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#1 of 20 Old 02-24-2011, 04:30 AM - Thread Starter
 
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DD will be 4 in September but she has a full two more years at home with me (she misses the kindergarten cut-off by 10 days).  Everyone her age is either in preschool already or will be starting in the fall.  I'm really torn about this.  I don't feel that 2 years of preschool is necessary for her or most kids.  Academically, I think she can learn everything she needs to learn here.  She is involved in gymnastics and she is asking to take swimming lessons.  If she goes to preschool in the fall, I'm not sure she would be able to do those things (for both financial and time reasons).  Also, I'm not ready for her to have a whole lot of outside influence on her-peers, other adults etc.  I get that this is going to happen eventually but I'm not sure it needs to happen now.

 

On the other hand, socially, I do think she needs some preschool before kindergarten.  I think she'll need the practice of being away from home before kindergarten (especially since it is full day here).  I think she'll need practice working with other kids, making friends,

etc.  I'm just not sure that she needs 2 years of this.

 

Any thoughts?  Am I the only one who doesn't think 2 years is necessary?  Am I way off base?

 

The only other question/thought I have is that my DD is a hitter-will preschool help with that?  If so, I'd be way more willing to send her in the fall, as this is an issue we've been working on for over a year and still not getting anywhere.


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#2 of 20 Old 02-24-2011, 05:10 AM
 
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How are you dealing the the hitting so far?

DS is doing 2 years of preschool. I don't think he 'needs' it academically or anything but it's fun for him and a break for me. The time commitment is not great. It's 3 mornings a week. Then we alternate gymnastics and swimming. He'd rather school + one activity than 2 activities + no school.

I see no disadvantage to preschool.

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#3 of 20 Old 02-24-2011, 06:33 AM
 
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Pre-school isn't necessary for every child. I don't think practice for full day K is necessary either; it will still be an adjustment to go to K. We don't have universal pre-K here and none of the children in our family were in school before K (full day); dh said that it looked like ds was the only one not crying and I'm sure that many of those children had been in care or pre-school judging by the number of such facilities around here. Unless they have a disability (ds has problems with social reciprocity and pragmatics), a child can learn how to work with others and make friends just by being around other children; my 4yo dd is doing just fine with that having just having one dance class a week (though she's always done well with cooperative play), and ds stills struggles with that after 2yrs of school and 6mo of therapy. If you think she needs help with the hitting issue, you could take her to a cognitive behavioral therapist which would likely be less of a time and financial commitment.

 

Though there may be reasons you or your dd want pre-school, I don't think she will automatically be at a disadvantage if she only has 1 year or none at all.


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#4 of 20 Old 02-24-2011, 07:22 AM
 
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No, preschool isn't neccessary but the right school can be fun. My eldest did only a year of preschool and only 2 days a week. It was more than enough for her to experience being away from mom and getting along with other children. My youngest went to 2 years of preschool because he was intensely social and had an unusually high need for constant interaction. Frankly, I was going crazy at home and he was falling apart. He ran into this preschool class one day at the park/community center and was so enthralled that I enrolled him on the spot. It was the best thing for him.... for us really.

 

If you guys are doing well at home, save your money and enjoy your time.

 

The hitting, it may or may not help. Hitters often get hit back in preschool. That does make some kids stop. To others, it makes them lash out more. Firm bounderies and expectations along with old-fashioned maturity will help too.


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#5 of 20 Old 02-24-2011, 07:47 AM
 
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At that age, both of my dc were at a Montessori program half-days and they had a great time. Necessary? Not really, but there were a lot of benefits for them. 

 

Regarding the hitting - it's important to discuss this upfront with the pre-school and find out how they manage these kinds of issues. They may have little tolerance and ability to work with a child who hits. Their solution may be to ask your dd to leave the program. Or they may use discipline methods that you don't agree with. OTOH, you may find that they have a good approach and that it does help your dd. You won't know until you explore the issue with them. 

 

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#6 of 20 Old 02-24-2011, 09:37 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

Firm bounderies and expectations along with old-fashioned maturity will help too.

Agree with this. Hitting here is a HUGE deal (my kids are 2 and 4). There are very serious consequences for it. The last time DS (4) hit me, it was about an hour long ordeal (some of it he spent alone, some more time of us talking, some time with him talking with his dad alone). We didn't leave the house for about a week afterwards without more talk about the even more serious consequences that would follow if he did it again.

