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Hi everyone,<br><br>
The sticky with all the reading suggestions looks great, but I need some suggestions as to where to start. We're trying to decide if we should send our 2 year old to preschool in September (he'll be 2 yrs 7 mos) and to weigh the pros and cons of him being the youngest in the program he would go to.<br><br>
We haven't found the perfect school for him, but we've found one that seems good enough. My son likes a lot of free play, which this school has. He gets stressed out by group/circle time. The teacher does daily group time, but she said he's not required to go. However, she encourages them to go, partly because it helps her to figure out what they are really interested in.<br><br>
One reason I'm considering preschool at this age is that we already do playgroup and a play program in Spanish and I think he would like more social opportunities, but definitely with the same kids. He has a hard time initiating play with kids he doesn't know.<br><br>
Just for the record, I'm not interested in preschool for the kindy prep theories. We've thought about homeschooling and my big wishes for him are to have good self-esteem, be able to think independently and express himself, and develop social skills. If he's not for lining up and conforming to kindy expectations, I wouldn't send him to a school that required that.<br><br>
Thanks for reading this far. Your thoughts and reading suggestions are welcomed.
 

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It sounds like you want a "learning through play" based school. they are generally called "playschool" while an academics/pre-K school is a "preschool". Here all the schools are playschools with the exception of 1 preschool that is run through the school division and you must qualify by being very low income.<br><br>
The playschools here run off the same calender as the school divisions, when the schools are off so are the playschools. They also use the school division cut off, it makes it easier for everyone. That is Dec 31 and they must be 3 before Dec 31 before they can enter playschool that year. There are no playschools for younger kids.<br><br>
My oldest was 2 when she started in Sept, but she has a Nov birthday so she turned 3 before the cut off. She had an adjustment phase that was not helped by her being in ballet with a bully we knew. It was 6 weeks of ballet, if I knew that child was going to be there I would not have signed my dd up. Out of 6 classes she went in the room for 2. It made her adjustment to playschool harder, but once those 6 weeks were over she adjusted fine.<br><br>
Boys tend to not be ready psychologically as early. I would definitly base it on your own child. With the same kids he socializes with be in the same playschool at the same time? how long are the playschool days? Here they go for 2 hours once a week at age 3, 2 hours twice a week at age 4.<br><br>
It is broken up in about 20 minute intervals. They play in the main room for 15-20minutes as the kids arrive and they get everyone in and settled. Then they go to the circle time room for about 20mintes and go over the day of the week, weather, the teacher talks to them about the theme for the day, sing songs and they usually have 1 book read to them. Then they come out and do craft for about 20minutes. After they are done craft they go to the Rainbow Room for 20minutes to play while some of the teachers(there are 4 teachers and usually a parent helper for 18-23 kids) clean craft up and get snack ready. Then come and do snack, another 20minutes. After snack they go back to the Circle Time room for another story, show and share, picking out library books, singing songs and then it's home time. Some things may take longer but that's the gist of it. they will do other games or go outside for part of circle time or playtime, just depends on what they have brought out.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>momster</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7911026"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Hi everyone,<br>
We've thought about homeschooling and my big wishes for him are to have good self-esteem, be able to think independently and express himself, and develop social skills.<br><br>
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I think the best way to keep this in your child is to keep him with you. At this age they need mama more than any school. They can get all that from you. He'll be in school soon enough. Enjoy him while he's at this precious age.
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/truedat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Truedat"><br><br>
There are plenty other social oportunities for a 2 y/o. I'd wait at least a year before sending him to a preschool.
 

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He'd be the youngest in the class and he doesn't like group time....NO-don't send him.<br>
The teacher says she wouldn't make him join group time but I'll bet ya she tries real hard to get him there. After all, that's the one time she has everyone's attention and for one kid to be off on his own, that would upset the "order." And before circle time they usually pick up toys, so would your son not be made to pick up his toys? Ya right. That would go over big with the others.<br>
I'm being overly skeptical so you can see that what is said (by the teacher) is often not what is done or even what is best for the situation.<br>
Sound like he would still do best with your playgroups and staying with you. He can get all the free play he wants when he's with mom/dad <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
And at that age they just don't need preschool IMO-not until 4 or 5 and even then it's largely dependent on the child.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks everyone for your input. I tend to think he doesn't need preschool at this age, but where I live, everyone goes to preschool. I also need to start working a couple days a week. We're very frugal, but not making our budget.<br><br>
DP and I both think preschool in am and babysitter for a few hours afterwards sounds better than babysitter all day. He does like to play with other kids a lot. However, there's something about the group activities that stress him. When it's just kids playing, he's usually fine. I know this is normal, I'm not questioning that.<br><br>
It's really helpful to have support from those of you who think that a 2 year old does best without preschool.<br><br>
Any other opinions out there?
 

