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teamsalem 02-13-2013 03:59 PM

I would love some advice on this.  I am considering changing my daughter's preschool at this very late point in the school year.  My daughter is 5, she will be in half day kindergarten in the fall.  She is currently in a preschool program that is 2 afternoons a week only.  This was her first year of preschool, and I wanted to start out slow.  It seems that 4-5 days a week is what is actually standard for most children her age.  The preschool she is in now is part of a working farm, and what was advertised to me was that the children spend lots of time outdoors and would be helping to care for the animals.  This hasn't really been the case, though, she has spent many afternoons indoors even when the weather is quite nice outside.  And she has helped to care for the animals a total of 2 times since she started in September.  Added to those complaints, the communication is terrible and the teacher responsible for answering questions posed by parents is unapproachable and mean.  Every question is answered with , "Didn't you read your handbook!?"  It is quite annoying.  The biggest issue for me , though, is that we are now in February and DD has yet to talk/play/socialize with any of the other kids.  She is very shy and quiet.  I have approached the teachers and asked them to help pave the way for her in some way so that she may actually join into play with other children, and they said they would, but things remain largely unchanged.  They keep urging me to have playdates with other children that attend.  Sadly, I don't even know anyone or anyone's children well enough to know their names, let alone ask for a playdate.  It just is not a very social school community.   Also, most other families live closeby the school, which is a couple towns over from me.


Plus, she hasn't even wanted to go lately.  At one particular drop off, one of the teachers came to "help" me persuade DD to join her peers on the playground.  When DD refused, the teacher took DD's arm and started to pull.  I know she was only trying to help, but I was completely floored by her methods. 


There is another preschool program down the street from my house that I recently toured that looked wonderful.  They are known for having a waiting list, but it just so happened that a child moved midyear, and they have an opening.  I am currently deliberating whether or not to switch her.  It is a 4 day program, so that would be a big adjustment.  DD is very slow to warm up to new situations, so I have hesitations about moving her.  This other program looks like a better fit, IMO, but there is no way to know for sure.  I don't know if it is preferable to stick it out the rest of the year or make a big change in hopes of establishing something better.

Linda on the move 02-13-2013 04:26 PM

Because she is unhappy where she is and doesn't engage with the other kids at all, my vote is to switch her.

It might be better. She might be happy there.

whatsnextmom 02-13-2013 05:15 PM

Why not? If you switch her and she doesn't like it, you are no worse off. 


I will say though that there is only so much a school can do to encourage relationships between children. The current school sounds like it wasn't what was advertised and maybe not great in how they handle your DD but, they may not be fully responsible for your DD's resistance to peers. Of course, your DD being happy will help her connect with others and so that is a step in the right direction. Being a neighborhood school, maybe you'll have better luck connecting outside of school too. 

Peony 02-14-2013 03:29 PM

I'd switch as well. If she doesn't like it, she doesn't like it, but she doesn't seem to like where she is at now so I see nothing to lose. 

ollyoxenfree 02-15-2013 06:42 AM

Another vote here to try the other preschool. 


Since she is only attending her current preschool on 2 afternoons per week, can you work out a transition schedule that might help ease her into the new school? 


Perhaps she could start attending 1 or 2 days at the new school and increase to a full 4 day schedule over the course of a few weeks. If it helps, she could still attend her current school once a week or so. That may or may not be a good idea. Sometimes a clean break is best. In this case, it doesn't sound like she would miss anyone at her current school, so she may not mind a clean break. 

lauren 02-16-2013 06:45 AM

At this age, a switch is less of an issue than later on. The program she is in now sounds well intentioned but poorly run. I would switch!

34me 02-16-2013 07:52 AM

I'd switch. I have a son who was incredibly shy. He went to a preschool housed and run by the rec center where I worked and he didn't talk to anyone until February of his first year. So to me that part seems ok. It's the bit that she doesn't want to go. So you really won't lose anything in switching. And it's only for approximately 3 months before kindly.

beanma 02-17-2013 08:34 AM

I'd switch, too, but I do think the preschool teacher's advice was right on about trying to set up playdates outside of school. That helped my incredibly sensitive, slow to warm up, school-resistant dd1 more than anything else. Being one on one with another kid really helped pave the way for group interactions. It was like she had a model to follow if Susie could do it, maybe —just maybe— she could too. I think in this case being closer to home would be an advantage because it might be easier for you to foster relationships outside of school and there's a possibility that your dd might go to K with some of the kids in preschool and that would make that transition easier, too. 


I think some preschools don't like part week attendance because they perceive it as harder on the kids who only attend a couple of days a week to join in and become part of the group. I really felt like my dd1 needed to only go part time because she was so reluctant to separate, but I did understand that point of view and it might help your dd to go 4 days instead of 2.

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