps" for 2 hours a day/4 days a week. They attended animal camp, then dinosaur camp, and now they are in cooking camp. They have had a great time, which makes me think twice about preschool. Is there any benefit? Is preschool anti-hs? I'd love to hear opinions.
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Old 07-23-2006, 11:30 AM
 
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I did send my dd when she was 4-5,and very much regret it.We did it mainly to have her be with others.She had to tolerate a lot of teasing/bully behavior,boring academics,and limited time to play. In the end the friendships ended once she stopped going.

I still sign up the kids for ceratin day classes,but they can leave anytime they want.
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Old 07-23-2006, 11:34 AM
 
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And I plan to send neither to preschool. I think the activities that you signed them up for sound great and you might continue to watch for little programs like that. I think a lot of preschool is teaching kids how to "behave" in regular school.
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Old 07-23-2006, 11:35 AM
 
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Maybe there are some fabulous play-only preschools out there, but I haven't seen one. All the preschools here are kindargarden-prep. The three year olds attend 2 days a week, but the 4 year olds attend 3 days a week, to better get them ready for Kindy. And the 4 year olds get homework, for the same reason : No thanks.
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Old 07-23-2006, 11:39 AM
 
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There is a "Parent's Day Out" program at our Y one day a week for ages 2-5, and I do intend to take ds there *most* weeks once he turns two. Not for him, but because dd & I could really use some concentrated one on one time. It's the only non-academic program I've found, and I really like that you don't have to commit to more than one day or even anything but week to week. I didn't send dd to preschool, though, because there was no need for time w/ an older child.

Kash, homeschooling mommy to Gillian (8/5/00) and Jacob (3/23/05)
and Brigid Eleanor (11/20/08)
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Old 07-23-2006, 11:42 AM
 
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I think the camps sound awesome! Preschool, not so much. Never did preschool, well when my older dd became preschool age, I announced to nosy parkers and family alike that we were doing homeschool-preschool in answer to "why isn't she in preschool?"

Personally, as an unschooler, I did not see value to any institutionalized school setting, and in particular I believe that very young children should be with their families as much as possible if at all possible. But then again, from what I hear, some preschools are probably pretty fun, dunno?

If you think your dc need outside activities, I say, stay with the camps, try some library programs, maybe dance or gymnastics. Homeschool play/support group has been a big part of our lives for years now, maybe you could find one to join. Good Luck in your journer, go with you gut.
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Old 07-23-2006, 12:16 PM
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Our town in California ran a great preschool program through parks and rec. It was two or three times a week (two times for 3 year old, three for 4 year olds), for 3 hours each time, and they played and went to the park and painted... the stuff I remember doing in preschool when I used to go. It was much fun for the kids and it gave the parents some time to do non-little-kid stuff. If it makes them happy...

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Old 07-23-2006, 01:01 PM
 
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I send my youngest 3 kids to a home based french preschool and it is fabulous. They go one day a week so that I can have some uninterrupted time with my eldest (usually we go to our favourite cafe and play chess and drink a huge pot of tea - it's heaven). The preschool 'program' is wonderful with a strong waldorf base and is very AP/crunchy.

I did a more traditional preschool with my eldest the year my twins were born. With the benefit of hindsight I wouldn't do that again.

I think if you can find the right program for your kids it can be a good thing.
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Old 07-23-2006, 01:50 PM
 
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No, we didn't send our now 5-year old nor are we sending our 2 1/2 year old. Ds#2 actually qualified for a speech program that was basically a glorified preschool (3 days a week, 3 hours a day - for a 2 year old!), and we told them that we hs'd and needed something that was only speech. We do keep busy and the kids are getting intereaction with other kids though our hs/friend group (so happens that a few of our friends also hs and we do park day 1x a week), library story time, and Mom&Me roller skating.

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Old 07-23-2006, 02:35 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doula and mom
They have had a great time, which makes me think twice about preschool. Is there any benefit? Is preschool anti-hs? I'd love to hear opinions.
I think it depends what you want. My dds were in a montessori preschool this past spring while I was on bedrest with my pregnancy. It wasn't awful, but the schedule got annoying (my oldest is NOT a morning person), and it ate up the best part of the day. I couldn't do much with them while I was on bedrest, but if I could have, the school's hours would have prevented us from doing much else, or hooking up with the local homeschooling community.

The montessori school didn't put any real academic pressure on them, but I wasn't thrilled with aspects of the montessori method (in particular the hands off approach the directress takes).