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I am thinking it would be cheaper to get a babysitter rather than preschool and then babysitter...... I say wait, too.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>CarrieMF</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/7912149"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">It sounds like you want a "learning through play" based school. they are generally called "playschool" while an academics/pre-K school is a "preschool". Here all the schools are playschools with the exception of 1 preschool that is run through the school division and you must qualify by being very low income.</div>
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In the US, both are called preschool. Just to keep it confusing.
 

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I hope more moms chime in on this thread because I was about to post the EXACT same question. My oldest is 2.5 and will be 3 in Nov. Because we adopted her as an infant through fost/adopt, she qualified for the Early Head Start homebased program and we have loved it for the past year. The teacher comes once a week with toys and activities and we adore her, too. Now, she has to transition into something other than homebased due to her age and my options are:<br><br>
1. Headstart preschool 5 days a week for about 4 hours in the a.m. She wouldn't be required to go everyday, but if we miss a lot of time or develop a m/w/f or t/th schedule for ourselves they will catch onto that and probably not be really happy with me.<br>
2. County parent participating preschool on t/th, but my other 2 children do not qualify and I'd have to make sitter arrangements and I am not down with leaving my kids ANYWHERE with ANYBODY for ANY REASON! I was thinking parent participation preschool would be perfect, but since my younger children don't qualify I'm starting to think we can't do this.<br>
3. Private parent participation preschool that takes my oldest 2 children and hopefully where they/we could be together (although I have heard having sibs in separate "classes" works better). The preschool I want to go to is run by world renowned Bev Bos and there is a 9 to 12 month wait list, so we may not even get into this one until next year. My younger child doesn't qualify until next year anyway due to her age.<br>
4. Just keep them out of preschool all together until they are 3.5 and 2.5 y/o(right now they are 2.5 and 1.5)<br><br>
I, like others, feel pressured into socializing my kids with other kids in a formal preschool/playschool setting. However, after reading "Don't Push Your Preschooler" I am seeing that children don't even need to have formal socialization until they are 3, 3.5, 4 y/o. We get TONS of socialization with other kids at the park, friends w/kids the same age, and family members. I just don't know what to do at this point. I'm thinking of waiting, but our HeadStart home based teacher (again, who I absolutely love, trust, and adore!) is kinda pushing for the 5 day a week program. I just feel it's too much and think I need to listen to my motherly instinct.<br><br>
Any advice?
 

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Both of my children started at preschool at 2.5 (one actually was 2.8). My younger, a girl, has loved it from the beginning. She started in Holland in a Dutch preschool once a week, which didn't seem to be enough for her, and continued at a daily Montessori school in Mandarin when we moved to Taiwan in January. The only group time that they do is when the teacher reads them books, and my daughter joins in because she loves books anyways. Otherwise, children do work alone or with another child the whole morning. Montessori is fascinating - children learn from one another what is expected in the school setting, and they are gently encouraged to join along. Nothing is 'forced'. I think Montessori programs in the U.S. sound a little more gentle and 'fun' than this one, actually, as it is pretty strictly Montessori and also has a strong Chinese influence (ie, lots of academic pressure).<br><br>
My son didn't do so well when he started. He is the oldest and had never seen kids go to school, and he had a hard time separating from me. I had only stopped breastfeeding him shortly before, so the timing was a little rough, too.<br><br>
He wasn't interested in connecting with anybody other than me until he was almost 4, or maybe even later, so he probably could have waited to go to school until then, but I had a similar situation as yours. I was going to school myself every morning, and had to choose between him being at home with babysitters (a Chinese couple, his Taiwan 'grandparents' <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> ) or going to school. The sitters were great, but I felt that going to school was a much better option for him. It was quieter, actually, at school, and he was able to do work that he was enjoying there. At home with the sitters, he was not doing anything that gave him a sense of accomplishment or pride like he did at school. At home, he was catered to and spoiled, like good grandparents do <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">, and also I couldn't get the sitters to do fun projects with him or even let him feed himself. (They still feed him whenever they see him and he is almost 6!) So I guess that's how that choice was made.<br><br>
Every kid is different, but I have seen 2 year olds do amazing things and really grow and enjoy school at this age. You might be surprised - your son may actually end up enjoying circle time once he has the chance to CHOOSE it himself after watching it for awhile and isn't forced into it. Both of my kids really rose to the occasion at age 2 and showed me things about themselves that I may not have seen if I'd kept them at home with the sitters.
 
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