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My daughter will be 2 soon. How do I learn about what is best for her development? I don't know if she is overscheduled now. How do I know if she will need pre-school? I don't know when to start or if to start. I am not familiar with the different options. Do you know?
 

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My dds did go to preschool btwn the ages of 3 and 4.5, but I really don't think that it is necessary. If your child has an enriching home environment and opportunities to socialize with other children (at the park, mommy and me classes, etc.), there isn't much else to be gained from preschool unless you are sure that she will be attending public or private school and you want her to have an opportunity to practice separating from you and learning in a group environment before kindergarten.

I wouldn't, personally, consider preschool before age 3 unless you need it for childcare. I did need a little childcare when dd#1 was 1.5 - 2 while I was finishing an internship for school. We did look at some centers that billed themselves as "preschools." In reality, they were just glorified childcare. Dd's comment to me has always stuck in my head -- we were visiting one and she looked around with me, then turned to me and said firmly "you leave, I cry." We wound up going with a mother who did in-home childcare instead.

When we did get to the preschool point, I was more interested in her having fun activities than a significantly educational experience.
 

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My boys all do preschool. All of them (w/ my 3rd son starting this fall) began at age 2. BUT we do co op preschool. So it's not a drop off. You stay w/ them the entire time and it is wonderful! We love
co op so much...all of us! Dh is very involved too and attends class w/ the boys plus dh and I are on the board (he's a rep of the preschool and I, the co chair this year). If you've got co op...I would suggest looking into them. They are much cheaper than drop off and you help out and have a sense of community while being w/ your child as they learn and grow. As they get older you can leave them (like 2 days and work on the 3rd day in the classroom) when they are over 3 years old. We have all had our kids grow up together and now my oldest son is in his last year...seems like yesterday they were all 2 starting out..and now they are in the big boy class!


It's not a "glorified daycare" situation w/ co op either. Most are a little over 2 hours long as to not overwhelm the kids w/ too much...plus it's only up to 3 days a week..which is enough..and not too much (like 5 days..which is pretty much like school).

Co op preschool has helped our kids grow, learn, and socialize in a structured, safe enviornment. It's given them some rituals and more of a routine (but not a huge, overly strict one). They have the same teacher for each class..and every year. She's been w/ the preschool for many years, teaching for 18 now. They love it...and we live across the street!!
Plus it helped us adjust to life in a state where we knew not a single soul and opened up doors to us that we never would have known about.

Not all areas have them tho...the entire west coast has them up and down at just about all community colleges. The college oversees them and there is an instructor there that helps w/ parent education (which is how you get the college "credit" for it) and the college helps w/ board training (which is made up of parents), etc. We are non profit and all of the parents run everything. So you have a say about how to spend and can change things and be heard. I would try to google co op preschools in your area and see what pops up. But those that aren't affiliated w/ a college can be expensive (I looked some up in a different state that does not have co op and one popped up and it was 3 times as expensive as ours!)
:

good luck w/ your choice!!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by mb722toddler
My daughter will be 2 soon. How do I learn about what is best for her development? I don't know if she is overscheduled now. How do I know if she will need pre-school? I don't know when to start or if to start. I am not familiar with the different options. Do you know?
The options vary from area to area.

My oldest three went to Pre-Kindergarten. My youngest did not.

I sent the older three b/c I thought it would be important for them to be able to adjust to public school.

I will not be sending my youngest anywhere as we are now homeschooling all the kids.

I wouldn't worry about at all at your daughter's age. My oldest son was five in pre-K. My daughter and middle son were 4 and turned 5 while in Pre-K.
 

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I homeschooled my oldest and he had attended preschool at ages 3-4. I think it was good for him. He is a very shy child and it was good for him to be around other kids his age. My daughter is very social and started at a preschool at age 2 (almost 3 at that time). I think it just depends on the child.

It really just depends on you and your child. Maybe in the Fall you could schedule to visit a couple of preschools that offer 2 yr old classes and just see what you think.
It's definitely not required but it can be a fun time for the child even if you do decide to homeschool later.
 
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