In the end, I prefer choosing specific classes (i.e. dance, art, swimming, etc...) to preschool. It gives us more freedom and is cheaper too.

Ellen
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Old 07-23-2006, 03:10 PM
 
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We did not see any need or value in sending our dd to preschool.
I'd look at what your children like about the camps and maybe there are other ways to supply that without preschool.

Kim ~mom to one awesome dd (12)

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Old 07-23-2006, 06:05 PM
 
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We sent ds to two years of a fabulous play only preschool, with awesome teachers and the most flexible environment you could imagine. He had some great times and really enjoyed it. But in the end I wish we hadn't sent him.
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Old 07-23-2006, 06:21 PM
 
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We're going to feel out the local co-op pre-school. The nice thing is we can do just one day a week for 2 hours. And the parents run the school and are required to be there a fair amount. Also you can CHOOSE to be there as much as your child wants you there or you want to be there. So you can go with your kid, feel it out, and see if it is a nice crowd.
If it's not working, you just stop going and you get your money back at a pro-rated amount.
Easy enough.
I see this as a "fun" activity in our week and have no "academic" expectations. I have lots of fun materials and activities for us to do pre-school LEARNING at home.

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Old 07-23-2006, 11:30 PM
 
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I have no regrets for not sending my kids to preschool, I am glad I didn't.
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Old 07-24-2006, 02:17 AM
 
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Nope, didn't send them to preschool. I know homeschoolers that did- depends on the person's individual situation.

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Old 07-24-2006, 05:04 AM
 
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I sent my eldest to preschool (she is 6 in Sept) and I regret it. I'm not sending her younger sibs for sure.

At the time she went I hadn't decided to HS and was very laidback and open to suggestion. Because she was bright and social I thought she "needed" preschool. I feel like an idiot as she started the week she turned THREE what an idiot I am!!! What was I thinking?????

She picked up alot of negative socialization, not because her preschool was evil in anyway, the teachers were very loving and dedicated. It is just the nature of being in a crowd of same age peers. Cliques and hierarchies start forming very quickly. My dd immediately became besotted with a girl 6 months older who was very emotionally manipulative and who liked to ignore or exclude dd to retain power over her. I couldn't believe I was witnessing that stuff, I thought that was for teenagers.

Unfortunately my 2nd dd was very ill for about a year and I had to keep my eldest dd in TWO programs for a while because I was spending so much time at the hospital. I agree that it's different for each family, but there is absolutely no reason why they need to be in preschool. They just begin "training" them for future repression as far as I can tell, even with the best of intentions...

Keep them close to you and in the bosom and heart of the family.

My dd is still her lively social self but she has very positive relationships with her sibs which her schooled friends don't.
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Old 07-25-2006, 03:38 PM
 
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I don't really think preschool is necessary either. My son shows no sign of needing such an experience, but we have decided to start him in a Montessori preschool for 2X 3 hrs a week. Our decision to do this is almost entirely linguistic. We live abroad and don't see any other good way to integrate him into the language...and the culture for that matter. We feel very good about the *teachers*, but I'm still a bundle of nerves. It breaks my heart to put him in a group of his peers at this stage. From a language-learning perspective, however, this truly is the best time.

Luckily, homeschooling is perfectly legal where we live (even though nobody does it)...so that choice will always be open to us.

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Old 07-26-2006, 12:36 AM
 
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We send our ds to a Montessori preschool, and we have been really happy with his experience. The drive time is an inconvenience and an added expense. But we really like his school.

His teachers know that we will be homeschooling. I don't feel any of that "getting them ready for school" pressure.

Ds needs structure, and I am still a work in progress. I still feel like I need another year to get my act together before we start homeschooling. His Montessori preschool provides the structure that we both need for the time being.
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Old 07-26-2006, 02:30 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebethmom

Ds needs structure.
Not being snarky, truly, please believe me. However, I don't get this statement for a small child, I just don't. Okay, I get structure in general, but I don't get any "institutionalized structure" for such young children, kwim? I guess I may be reading more emphasis on the word "needs" than is really intended but I dunno?

My thoughts are that our current society stresses the importance of institutionalized structure on us so much that we feel anxious when we do not conform and accomplished when we do conform.

Don't mind me, I need to go to bed.
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Old 07-26-2006, 03:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by shaywyn
, I get structure in general, but I don't get any "institutionalized structure" for such young children, kwim? I guess I may be reading more emphasis on the word "needs" than is really intended but I dunno?
Here's the long version. We moved a year ago, and the stress level in our household was beyond belief. On top of dh starting a new job, I was looking for work here while driving 2 hours to work in the community that we had just left. Boxes were stacked everywhere. Dd was teething and not sleeping at all. Life changes, like moving, send me into a tailspin. Someday I hope to make it through a move without depression.

