Preschool "for socialization"??, What are your thoughts on sending 3-4 year olds to school - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 39 Old 08-27-2008, 07:46 PM - Thread Starter
 
gottaknit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Oregon
Posts: 2,776
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I posted this in the SAHM forum, but maybe this is the better place...

I'm a SAHM to an almost-4-year-old and a 10 month old baby. We started DS in Montessori (3 hrs/day, 5 days/wk) last January and he's been out on summer vacation since June. Now it's time to go back and he doesn't want to go. He's adamant that he'd rather stay home. He doesn't like to "do work" at Montessori (pretend play and running around being silly aren't allowed), even though he likes the other kids and the guides.

Since I'm at home to take care of him, there's really no reason to send him anywhere, IMO. But I'm getting a lot of "kids need the socialization" and "everyone goes to preschool these days" from friends and family (DH included). Really??

We are out and about every day - library, parks, indoor park co-op, swimming pool, farmers' market, playdates with friends. It's not like I sit him in front of a TV all day (we don't even have one). And I'm thinking the "everybody does it" idea has to do with working-outside-the-home parents choosing "preschool" over daycare.

I like the Montessori learning environment in theory, but in reality it hasn't worked for us. Sure, it'd be great if he could name the continents, but why does a 3 year old need to know them, anyway? Other "preschools" just seem like playtime/daycare, which I'd rather not pay for when we can do our own thing for free. Also, DS is a "mama's boy" (NOT my label) and would rather not be left anywhere.

What are your thoughts? Thanks!
gottaknit is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 39 Old 08-27-2008, 07:53 PM
 
lolar2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 6,403
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think if he's happy at home and you're happy with him at home, preschool is a waste of money. If a kid is in a print-poor environment at home or likes preschool then it's a good idea, but otherwise I don't see it as necessary. I agree that the "everyone" is because of WOH parents like me (we do send DS to a daycare that is also a preschool in the upper grades, because we both WOH). At least in my area, Universal Preschool is touted as being an improvement over the minimum level of daycare for WOH parents-- not an improvement over being in a good home environment.
lolar2 is offline  
#3 of 39 Old 08-27-2008, 07:53 PM
 
Ruthla's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Long Island, NY
Posts: 43,652
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
I woudln't send him if he didn't want to go. He's still very little, and the most important thing he needs to learn is that the world is a safe place- then he's free to explore and learn at his own pace.

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18 (commuting to college), and Jack, 13(homeschooled)
Ruthla is online now  
#4 of 39 Old 08-27-2008, 08:18 PM
 
LynnS6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Pacific NW longing for the Midwest
Posts: 12,446
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gottaknit View Post
He doesn't like to "do work" at Montessori (pretend play and running around being silly aren't allowed), even though he likes the other kids and the guides.
Nope, I wouldn't send him. And I'm pretty pro-preschool myself. But I would only send my child to a play-based preschool that focuses on socialization. I wouldn't ever send my child to a place where pretend play, running around and being silly aren't allowed.

If a child thrives in the Montessori environment, great. But IMO most kids need to learn through pretend play and being silly. Our son probably would have thrived in a Montessori environment (he likes structure, quiet and independent work). However, I think he learned many more important life skills in his Reggio Emilio daycare/preschool/kindergarten. He NEEDED to play with other kids, to learn to exercise his imagination, and to work imaginative ideas out with other kids.

If you think he'd like another program, I'd look for a play based one. But since he's still 3, I'd probably wait another year and then look for a good co-op or 2-3 x a week preschool. Many 3 year olds are very happy being home with mom and sibs. Many 4 year olds can really benefit from the outside contact. But it all depends on your child.

Lynnteapot2.GIF, academicreading.gif,geek.gif wife, WOHM  to T jog.gif(4/01) and M whistling.gif (5/04)
LynnS6 is offline  
#5 of 39 Old 08-27-2008, 08:23 PM
 
SkyMomma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Posts: 318
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My DS is almost 5 & has never been to preschool. THis last year was wonderful! We signed up for a 1 x week program @ a farm, he took a once a week swim class & he has a standing 'playdate' with his best friend who I do childcare for 1x a week (these activites were as much to provide structure to our week as anything else). We filled in some gaps with weekly libarary trips, food shopping & the farmers market, & getting together with other friends of all ages. We felt occupied & active, but not rushed or too busy. This summer we let go of all planned activites & went to Walden pond 2 - 3x week. DS is a little bit of an introvert, & we never felt like he was lacking socialization. In fact, I felt that the focused group expereince everyday would have been way too much for my independent, creative guy. I've seen a change over this last year to him reaching out more & more to other children, so we're hoping that starting him in Kinder in a few weeks will go smoothly.

