Wondering about preschool for 3.5 year old? - Mothering Forums
Learning at School > Wondering about preschool for 3.5 year old?
malayasmommy's Avatar malayasmommy 08:46 AM 08-24-2011

Did you do preschool with your child?  My daughter is 3.5 and I have her signed up for preschool starting Sept 8th.  I don’t really care that much about her using it as an opportunity for “learning”, it’s more to provide her opportunities to play with other kids.  She’s very social, and due to mine and my husbands work schedules there’s not a ton of opportunities for her to play with a regular group of kids.  (We do have a number of friends with kids who she sees regularly, but by mean regularly I mean approximately once/month.)  Again, I’m not looking at it from a “she needs to learn how to be in social situations” perspective, just more of a “she really loves being with people and making new friends, so she might enjoy developing relationships with kids she sees very regularly” perspective.


I have tried to find local playgroups to meet up with regularly, but again with our work schedules it’s hard to get them in on a regular basis (the times vary quite a bit).


One of my biggest concerns is that it’s less time with my kids.  I work 28 hours a week (I work from home, but still—it’s not quality time with my kids).  I have an almost 5 month old baby, and one of the classes is a “parent education” time so he would be in childcare and my daughter would be in preschool—I would miss them!


Just trying to figure how to balance my daughter’s enjoyment of kids her own age vs. my childrens needs to be with mommy. 

pianojazzgirl's Avatar pianojazzgirl 09:43 AM 08-24-2011

How many days a week and for how long each day?


I think, from what you described, that preschool might be perfect for her.  My kids didn't/don't go to preschool (though dd started pre-kindergarten when she was not-quite-4), but I think if they only got to play with other kids around once a month then I would have signed them up.   As it is we're lucky to have a bunch of friends who have kids, and we see them very regularly (one family - our "best friends" - we see up to 7 days a week!).  My kids thrive on having playmates, and if we didn't have this group of friends, and if playgroups didn't work out for scheduling reasons, I wouldn't hesitate to give preschool a try.  Don't forget that you can always take her out if it doesn't end up working out for your family.

malayasmommy's Avatar malayasmommy 02:09 PM 08-24-2011

She would go 2 days per week, for 2 hours at a time.  Part of one of the sessions, I would be with her for 30 min.--I think it would be great for her and I to have that time together.  She does get playdates, 1-3 per week, but not with the same people (lots of different groups of friends).  Thanks for your thoughts thus far!

meemee's Avatar meemee 09:15 AM 08-25-2011

so basically 1 1/2 hours twice a week right?


and you feel you are missing out on time with ur dd?


3 hours a week?


doesnt the time speak for itself?


if both your kids enjoy ps and dc and you can concentrate purely on work and getting things done... then isnt everyone happy?



NZJMama's Avatar NZJMama 12:24 PM 08-25-2011

Preschool was a great experience for my now 7yo. We only did 5 hours a week and it worked out well for us. I did miss him, but in the grand scheme of things, it really isn't that much time. It also gave me a chance to recharge and spend more quality time with him or to spend more quality time with the little ones.

Owen'nZoe's Avatar Owen'nZoe 01:26 PM 08-25-2011

I would absolutely do it. That said, 2 hours twice a week is so little time - some kids have trouble with a schedule like the one you're describing, because by the time they start feeling comfortable, the week is over, and then after 5 days off, they're back to square one again the next week. If she has trouble adjusting, you might want to try sending her more.

malayasmommy's Avatar malayasmommy 03:08 PM 08-25-2011

4 hours per week IS a small amt of time, except that twice per week I work 10 hour days.  Both my kids are pretty clingy at least the day after me being unavailable to them for that long.  And the time in preschool is during our free time (I work evenings so no preschool when I'm at work) so it's not like it'll be trading daycare for preschool, this will be in addition to them already being gone.  I realize many people are away from their kids 40+ hours per week, but I'm not used to it so more hours away makes me feel a little sad.  But it may be better for her, and I will likely adjust, so it may just be the best decision after all.

meemee's Avatar meemee 04:24 PM 08-25-2011

aaaaah gotcha.


why is your baby in dc? i am assuming dc and ps will happen at the same time. or is the dc when you are working.


i can understand ps - to try it out and see.


i think when your baby is closer to 3 then you might actually enjoy the time off. i know it was only when dd was 5 that she was ok with some separation. but she hated every moment of it before then.