Preschool just for socialization? - Mothering Forums

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Old 06-29-2003, 01:12 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I posted a question about preschool just for socialization on the Learning at Home board and have gotten some great answers. I'd love to hear from some people who frequent the Learning at School board to see if I get a different perspective. http://216.92.20.151/discussions/sho...455#post664455

Thanks,
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Old 06-29-2003, 04:16 PM
 
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I am something of a homeschooling wannabe, but I am not quite sure it would be a good thing for my family. Here's our experience:

Where we live most of the children go to preschool at age 2 or 3, even if they have a full-time at home parent. It means that many of the children are fairly busy at school and a lot of parents don't make much of an effort to arrange other play dates. If you lived in our community and you didn't make contacts at nursery school, you'd find yourself on the phone a lot, making dates, and you might feel like few people ever called you back.

Our older two children both went to a lovely preschool with great teachers and very nice children. All the children were nice because the quality of the staff was very high and children who had difficulties socially were able to work through their problems with an interventionist who (at times) worked solely with that child. I don't think that the interventionist is better than a parent, but she is better than a parent who is too stressed, too tired, or too uninformed about child development to help the child learn through his difficulties.

I have very little support at home, and I am the kind of person who needs a break from working with small children (I guess that kinds sums it up... parenting is work for me...) so I viewed our nursery school as a great place to leave the children so they could enjoy the company of other children in a safe, clean, and nurturing environment. I also learned a lot about parenting from the teachers (who all taught parenting and gentle discipline classes) and from meeting the other families (who were sometimes but not always shining examples of good parenting).
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Old 06-29-2003, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Bestjob, sounds like where we live now and very likely like where we're going to move to. Almost everyone starts prechool at 2 most of them are registered by 18 months at the latest. Actually I've had a few friends of friends who are familiar with where we are moving tell me that most at-home moms have at least one nanny there. Like you said, if
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a lot of parents don't make much of an effort to arrange other play dates
imagine how many nannies would make the effort.

My son has to be around other children or he goes crazy. That's the big draw of preschool for me. I feel like I can teach (and have been) anything he needs to know at home. I can't, however, be a bunch of children to play with. And if everyone else his age is in preschool, it'll be hard to find playdates or kids at parks. I also feel like I
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need a break from working with small children
, I just feel like three days a week is way too much at that age. My dream would be to homeschool with one day a week at some kind of classes for a few hours. I wish it wasn't three days of preschool, which leaves little time for doing anything else, or all home with maybe a 45 minute class.

Your preschool sounds great. I wish I knew of a school where the teachers also taught gentle disciple classes. I'm going all of this from about 90 minutes away during phone calls. And the recommendations I get tend to be for places that will get your child into Harvard (with an ulcer) and cost more than my university. . .
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Old 06-30-2003, 01:51 AM
 
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I know what you mean about the academic rat race. I'd suggest looking for adverts in the local paper, and telephone the churches in your area as well, because often good nursery schools use church facilities during the week.

I'd suggest that one day a week of nursery school might be a bit dull because some children never move beyond their separation anxiety if they go to school very infrequently, so they aren't the best playmates. On the other hand, I agree completely school takes up a lot of time. If we have something better to do, we skip it.

We have spent many a lonely morning at the park, hoping that someone else would show up to have some fun, and it just isn't going to happen. My kids are super-social as well, and even with going to nursery school, we rarely have a day without an informal play time. Well, informal for them... I have to spend a lot of time and effort to make it work. Also, I host many many many more children at my house than my children go to visit. I'd say the ratio of kids at our house to playdates away is roughly five to one, even though everyone always says how wonderful my kids are and what a treat they are to have as guests. Some children don't need the interaction like my kids seem to, and some parents have other priorities as well.
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Old 06-30-2003, 02:48 AM
 
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I can not believe I missed your other thread lol but I wanted to suggest going to a gymboree class if you can afford it. My kids all loved it and it is just simply play with other young children and seom finger plays and songs in a circle with other moms and kids in a fun kid proof room. We met other moms that way, we have moved a couple times. My kids really love the music and play equipment and they have a sibling class if you have two kids under 5.
mom to four wonderful kids all hsed
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Old 06-30-2003, 09:00 PM
 
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Last time I checked there were at least 12 hours in my pre-schoolers (waking) day. Two and a half hours of pre-school leaves PLEANTY of time for other things. It is a great way to meet other moms and for kids to learn that they can function and have fun without mom around.
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Old 07-01-2003, 12:53 AM
 
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I find that when my children have school, it means that we have to structure the day around school. For our family, that means that we don't do some other things that we'd like to do. School is wonderful, and we've enjoyed it a lot, but it is something that you have to plan around. It often takes priority over other activities. That can be good or bad, depending on your outlook, so it is good to be informed about that aspect of it before you plunk your money down.
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Old 07-03-2003, 04:20 AM
 
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I think you definitely should not hesitate to put your child in preschool purely to see other kids. As far as I'm concerned, that's what preschool is all about.