I think the right timing of group classes completely depends on the individual needs of the child. I've known 3 & 4 yr olds who really need & want that social interaction with other children & I've know many like my DS who thrive more on their own. You know what your child needs...just listen to your internal wisdom.

Loving mama to magical boys Skyler (11/21/03) and Gryffin Emrys (9/30/08). 

 

SkyMomma is offline  
#6 of 39 Old 08-27-2008, 08:27 PM
 
zoshamosha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 728
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
Nope, I wouldn't send him. And I'm pretty pro-preschool myself. But I would only send my child to a play-based preschool that focuses on socialization. I wouldn't ever send my child to a place where pretend play, running around and being silly aren't allowed.
Yup. My dd loves school, but she basically goofs off with her buds all day, so what's not to love. Maybe look for another program.
zoshamosha is offline  
#7 of 39 Old 08-27-2008, 08:41 PM
 
momsgotmilk4two's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Lake Forest, CA
Posts: 1,629
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I would probably find a play based preschool to send him to instead if it's the program that he doesn't like and not the being away from you. It sounds like maybe he'd enjoy playing with the other kids, but more on his terms. Developmental (play based) preschool has been great for all of my kids.
momsgotmilk4two is offline  
#8 of 39 Old 08-27-2008, 08:49 PM
 
maciascl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: The Land of Confusion
Posts: 3,544
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by gottaknit View Post
I like the Montessori learning environment in theory, but in reality it hasn't worked for us. Sure, it'd be great if he could name the continents, but why does a 3 year old need to know them, anyway? Other "preschools" just seem like playtime/daycare, which I'd rather not pay for when we can do our own thing for free. Also, DS is a "mama's boy" (NOT my label) and would rather not be left anywhere.
I think you answered your own question right here. If he has friends & he goes to play dates, then there is your socialization. Plus you said yourself that you keep pretty busy. I think Preschool is pretty over rated overall, but especially in this aspect.

Cheryl, wife to an amazing man, homeschooling SAHM to Gavin 12/03, Rhys 09/06, and Ian Aug 11, 2010.

maciascl is offline  
#9 of 39 Old 08-27-2008, 08:50 PM
 
KBecks's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,871
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If it's not working for you, then skip it.

My son is starting M school 5 days a week, and I think it will be good for him. But that's my son and what I think he needs as an individual, and if it doesn't work for us, we may change course.

It sounds like it's not working for you and so I think you're right to choose something different.

I don't think there's a one size fits all -- all kids have different needs, etc.

I don't buy into the "kids need socialization", that's not why we're doing school. I'm doing school because my DS seems bored at home and he could be exposed to more things and learning experiences, I think he will love it. I thought about homeschooling but I don't think I have the organization to do it, especially when caring for other kids. If I only had one maybe I'd feel more capable.
KBecks is offline  
#10 of 39 Old 08-27-2008, 10:01 PM
 
newbymom05's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 2,589
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I wouldn't send him. Personally, I think we're headed for a preschool backlash. I was just reading in American Baby (of all places) how the Finns have this fabulous educational system and tiny drop out rate and they don't even begin to teach reading until children are 7. I was reading somewhere else that in this country, school used to start at first grade. Then it was kinder, now preschool, and wth? 3 y/o's know the continents??? I'm old but in kindy all I learned basically was to take turns, tie my shoes and not use a whole roll of toilet paper when I went to the bathroom. Now they're writing essays?!? JMO but I think play is the way to go, and if he wants to stay w/ you and do it, why not?
newbymom05 is offline  
#11 of 39 Old 08-27-2008, 10:09 PM
 
zoebugsmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: NH
Posts: 1,359
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We sent DD to a play based coop preschool last year. She LOVED it. It was totally worth the money for us. She made friends, she learned some cool stuff and she got used to following directions from people who aren't mom and dad.
We also got a wider social circle out of it which was helpful for us as a family, not just for DD's social life.

It's going to depend on what type of school you send your child to. Pre-k can be wonderful or awful depending on your child's personality, the school and what you're looking to get out of it. As an introvert who's partnered with another introvert it was difficult giving DD all the outside stimulation of friends/playgroups that kind of thing. The school we picked was heavy on parental involvement and had enrichment activities like group bowling, pot luck dinners and play dates at the park. It was wonderful for us and DS can't wait until next year so he can go, too.