You may already be treating it that seriously though, IDK. I just notice some people seem to do the whole 'no consequence' thing around here which makes no sense to me.

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#7 of 20 Old 02-24-2011, 11:20 AM
 
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Do I think 2 yrs of preschool is needed- No. But do kids benefit, yes- if you have a good program. 

 

Often at 3 kids go twice a week and then at 4 go 3-5 days a week (1/2) days and then all day K. It is a nice transition from 5 hours or so a week to 15 or so hours to 36 hours over three years.

 

We do a lot of things at preschool that some kids do not do at home. Lots of painting, cutting skills, games, foods, and different materials that they may not get to use. Plus at age 3- kids learn a lot of social skills and start to play together. At 4, those social skills get refined and a lot of PreK skills are introduced (letters, sounds, numbers, etc). The goals for each age range are different and are reflected in the curriculum.

 

 

Ditto below. I teach at a preschool. Some kids that we are told hit at home do not at preschool. We do work with parents/kids on it. If it is mild we deal with it. But a chronic hitter that may harm other children and does not respond to the discipline we use (natural concequences, removal from group, removal from activity, etc) may be asked to leave the program. But it would need to be addressed. Some programs have a 'three strikes your out' type set up. Basically, depends on the frequency, age (more common with 3s than with 4s), intent (impulse or meant to hurt), and strength of the hitting and its response to intervention.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ollyoxenfree View Post

 

Regarding the hitting - it's important to discuss this upfront with the pre-school and find out how they manage these kinds of issues. They may have little tolerance and ability to work with a child who hits. Their solution may be to ask your dd to leave the program. Or they may use discipline methods that you don't agree with. OTOH, you may find that they have a good approach and that it does help your dd. You won't know until you explore the issue with them. 

 



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#8 of 20 Old 02-25-2011, 05:27 AM
 
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I work at a public preschool, and my daughter attends 4 days a week, in the afternoons. She is three, and she'll go again next year at age 4. It's definitely not necessary at her age, but I do think that if you plan to enroll her in a full day kindergarten she needs at least one year of preschool. That wouldn't have been my opinion before I had a kindergartener. He didn't go to preschool, but we basically homeschooled for it, so thankfully he wasn't behind. Kindergarten is pretty much the new first grade, and missing preschool would be a big problem for some kids.

 

Hitting would NOT be allowed in our preschool. We are extremely strict about children hurting other children. We would certainly nip hitting in the bud, and probably pretty quickly, but we would expect the parents to be as equally strict about it at home. Our is a special education preschool (DD is there as a peer model) so we deal with many behavior issues from many different kids.

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#9 of 20 Old 02-25-2011, 05:28 AM
 
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I think preschool can be skipped.I did it with my dd and it was lame.Skipped it for my ds.Dealing with poorly behaved children, forced boring activities,and diseases.

 

I know some cite preschool to prepare for the rountine of K,but what will prepare for the routine of preschool? Maybe a day here and there,but if you are getting out and about in other areas then I think preschool is a waste of money.

 

Some also say that preschool kids are smarter and follow rules better,but it really does not take long in K for kids of all backgrounds to learn the rules and master new learning taught to them.

 

Try it if you want but move on if you do not like it.I would not bother with it for future kids of my own.

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#10 of 20 Old 02-25-2011, 12:50 PM
 
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We don't attend an academic preschool and I wouldn't choose one. I also wouldn't choose one with with junky toys, preformatted art projects, "discipline" and other things which I don't think result in a high quality experience. So, yeah, probably the majority of preschools are not ones I would value for my child. If you can find a great school it can be a wonderful and enriching place for your child.

 

Our is play-based Reggio and frankly it is wonderful. To me, the value is in socialization with peers, finding similar aged children to play with outside of school, taking direction from a non-caregiver, learning to follow routine, learning to use the potty/eat snack/wash hands etc. and having access to really wonderful art supplies, play materials, a gorgeous garden, and become a more physical and independent person. (Montessori was my first choice but I couldn't find a great program locally)>

 

Being a SAHP or having a nanny or having a daycare aren't the same things and don't replicate the high quality preschool experience. You can believe in the value of preschool or not, you can afford it or not, but it is not replicated by other care situations.

 

I can't really address one or two years other than to say, locally, if you don't apply for an earlier slot you will never, ever get a slot for a single year.