A couple of years ago when I was laboring over the decision of whether to put my son in preschool, I received some very helpful advice from a dear friend of mine who is now mother to 3 children with one on the way. Here is what she said, and I couldn't agree more:

"Both my boys went to 2 years of preschool. It wasn't that I thought they had to have it in order to do well in life. We figured that most of what kids need they should get from home - being read to, played with, talked to, etc. What we did like about a preschool environment was that it gave the boys a regular opportunity to play with other kids in large group activities. For example, they loved the big parachute that everyone grabs on to and they flip it in the air and then hide underneath. It is kind of hard to play that game at home and certainly doesn't evoke as much silliness and giggles. We picked a school that didn't stress academics, but rather sociability. They only went 2 hours a day for 2 days a week, so it was hardly like they were being "dumped" somewhere, and they were always eager to go. It offered me a little time each week to be alone and
get something done for myself or just enjoy a little quiet. Amazing what a
mother can accomplish in just 4 hours a week. Ha! So, do I think preschool is necessary? No, but I think it can be a lot of fun for a child if you pick a school that is appropriate for him and that places
an importance on the same things the parents value."

Hope this helps!

Lori
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Old 07-03-2003, 10:26 AM
 
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To me, socializing a child by putting them into school (preschool or grammar) is like teaching a child to swim by throwing them in the river. Schools have programs in mathematics to teach math. The socialization process, on the other hand, is generally unguided and its effects unknown.
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Old 07-03-2003, 02:15 PM
 
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I disagree, if you find the right environment. At my son's preschool, socialization most definitely is not "unguided"; it is taught and nurtured. Its effects are not unknown; rather its effects are that he learns to share and cooperate and make friends. Most of all, he has fun. He also learns about conflict. Kids have conflict with each other, and this is important as anything else because they learn from it, and how to solve problems.
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Old 07-04-2003, 10:29 PM
 
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My dd's preschool teacher told me that the only thing they would be teaching is socialization. As it turns out, that was a vitally important thing for my daughter to learn, as she has sensory integration dysfunction. If she had not gone through a process where she learned to cope in a more active situation, we would have much more work ahead of us in her occupational therapy.

And it was not that I threw her into a river, I was there for several weeks helping her adjust. But yes, children do need to learn how to swim and they won't learn by never going in the water.

I say go for it!
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Old 07-06-2003, 11:43 PM
 
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I would agree with what cumulus says for grade school--they definitely seem to drop the ball when it comes to working on appropriate socialization once kids get out of kindergarten (the attitude seems to be that they should have "gotten it" by that time or it's not the school's problem).

However, I disagree in terms of preschool. There are some bad preschools out there, to be sure, but a high quality preschool is almost completely about learning social skills and interaction. The academics should be quite light if the preschool is doing it's job. IMO, a great preschool can be a real gift, even for a well-loved, attached child who doesn't necessarily "need it." But each of us makes our own decisions about these things.

 
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Old 07-09-2003, 11:34 AM
 
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I do not think preschool is necessary, but I do believe that attending a good preschool is an enriching experience.

My DD goes to a wonderful preschool and the focus there is entirely on social skills, and all learning is thorugh hands-on activities such as cooking, planting, art, etc. It is a warm, nurturing, repsectful environment and DD loves it there. Being in groups of children her age is so important to her happiness these days - she is an extrovert by nature and makes friends quite easily. At the same time, she is learning how to deal with all different types of personalities in positive ways. I'm really pleased with the social and emotional growth I've seen since she has begun attending there.

Because I am planning on sending her to public school, these skills are important ones. I'm not saying that children who did not go to preschool have not learned social skills from their parents and other interactions, but there are certain things that are unique to the school environment, KWIM? Kindergarten should be the place to teach these things, but with all this reading and writing and math being pushed on kids at an early age, teachers don't have a lot of time to focus on the things that are usually the main focus of each day in preschool. This is an unfortunate fact, but a fact nonetheless.

JMHO, hope it's helpful!
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