Amy, mom to LadyBug, SnuggleBug and StinkBug.  Expecting BabyBug in August 2011.
zoebugsmom is offline  
#12 of 39 Old 08-27-2008, 11:02 PM
 
rahans's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 254
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
If he doesn't want to go back, I wouldn't send him. Maybe look for more of a play based preschool, going 2-3 days/week instead of 5. DD (3.5) is about to start a 2 day (2.5hr/day) week preschool. I think this is plenty for her and know that she will enjoy it and can learn a lot of things from there that she won't at home. Personally, I think that 3 and 4 yr olds need to run and play around. I'm a SAHM and focused on finding a preschool for her that was only a preschool - not also a day care center. I looked into Montessori for her but the one near us was 5 full mornings/week and very expensive (3 times the cost of her current one).
rahans is offline  
#13 of 39 Old 08-27-2008, 11:41 PM
 
anywaybecause's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Just North of Normal!
Posts: 250
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Chiming in here with a "don't send him back."

My dds are 5 1/2 and have never set foot inside a preschool. They've been out and about with me, gone to library storytime, had playtime at home, craft time at home, taken gymnastics and swimming . . . but they do still know how to take turns, share, wait in line, and do circle time. We get comments expressing amazement at their well-developed social skills all the time.

I *hope* we're headed for a preschool backlash! It makes me so sad to see 3 and 4 year olds being shipped off to day-long programs to "get them ready" for the new day-long kindergarten. Children do learn best by playing.
anywaybecause is offline  
#14 of 39 Old 08-28-2008, 01:09 AM
 
momtoS's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 2,755
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
I went to tour a Montessori school when dd1 was three. It is awful. She would not have done well there, and it was so *rigid* that I didn't feel comfortable either. Now that she is turning four I am going to try a regular JK setting....2.5 hours a day....

So, I would say...he doesn't have to go. OR....find a *fun play filled* preschool
momtoS is offline  
#15 of 39 Old 08-28-2008, 02:07 AM
 
Dena's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: In a state of confusion
Posts: 3,285
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LynnS6 View Post
Nope, I wouldn't send him. And I'm pretty pro-preschool myself. But I would only send my child to a play-based preschool that focuses on socialization. I wouldn't ever send my child to a place where pretend play, running around and being silly aren't allowed.

If a child thrives in the Montessori environment, great. But IMO most kids need to learn through pretend play and being silly. Our son probably would have thrived in a Montessori environment (he likes structure, quiet and independent work). However, I think he learned many more important life skills in his Reggio Emilio daycare/preschool/kindergarten. He NEEDED to play with other kids, to learn to exercise his imagination, and to work imaginative ideas out with other kids.

If you think he'd like another program, I'd look for a play based one. But since he's still 3, I'd probably wait another year and then look for a good co-op or 2-3 x a week preschool. Many 3 year olds are very happy being home with mom and sibs. Many 4 year olds can really benefit from the outside contact. But it all depends on your child.
This.

My dd started a co-op preschool at 3 because she is quite an extrovert (and we are not) and we could tell she really really needed the external stimulation. The program for three year olds is two hours twice a week, which seemed about right to us, and it is almost all play. They have free play for about 45 minutes, then a story time, then snack, then large motor play, then circle and sharing time. She absolutely loves it, has mourned not going over the summer, and can't wait to return.

She would not have done well in a Montessori environment, and I agree with Lynn that most kids learn better at this age through play. Their childhoods are so short as it is, I vote for all the play time they can get!

Wife to Thomas, WAH mama to Sofia Rose 8/04, Ellen Marie 10/07, her twin sister Amalie Joy lost 7/07 , and Maya Grace and Hannah Miriam 4/10
Dena is offline  
#16 of 39 Old 08-28-2008, 02:14 AM
 
Dena's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: In a state of confusion
Posts: 3,285
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by newbymom05 View Post
I'm old but in kindy all I learned basically was to take turns, tie my shoes and not use a whole roll of toilet paper when I went to the bathroom. Now they're writing essays?!?


Wow, you learned how to tie shoes? All we did was make letters out of pretzels. I kinda sucked at that....