When I say that ds needed more structure, I mean that he needed an alert adult who could do more for him than turn on the TV.

I certainly don't believe that every young child needs institutionalized structure. In our particular situation, the morning routine of ds's Montessori school is what we were looking for.
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Old 07-26-2006, 10:17 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doula and mom
s there any benefit?
If your kids have fun there, that's a benefit. However, a drawback is that most (if not all) of your kids' friends will then go on to school. If you're interested in preschool, how about organizing a homeschool co-op?

Quote:
Is preschool anti-hs?
I think so, because I think it sets up the dynamic of peer dependency and introduces/perpetuates the idea that learning is something you go away to do at school.

Namaste!
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Old 07-26-2006, 11:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ebethmom

When I say that ds needed more structure, I mean that he needed an alert adult who could do more for him than turn on the TV.

.
I apologize for causing you hurt. : I just hear those phrases thrown out so easily by so many of my acquaintances, kwim? "my two yr old needs structure" "My three yr old needs socialization" I didn't mean to assume that anyone who utters those ideas is wrong. Thank you for sharing your personal situation.

I am not so judgemental about daycare or preschool as a family choice. I was just nitpicking the semantics in the middle of the night, I guess.
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Old 07-26-2006, 11:57 AM
 
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we sent our 4 year old son last Fall when we were thinking about hs and pulled him out after a few months. We were paying for play time. I feel like the activities we had him in (swimming lessons, skating lessons and hockey for fun) and regular playdates were enough for the socialization aspect of it. He wasn't learning anything that he didn't already know. I had nothing against the preschool itself. The preschool environment just didn't jive with our hs train of thought. And DS took it really well.
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Old 07-26-2006, 12:11 PM
 
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Did it with the first two and realized it wasn't needed. The third child has never been in any sort of classroom other than sunday school...which is sorta funny cuz her SundaySchool isn't your traditional sit in rows and behave kind of program. It's a loud in your face jumping up and down kinda thing.....and dd thinks school is like that.
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Old 07-26-2006, 01:23 PM
 
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We plan to home-educate when my son reached the age of 5/6.

He is three now (has ASD) and he will attend a developmental day center beginning next month. The majority of the kids at the center have IEPs but there are quite a few who are NT. For example - his class will have about 15 kids and 6 of those children will be NT. Three "teachers" in the room at all times as well as any therapists that come for a child's OT, ST, etc. - parents are always welcome to volunteer in and out of the class.

I am not certain but I imagine that if DS were NT we wold not be sending him to any form of preschool.
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Old 07-26-2006, 01:37 PM
 
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I don't think preschool is anti-homeschool. Your home-education style is whatever you make it. Personally, if I could afford wonderful childcare (school or otherwise) for my toddler a few hours a week, I'd do that and keep it up for several years. It would allow me to do more with my older boys.

For me, doing that would require: 1-we still have the majority of our days together (so, definitely not full days or even every day) because spending a lot of time with each other is a big reaosn we hs
2-the school/childcare providers need to really deeply respect the kids and not have an academic agenda for them
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Old 07-26-2006, 01:43 PM
 
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My youngest hser never went to preschool. but she goes to 1/2 day art camp programs and other various little programs through the year. I don't have a problem with respectful, fun programs. I wouldn't have any problems with a nice part time preschool a child loved. I don't have one near me that I wanted to use, but I might have had I found one.
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Old 07-26-2006, 02:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onlyzombiecat
We did not see any need or value in sending our dd to preschool.
I'd look at what your children like about the camps and maybe there are other ways to supply that without preschool.
:
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Old 07-26-2006, 02:31 PM
 
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If you choose to use camp-type programs for preschoolers, be careful. SOme of those camp programs can be much more corwded and far less kind than a nice little coop preschool or something. I have seen a lot of terrible interactions at camps.

I don't see any difference between a 'nice' little camp program and a 'nice' litte preschool program.
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Old 07-26-2006, 03:09 PM
 
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Of course, its a personal decision, but I'm in the camp that believes preschool is anti-homeschool. Public schools used to start with grade 1. Now they officially start with kindergarten, but how many ps-children do you know that haven't attended preschool? In my part of the world, public school really begins at age 3. To me, that is so sad.
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