Let's talk about preschool - Mothering Forums
Learning at School > Let's talk about preschool
peaceful_mama's Avatar peaceful_mama 08:15 PM 02-01-2011

Doesn't matter what kind, as long as we are talking a preschool with adults actively involved in children's learning and a little bit of structure that prepares them for kindy at least.


If you have done preschool with one and gone on to NOT do it with other children, especially, I'd like to hear what you thought was good and bad about each.


My DS1, now 6, started preschool a few months after his 3rd birthday.  He tested as dev. delayed, and I wasn't sure if he might need speech services.  He never did have that, but I think he did benefit greatly from being in a good program.  He's now in K and loves it, does VERY well academically, and has a few particular friends.  (that's his personality)


My DD just turned 4 and has one more school year before K.  She tests "above average" on the same test DS1 did.  I have NO concerns about her academic abilities, social skills, or ability to separate from me.


The thing I regret is school was 4 half days a week from the time DS1 started, no shorter week for 3's or anything.

Now that I have had DD home with DS2 (age 2) and I see how adorable they are playing together and how well they get along, I really feel DS1 missed out on something important there.  Until recently, he didn't get along with DD at all (2 year age difference) but little brother is a 'baby' and so he's always been really kind to him.  (there's also the youngest baby, now 2 months)


So....I am trying to decide about preschool for DD.  My concerns about transitioning to kindergarten are basically that I think it would be a huge adjustment to go from full-time days at home straight to full days at school, also, school would be *very* structured compared to home. 


Do I just suck it up and realize that it'll be an easier transition for ME too (on missing her, and her siblings later!)  if I send them to the same half-day 4 day a week deal for one year?


I think that's part of it, DS had 2 full years--the years he turned 4 and 5 plus that half year when he was 3.  That *is* a long time.  I DID give up a LOT of his early years...and honestly, I think he would've gotten to the same point with time to grow and one year of school...as far as kindergarten success.


Tell me about your experiences!

Emmeline II's Avatar Emmeline II 10:15 AM 02-02-2011

My state doesn't have universal K so it is fairly common for children to go into K with no previous schooling; neither my children nor their cousins that live here have been to K. Ds could read at a second grade level (a bit of an anomaly) and could write by K. We are working with dd a bit on reading now, she watches leap frog a couple of times a week, and I plan on working with her a little on writing this summer. I think adjustment to K has more to do with their personality than anything else.

Alyantavid's Avatar Alyantavid 10:38 AM 02-02-2011

Originally Posted by Emmeline II View Post

 I think adjustment to K has more to do with their personality than anything else.

I do too.  Having said that, both my boys did 2 years of preschool (ds2 is finishing his last year now) then went on to full day kindergarten.  DS1 did amazingly transitioning to kindergarten.  DS2, I know will have a harder time.  They've both been in daycare since they were infants, both done the same preschool, etc.  But they're just different kids.


I have no idea what it's like to go from being home all day to going to school all day.  Mine are used to being away from me during the day so there won't be that aspect of it.  But kindergarten is a huge change from everything, so it may take some getting used to.

bananababies's Avatar bananababies 08:12 PM 02-02-2011

I'm interested in hearing more on this.  We're really struggling with what to do with my dd.  She's 4 1/2 and has never been to any sort of preschool/daycare.  I believe that our K is only full days.  She's very bright, but I worry that the jump to full day K is going to be very difficult.  I have no idea regarding how many of her peers will have been in daycare/preschool, but I suspect many will have.  I don't want her to be the only one who hasn't done "school" yet and be "behind".  I can't decide whether I just want to homeschool her next year or put her in public K. 

bananababies's Avatar bananababies 08:17 PM 02-02-2011

Sorry, I didn't mean to hijack this and start talking about kindergarten - what I meant to ask was l if we do decide to put her in public k next year, should we put her in preschool/daycare now to help her prepare?

Joe'sMama's Avatar Joe'sMama 08:48 PM 02-15-2011

DS1 is 3 and in his first true year of preschool, so I can't comment on the coulda woulda shouldas, but I can tell you what I like about the program that he is in. Our school is a nonprofit co-op and the class for his age group meets two mornings a week. Next year we'll meet three times a week, and if we take an optional 'pre-K' year, it'd be four. It is a play-based school so while there is a definite rhythym to the day (circle times, turn-based activities, snack time, etc.) there is a lot of space for creative, free play. Some of the discussion during circle time has turned to things like numbers and the alphabet and dinosaurs, and some of the centers around the room that open up during free play build toward skills pre-literacy and science, but at there are no handwriting worksheets, no sign language lessons, nothing is forced. He is learning to navigate social connections and how to operate in a classroom setting. Because it is a co-op school, parents work in the classroom on a rotating basis (helping to run the workbench or craft table). I end up in the classroom about once a month, and really value being able to observe him interacting with with his peers, teachers and other adults. I love it really just so, so much, people have to talk me down about why anyone would choose anything but a co-op.

Aeress's Avatar Aeress 08:20 AM 02-16-2011

I wouldn't expect every child entering kindergarten to have had daycare or preschool, though it is more common as school districts offer pre-k classes. If you think your child would enjoy pre-k, preschool, daycare- sure, go ahead and send them, but I don't believe it is necessary for children entering kindy to have had "prior experience."


My older two attended pre-k through our local school district and loved it. They had an amazing teacher and it was a great experience for both of them. We homeschool, so I try to give the kids experiences outside of the home but at the same time, my littlest will be 4 this fall and it would really break up our day having to transport her to and from school everyday. So, I am torn. I am not considered with the academics of preschool, she will get that at home through play, but the social part would be great for her. She is outgoing and very self assured.


meetoo's Avatar meetoo 05:16 AM 02-18-2011

My oldest two are in 2nd and k. My oldest went to one year at a highly regarded co-op preschool, my son didn't attend preschool. I really don't think preschool "prepared" my dd for K. If anything I think it made K a disappointment because preschool was so fun and K is so not in our district. I loved my DD's preschool though and can't say I regret sending her.  With my son him starting school was a pretty sudden decision (we had been homeschooling) and he is on the younger end for our cut off.  He adjusted wonderfully though. He was/is sooooo excited to be a "big kid" that goes to school. He loves the bus, his teacher, his friends, little class parties, gym! LOL He comes home very excited everyday. I will also say academically he was more prepared, but that could just be him.  Oh and we have 1/2 day K that might be a factor with the ease of transition. I imagine full days might be harder.  For my youngest in my ideal world she would be home with me until she starts K. Mainly because I just feel kids are rushed to grow up to fast. Just let the be, they will spend 12+ years in school as it is.  However, I need to go back to work so I doubt my ideal will happen. ;/