Wife to Thomas, WAH mama to Sofia Rose 8/04, Ellen Marie 10/07, her twin sister Amalie Joy lost 7/07 , and Maya Grace and Hannah Miriam 4/10
Dena is offline  
#17 of 39 Old 08-28-2008, 02:19 AM
 
littleaugustbaby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Yes, we did!
Posts: 7,032
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I wouldn't send him back. I'd keep him home and join a playgroup or arrange playdates with friends if he has any desire or need for outside socialization.

My DD went to all-day preK and thrived there, and now she goes to all-day kindy, and loves it. But not all kids need that type of environment.
littleaugustbaby is offline  
#18 of 39 Old 08-28-2008, 02:23 AM
 
MCatLvrMom2A&X's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: With Vin Diesel ;) YUMMMM
Posts: 14,210
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I never have bought into the whole "they need the socialization" thing myself. DD never went to pre school and we dont do play groups the only people she played with were the neighbor kids and only rarly. She started pre k at jut shy of 5yo and did great no issues fitting in at all.

If a child dosnt want to go then there is no way I would send them.

 
SAHMlady.gifread.giflovin' trekkie.giffan intactivist.gifwinner.jpg to loveeyes.gifenergy.gifDD 10/00 & superhero.gifmoon.gifDS 10/04 ribbonpb.gifIf your ds is intact, keep him safe, visit the Case Against Circ forumnocirc.gifCirc, a personal choice, Your sonsyes.gifbrokenheart.gif11/98brokenheart.gif6/99ribbonbrown.gifanti-tobaccoribbonyellow.gifThyroid cancer survivor. With cat.gif& goldfish.gif & (Boxer)dog2.gif wishing 4 whale.gif&ribbonwhite.gifsigncirc1.gifselectivevax.gifdelayedvax.gif

MCatLvrMom2A&X is offline  
#19 of 39 Old 08-28-2008, 03:03 AM
 
Fuamami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,375
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCatLvrMom2A&X View Post
I never have bought into the whole "they need the socialization" thing myself.
Me neither. I don't want my children learning social skills from other 3 and 4 yos, I want them to learn them from adults. It doesn't seem natural to me to put a bunch of same-aged children together with a few grown-ups and expect them to learn social skills from that.

Mommy to kids

Fuamami is offline  
#20 of 39 Old 08-28-2008, 04:47 AM
 
milkybean's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: western washington
Posts: 1,594
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm a mega-purist about Montessori, and a Montessori that allows 3 year olds isn't true Montessori. It's an offshoot. And a Montessori that doesn't allow fun isn't right, either. The Montessori I went to (from 4-6) was fun, I learned, we played, it was great! The owner knew my mom and me, and knew my baby brother, and made a HUGE exception by allowing my brother to go from 2-6, but he was ready for the learning and play, not just play, at that point, and fit in just fine. But it was a huge, never before never again, exception for him.


I also don't agree with the "socialization" thing people talk about. My son is very sociable and social. He'll talk to anyone, and although sometimes it's just to talk about how he got a scrape, or had an ambulance ride yesterday tomorrow a long long long time ago, or that we used to have a cat, he can TALK to people.

He is asking for friends, so we're joining the Y, which has tons of fun and active classes where he can play and meet kids!
milkybean is offline  
#21 of 39 Old 08-28-2008, 01:30 PM
 
aguafria6's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Arizona
Posts: 52
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dena View Post
This.

My dd started a co-op preschool at 3 because she is quite an extrovert (and we are not) and we could tell she really really needed the external stimulation. The program for three year olds is two hours twice a week, which seemed about right to us, and it is almost all play. They have free play for about 45 minutes, then a story time, then snack, then large motor play, then circle and sharing time. She absolutely loves it, has mourned not going over the summer, and can't wait to return.

She would not have done well in a Montessori environment, and I agree with Lynn that most kids learn better at this age through play. Their childhoods are so short as it is, I vote for all the play time they can get!
My dd is also in a co-op preschool. I could have written both of your posts She just LOVES going to school. It's our 1st year at this preschool b/c we moved. I love it too b/c I'm in the classroom every 3-4 weeks. It's nice to see what they do at her preschool and there is a lot of play going on. We're so happy that we found this school!
aguafria6 is offline  
#22 of 39 Old 08-28-2008, 01:44 PM
 
Jessy1019's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Flemington, NJ
Posts: 3,222
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I didn't send my daughter and I won't send my son.