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#11 of 20 Old 03-04-2011, 11:18 AM
 
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Originally Posted by whatsnextmom View Post

 

If you guys are doing well at home, save your money and enjoy your time.

 

I totally agree.  We aren't doing preschool--there isn't any benefit to it that my lo can't get by being at home with me.

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#12 of 20 Old 03-04-2011, 11:35 AM
 
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I work at a public preschool,]We are extremely strict about children hurting other children. We would certainly nip hitting in the bud, and probably pretty quickly, but we would expect the parents to be as equally strict about it at home. 

 

This quote from a preschool teacher really bothers me for some reason. I'm not sure if it's how it was meant to come across but I read it as "since your child is in preschool now we, the teachers, are in control of your child and we expect you to duplicate our rules at home because we're now the experts on your child therefore your style of parenting and the rules in your home no longer apply". 

 

My kid's preschool teacher was always quick to thank parents for allowing their children to share some of their time with her. I would head for the hills if any school tried to dictate our rules at home.

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#13 of 20 Old 03-05-2011, 06:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elus0814 View Post



 

This quote from a preschool teacher really bothers me for some reason. I'm not sure if it's how it was meant to come across but I read it as "since your child is in preschool now we, the teachers, are in control of your child and we expect you to duplicate our rules at home because we're now the experts on your child therefore your style of parenting and the rules in your home no longer apply". 

 

My kid's preschool teacher was always quick to thank parents for allowing their children to share some of their time with her. I would head for the hills if any school tried to dictate our rules at home.



I read it as the school has a responsibility to all children to keep them safe, and they will expect the parents to help, assist, backup the efforts of the school to do so. I am the mother of a hitter and I recognise the other children have probably more right to be safe than my child has to attend whatever activity it is. Of course they should expect to change their behavior and expect to have our support in doing it.

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#14 of 20 Old 03-06-2011, 09:00 AM
 
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We actually found a preschool that's receptive to the idea that DD already reads, does basic arithmetic, etc. The problem I saw when visiting preschools for her is that I didn't want her sitting in a circle with someone saying, "this is the letter B. Can you think of a B word?" She's well past that academically, and she's a talker. That seemed like a recipe for disaster, so I really shied away from preschools that tried to replicate elementary school. We did find one that's mostly play based but also focuses on learning independent skills (taking off your own snow gear, for instance). They have a list of "the 10 most important things to learn in preschool." None are academic. They work on the independence part and on modeling social behaviors. During the academic portion of the day, the teacher helps each child with what s/he needs, so DD will get basic readers while another child may be drawing letters with her finger in the sand table.

 

From the social side, preschool can help with learning socially acceptable behaviors, but I think that shorter programs, like mother's morning out, can do that as well. If you're concerned about the long amounts of time that your dd would be away from you, then I'd consider that route. It gives her 2-3 days of a few hours to work on interacting with others. I will say that my son didn't pick up bad behaviors in preschool. Kindergarten has been interesting in that he's really out of the loop on pop culture. He came home and asked who Justin Bieber is, so I Googled him and showed DS a video. That was enough. He just needed to know for reference from the other kids' conversations, but he doesn't really care to *know* about Bieber. I think that for many kids the "peer influence" piece is a bit over-blown in that you're still the greatest influence on your child. We have had the chance to reinforce our family's values, such as the idea that he doesn't have a TV in his room because we oppose it and why. Those experiences are good & useful imo.


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#15 of 20 Old 03-07-2011, 12:24 PM
 
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I had two kids that did pre-k for just the year before K. I was HIGHLY considering not having my dd do any preschool, but with a fall birthday, she missed the school cut-off. I figure at the age of 5 that pre-k would give her something new to do.

I have another child, that I started pre-k in at 2 1/2.

 

There is absolutely no need for 2 years of pre-school. I had plenty of socialization items for my girls. While my son goes to pre-school, there are just as many days he'd rather stay home and interact with me.  He hasn't had as many changes for extra-curriculars as the girls had when they were young.

Really, this all depends on what you want to do.

 

In regards to hitting, for many kids they are not able to articulate when they are emotional, so they revert to hitting. We say this with my daughter, so I addressed it by dealing with the root of the issue, which was getting her to communicate to me.  That definitely helped, but it does take time.

 

Tammy

 

 

 

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#16 of 20 Old 03-08-2011, 07:32 PM
 
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 I don't see a disadvantage to preschool.

