Thoughts about changing preschools.... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 6 Old 05-01-2008, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My very outgoing dd has been in a preschool/daycare, NAEYC accredited center for the past year. Initially, she loved it. However, shortly after the winter holiday, three teachers resigned including her wonderful teacher and things started to go downhill. We've had no formal conversations regarding dd's progress since the beginning of the year, and overall, the cleanliness and processes seem to be sliding. In the past 2 weeks, dd has balked about going to school saying that she will miss me and she rarely talks about her friends anymore. This is a big change from the first half of the year. I'm not thrilled about her current teacher, but she isn't awful. Her teacher for next year is the best in the center, but there are no guarantees that she will stick around. I'm not sure that I want to take that chance, especially given the current state of the center.

I was planning to keep her in preschool for one day this summer while my ds also attends a program on the same day. Now I'm not so sure. Next week I'm visiting a new preschool that is closer to our home and one where one of her friends is attending and will be attending next year. If all looks good, I'll enroll her for fall. If we plan to make the switch, should I go ahead and see if the new school can accomodate her for one day this summer? It won't be a day when her friend is going, so she won't have that immediate comfort, but in fall they'll be together. Or, should I keep her home this summer and just start new in fall OR keep her in the current school and make the switch in fall? She's high energy, and very social. We don't have children her age in our neighborhood, so I'm afraid that the summer could be a very long one if she doesn't get a consistent "friend fix" during the summer. I've asked dd a little about this, and she said that she wanted to go to a new school, but she's 4, so I don't always think she understands that this would be a permanent switch.

Any thoughts or things to consider would be appreciated. TIA!

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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#2 of 6 Old 05-01-2008, 04:29 PM
 
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We switched preschools with DS between age 3 and 4. We didn't have as many options as preschool was childcare, so we took a week's vacation between the schools, but that was it. Even if your child is unhappy with the current school, be prepared for sadness over the transition. I was shocked at how much DS missed his friends, even though he never really talked about them that much. He cried for weeks every time we passed the old school (a lot since it was 2 blocks from the house).

Since it doesn't seem like your summer schedule is driven by childcare needs, I would go by her desires, though you might also investigate some other options for regular friend / social interaction. Other types of classes? Swim lessons or regular pool visitation hours? Preschool daycamp? (Our Y has a program, as does the zoo and SeaWorld).

Transitioning to the new school over the summer might be good if it doesn't mean changing teachers/rooms at the end of the summer as well. You might want to check to see what changes at the school over the summer -- ours has more just fun days and fewer "academic" time slots scheduled.

Regardless of the school change, you might want to set up some summer playdates with her friends at the current school. You will probably gradually loose track of them but it will make the transition easier if its not all cold turkey on losing friends. My now 8 YO DS still visits occassionally with preschool friends.
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#3 of 6 Old 05-01-2008, 04:31 PM
 
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If she isn't happy where she is I would switch her as soon as you could -- this summer. I wouldn't leave her in a place she really didn't like and that you weren't thrilled with.

Kim , mom to Amanda (16):, William (13), and Annie (5)
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#4 of 6 Old 05-05-2008, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies!

After giving this some thought, I think I'm going to just pull her from preschool this summer. Originally, she loved going to preschool as it gave her a great social outlet; she's very extroverted and I'm more introverted. I guess my mindset hadn't really changed over to the fact that it doesn't seem to be giving her as much joy and we might be better to cut it out altogether for the summer and start at the new school in fall. I don't see any reason to keep her in a preschool setting that neither one of us is thrilled about, except that it would give me some uninterrupted time to get things done. We'd be better off getting a sitter.

I'm going to work on getting some regular play dates scheduled as well as some outside classes and activities that will give her what she needs.

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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#5 of 6 Old 05-05-2008, 04:51 PM
 
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Laura, we experienced something similar recently with DS's preschool. His teacher was fired (due to a non-teaching related reason) and so his class went into complete turmoil. I pulled him out of the school at the end of April and hired a sitter for the remainder of the year until school starts in August.

Today was the first day at the house with the sitter and I only got 3 hours of sleep (I work nights)! I hate transitions. DS seems to be doing fine with it, though - he really started to dislike school when his teacher left so unexpectedly.

I'd probably take her out for the summer and find a new program for the fall.
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#6 of 6 Old 05-07-2008, 07:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Interestingly, I received notice yesterday that the director of my dd's current preschool is resigning at the end of this month........
Guess my mommy intuition was telling me that something was up. Not that change is all bad, but given what we were already experiencing it seems that there is probably more going on than what we were seeing.

I checked out the new preschool today and all looks good. They don't have any openings for the summer, but we'll be good to go next fall.

Thanks for the support!

Laura - Mom to ds (10) and dd (7) "Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life." Brian Andreas.

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