I think schools, in general, set up very artificial forms of socialization. Kids learn how to socialize from being in the world, experiencing different people and different environments, and watching how their parents and others navigate various social situations. A classroom full of people the exact same age is not a natural way to socialize.

Proud Anti-Adoption, Atheist, Reproductive-Freedom Fighter Mama
Rylie is 7, Ronin is 3.5
Jessy1019 is offline  
#23 of 39 Old 08-28-2008, 01:48 PM
 
NoMariposa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 612
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It all depends on the child. I did Montessori for my oldest from age 2 through 5. I was not happy with the 2nd Montessori school when we moved b/c there was a huge difference in the families. The 1st were crunchies and the 2nd were snobbies (broadly defined generalization). I liked crunchies obviously.

Our local Montessori did not fit my family life style. They also did not offer a part week program, all week or nothing. My 2nd child was not ready for all week. So, I found a nice traditional little preschool with 2 day a week programs upto now 5 day a week only for 4 yr olds.

Fo my 2nd child I needed him out of the house. He is very high needs and does have some boarder line autistic sort of behaviors. I frankly needed a break and time with my littlest who was a baby. He went 2 days a week at age 3 from 9 to noon. 3 days a week at age 4. He needed the change in daily environment to further growth and development. I needed to know he could get along with other children without beating them up too! I'm so glad I did this for him, he does have some communication issues which we were able to pick up on with help of those who were not around him daily.

My 3rd just loves socializing, she wanted to go since her brother went. She started at age 2, 2 days a week. Age 3 was 3 days a week and now age 4, is 4 days a week.

And I plan on putting the 4th at preschool next year at age 2. I simply need a break. I am one worn out mama. Plus he is lonely and clingy when his sibs are all at school.

I think preschool has been a fun experience for my kids. I get the needed break so I can be more loving when they return. I can justify it based on their needs, but truthfully it's for me. I just really need a break from kids 24/7. I do not have any help at home from anyone else, it is just me.
NoMariposa is offline  
#24 of 39 Old 08-28-2008, 01:48 PM
 
Nolamom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 216
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I'm surprised that so many feel so negatively about preschool. Our dd went at 3 and LOVED it. Her program was play-based - no academic focus. She actually cried when she couldn't go (illness, holidays, etc.)! I feel as if it was a positive, wonderful experience for her and wouldn't change a thing.

That said, I would certainly try a different program. As others have said, a play-based program. Since your ds has already had a negative school experience, it might be especially worth it to find a "fun", age appropriate program for him.

Either way, I definately wouldn't send him back to the Montessori program he was in last year. Good luck!
Nolamom is offline  
#25 of 39 Old 08-28-2008, 02:15 PM
 
Phoenix~Mama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Lehigh Valley, PA
Posts: 5,230
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
DSD LOVES her school! She graduated pre-school last year and is now in the Pre-K program. They play outside a lot, and do arts and crafts, and learn fun nursery rhymes/fables and act them out, which is pretty cool!

She also can recognize most of her capital letters and can spell her name.

She loves her friends there and her teachers. Maybe a different kind of program is a way to go with you?


I'm one that does firmly beleive the socialization is needed... When I was young I was very smart, but they were ready to hold me back in kindergarden because my social skills weren't developed enough... My Mom basically told them they were all nuts and signed to pass me through, as I would have been bored academically.

However, I always suffered socially through out school and really did not become able to talk and socialize well until high school after joining the band and debate...

So coming from it as a kid that did struggle with social skills... I think they really are important.

ribbonpurple.gif  Proud Single Mama, Birth & Postpartum Doula

Student, Aspiring CNM 
treehugger.gif  DD ~ 1/7/09   shamrocksmile.gif  DS ~ 9/22/10

Phoenix~Mama is offline  
#26 of 39 Old 08-28-2008, 02:27 PM
 
Alyantavid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,595
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
In our situation, I do think it was helpful. I wohm full time so my son went to daycare anyways. They have a preschool as part of the daycare and at 3 I had him start. He did amazingly and still now in first grade loves school and is well past his classmates.

However, I do think if I was a sahm, I would do preschool for socialization. But that's me and my family and what works for us.
Alyantavid is offline  
#27 of 39 Old 08-28-2008, 02:39 PM
 
beanma's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: with the dustbunnies & sugar beans
Posts: 8,097
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
I think it depends on your child and your plans for further down the road. If you have a 4 yr old "mama's boy" who will be starting full day Kindergarten next year when he's 5, then I would definitely say yes and definitely for "socialization". If you've got a young 4 or a 3 yr old who won't be going to school next year then sure don't worry about it. If you're thinking of homeschooling, no worries, of course. If you're looking at a half day K program next year I'd consider a part-time (2 or 3 day a week) pre-K program, but if it's half day K you might be able to skip it.