 

DS1 had a little bit of delay, I had him tested right after his 3rd b-day, and he immediately went to preschool.  He was a late b-day too, so he got 2 1/2 years of preschool. 

 

Now that I've had DD at home for that entire year (3-4) and will have her here at age 4 to 4.5 for sure....I REGRET sending DS1 that early.  I don't get that back with him.

He had an *excellent* teacher for his 2 years after we moved, I really wanted and still would like DD to also have her.  But I do not see 2 years of preschool as necessary at all.

Even with "a hitter" that will change with maturity.  :)

 

That said I also don't see a disadvantage, especially if your school is less time-intensive than mine was, DS was at school from shortly before 9 to 12:15 4 days a week.


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#17 of 20 Old 03-08-2011, 10:38 PM
 
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I don't think 2 years is necessary -- and if I had to choose between gymnastics and swimming and preschool, I'd go for the 'extra curriculars'.

 

If you do choose a preschool (either this year or next), I'd strongly encourage you to find one that's play-based and uses developmentally appropriate curriculum. Developmentally appropriate curriculum for preschool (including Pre-K) does not include academics. It includes play and exploration. It focuses on social and emotional skills. They should have books, obviously, and things like story time. But I would not want my child in a preschool where they're spending more than about 10 minutes a day on the "letter of the day" type stuff. I had one child who read before K, and one child who learned to read in K (so both relatively early readers). We deliberately chose a Reggio Emilia preschool where the activities were child-directed and very play based. Ds spent the entire year before K (and a lot of his year in K, since he stayed there for K) playing fire trucks. It was positively the best thing that he could have done -- it really helped him socially and emotionally.


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#18 of 20 Old 03-09-2011, 10:36 AM
 
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For my son preschool was and is a necessity as well as after school activities.  My son thrives on social interaction and LOVES, LOVES, LOVES preschool.  Even on morning when DS awakes and complains of being tired I give him the option of staying home or going to school.  He NEVER chooses to stay home.

 

His preschool is not Academic, but it is not play based either.  The children have free time and recess twice a day, but the program is structured with activities that the children love.

 

Graphisim is used to prepare for letter formation, and sight words are a game instead of rote memorization.  The children are exposed to music and culture and complete activities that bring lessons to life.  Work sheets are used, but not as a the foundation of the curriculum.  For example, the children will color sequence squares, cut them out and then paste them in order on paper and explain the sequence.    AB patterns are taught using worksheets as well as tangible goods.

 

I am not able to provide enough stimulation to keep him occupied and to be honest my son drains me of my energy before we leave home.  DS is a natural leader, and being in the classroom has allowed him to develop into a wonderful funny, informative individual.  He explains concepts that are generally not taught until the 1st or 2nd grade and enjoys learning.

 

At the age of 2 DS was moved from childcare to the PK3 classroom due to boredom and behavior issues that vanished immediately.  He needed a challenge that was offered in a class with older children.


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#19 of 20 Old 03-09-2011, 11:18 PM
 
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I totally agree.  We aren't doing preschool--there isn't any benefit to it that my lo can't get by being at home with me.



This is us, too.  We didn't do preschool with my DD and she homeschooled for kinder, started school in 1st.  DS1 will be kinder age next school year, has not gone to preschool, and I have no idea where he will be come fall.  DS2 will only go to preschool if something in our situation changes and we need the care.  I would have no hesitation sending my kids if I wasn't a SAHM and we found a god school, but I don't feel it is necessary if the child is doing fine at home.  FWIW, I was a kinder teacher prior to becoming a SAHM.

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#20 of 20 Old 03-16-2011, 07:34 PM
 
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I don't think 2 years are necessary at all.  But I do think they could be nice for your daughter.  My son just turned 4 (this week!) and this is his second year at a Montessori program.  He's definitely matured during that time and learned a lot, but I'm sure most of that development would have happened even if he was home.  But he loves going and I love that he gets a chance to be away from me, practicing independence and socializing with peers.  Plus, as much as I tried to give him a well-rounded experience at home, the sheer variety of activities at a preschool is pretty impressive.

 

Since you do have 2 years since she misses the cutoff, maybe you could test the waters by doing a 2- or 3-mornings-a-week program.  Just enough for her to get the benefits of preschool but you'd still have her at home most of the time. 

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