My dd2 has just started in a play-based part-time (MWF 1/2 day) program. She's 4.75 and will be going to K next year. Almost all the Ks here are full day (8:30ish-2:45, or 7:50-2:30) and I couldn't imagine putting dd2 in a full day K without a little practice doing playschool first. She's pretty attached, but so far loves it. DD1 was/is very very much a mama's girl and I think K would have been that much harder for her if she hadn't had playschool.

Mamatreehugger.gif to two girl beans, Feb 2001hearts.gif and Nov 2003coolshine.gif . DH geek.gif, and two crazydog2.gifdog2.gif . Running on biodiesel since 2004!
 
"All you fascists are bound to lose" — Woody Guthrie
beanma is offline  
#28 of 39 Old 08-28-2008, 02:42 PM
 
cuttiebearmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 368
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We're a home-schooling family over here so you can imagine my opinion...I never went to preschool and did wonderfully in Kindergarten through 12th grade. My kids have never been to a preschool and my 5 y/o is very social with other kids and learns at her speed and level on her own accord most of the time (which happens to be about 1st grade but that's beside the point).

We are one of the only societies in which earlier education is better, better, better. There are SO many things for a child to learn at home about life and family that a lot kids just aren't learning these days because they are so immersed in ballet, soccer, school, etc etc etc.

Ok, I'll get off my soapbox now!
cuttiebearmom is offline  
#29 of 39 Old 08-28-2008, 07:40 PM
 
Yo Becca's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Neither here nor there
Posts: 2,493
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My thoughts on the "socialization" issue:

If you are looking for "socialization" meaning just playing with other kids. yes, you can get htat just through playdates, mommy-&-me classes, etc. It seems like many people are dismissing "socialization" as just "social time with other kids" - but really, it's social coping skills, how to play and work successfully with others (without a parent there to step in). If you plan to send your kid to kindergarten or first grade, there is real value to helping your kid learn social skills at "school." the reality of elementary school is that your kid is going to be on the playground, away from you, away from a teacher and is going to want to be able to negogiate the social scene: How do I make a friend? I want to play soccer with those kids, how do i get in the game? Those kids said I couldn't play with them but I want to play with them. I want a turn on the swing. that kid is bossing me around. I want to boss that kid around. Etc. etc. - these are the sort of situations kids in kindy, 1st grade are going to have to figure out - and WITHOUT an adult.

If you can find a quality, play-based preschool that focuses on developmentally appropriate socail development, they help your child develop the skills to navigate these situations. They will help them see how to enter other children's play constructively, to play together, to take turns, to set boundaries with other kids, to respect the boundaries set by their peers etc. And while I know that parents do this at home too, the school setting provides an additional model, hopefully one backed by a great deal of experience working with all sorts of kids and a deep understanding of children's development. And the fact is that kids listen to what their teachers show them differently than what their parents show them, and most kids benefit from a teacher-child relationship (again, assuming a highly competent, loving teacher).

I work at a parent-owned and -run cooperative preschool. All of our parents are thoughtful, concerned, and involved in their children's lives - but if you asked any of them if they thought preschool was "worth it" or if their kids would have had the same social benefits at home, i think every one of them would tell you their kids have developed socially tremendously over the course of a year. I am sending my DD b/c I want to give her every tool she needs to be 1) fearless on the elementary playground, and 2) kind and thoughtful to her peers.

That being said, i'd never send my child to a preschool that was contrary to the nature of a child, which is playful. And if you are NOT planning to send them to kindy or elementary school, the benefits of this kind of socialization may not be a priority for you.
Yo Becca is offline  
#30 of 39 Old 08-28-2008, 08:51 PM
 
Embee's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Tacoma, WA
Posts: 2,086
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Follow your instincts is my very best advice. We unschool so my instinct for my DS is probably fairly clear so keep that in mind when reading the following.

My DS has never been to school, preschool or otherwise. In choosing homeschooling, and initially being concerned about the whole "socialization" issue, I exposed him to more social time than he needed early on and unwittingly caused him a whole lot of stress more than anything else. I decided to follow his cues, and pull way back and we were ALL happier after that. Keeping DS's social time to a minimum was a far better fit for DS as a young child (although I realize it's not the best fit for all). DS was happiest at home, following his own lead, and first developing a healthy relationship with himself. He was more content, focused and developed a substantial attention span early in the toddler years. At this time, we had play dates occasionally. In addition, I babysat a friend's toddler once per week for 4 or 5 hours. For DS, a little went a long, long way. Aside from this, DS spent lots of time at home, with me, with DH, out in the community, parks, playgrounds, the beach, errands to the bank, the store, the post office, with extended family (not a lot of actual kids, but lots of "big kid" aunts and uncles ), and as we were relatively knew to the community, we spent a lot of enjoyable time in getting to know our neighbors, most of whom were adults of widely varying ages. DS learned from our elderly neighbor next door how to make a glitter pumpkin and also how to help her by watering her trees when she was sick during her chemo. He learned from our neighbor across the street how fun it is to ride on a backhoe and make a hand print in concrete (which our neighbor brought to us to keep). He learned from the boy down the street what it means to have a friend with special needs (austistic)--sometimes wonderful, sometimes a little confusing but all the same, a dear friend. He learned from his uncle how to play his first notes on the piano and from his Auntie how to build with wood blocks... I could go on and on and on...

At 5 1/2, DS met some new friends in the neighborhood and for the first time was interested in becoming more social with other kids (aside from the one or two he'd known since before he could remember). For me, his desire to engage was my very best indication that he was ready. Before this time, he was not interested and to push would have served only to further his stressful associations with kid play. However, at 5 1/2 he was excited, and I wasn't surprised to see that his social skills were just fine. Better than fine in many respects for by this time, he had spent lots of time with other people who treated him kindly and respectfully, most of whom were caring adults (who generally, are a fine model for social skills ). And then also, he had spent some time with kids who presented and therefore helped him understand the challenges of socializing. DS and his friends--sisters aged 9 and 5--ended up spending quite a bit of time together over that summer. The kids worked together to make things, create pretend scenarios and solve problems. They played together frequently by DS's standards, all the time learning, sometimes struggling, mostly having fun. When there were issues, I rarely had to intervene. Given time and space, and TRUST the kids were quite adept at coming up with their own solutions even if it meant accepting that maybe they just weren't up for playing together that day. Incidentally, these friends were also unschoolers who had never attended school.

We live in a new neighborhood in a new town now and while moving can be difficult, DS took it in stride. He misses his old friends and keeps in touch, but he's made friends in our new town (we moved from small town to medium sized city) quite easily. In fact, I just glanced out the living room window here and saw him walking up to our neighborhood park with his friends: 6 kids (3 homeschooled, 2 schooled, ages ranging from 5 to 11) who all looked to be having a good (and socially skilled) time together.

My point is, there are many ways in which children learn social skills. From the moment our they arrive they are learning how to communicate and therefore socialize with us: "I cry, therefore mommy responds." "I smile, and Daddy smiles back." "Sister doesn't like me kicking over her tower of blocks. And somehow, I can't help myself. I wonder how we're going to solve this problem?"

DS is still one to relish his solitary creative time. He will just as likely tell his friends that he's busy with something today than he will say "sure, come on over." I like that he enjoys his friends, but doesn't NEED them to create activity and happiness in his life. He knows he can do this all on his own. Friend time? That's a whole other kind of fun, and that's great too. Gordon Neufeld (Hold On To Your Kids) might say that social skills are a product of maturity. During the process of maturing however, it's important to nurture our relationship with our child so that he may be guided by us. Social time is fun and important in it's own way, but true maturity is facilitated by attachment with a parent/main caregiver and the kind of "solitary creative" play that children get from playing in their own loving home environment, whether it's independent play or play with mom or dad, or other source of main attached caregiver. I highly recommend the book btw, it did MUCH to ease my concerns on this subject.

I've rambled a blue streak. Apologies. For me, it has helped to make a distinction between "socialization" and "social skills." The former is what we refer to when we gather children together in groups, usually by age, and place them with one or two adults as a means to "teach" social skills. Social skills themselves are learned all the time through many different avenues and situations. My feeling is children don't so much need to be taught social skills, as they need to be treated with the social skill that gives them the model by which to treat others.

My .02 for whatever that's worth.

The best in whatever you decide, mama.

Em

Em 43 - Wife to hubby Mom to DS born: Jan. '01
Embee is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off