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<p>DS is too young to know if he's gifted or not, but all the teachers at the daycare center claim they have never met an 18 month old who has such a large vocabulary, speaks in such complex sentences, answers questions with sentences, and pronounces words so well.  I don't have to interpret for him - he is very understandable by everyone.  He is bright in other areas as well, but language is really a strong point for him. </p>
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<p>My question is, do I keep him in the daycare where he is happy, doted on, and teacher's pet (although I wish they would quit giving him cake and donuts!), or do I move him to a daycare/preschool where half of the day the teachers speak English to the kids and the other half of the day it is a French immersion environment.  I don't want to push him too hard.  I want him to be happy and well adjusted, but at the same time, I don't want to waste an opportunity I have to foster his gift in language.  Would you move your child?  Will it matter in the long run?  He's already beyond the things they do in his class like naming colors and body parts. I don't want him to get bored, but there is a good self esteem boost to being in the top of your class so to speak.  I think stability really matters at this age too.</p>
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<p>I'm so torn!</p>
 

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<p>At 18 months, I think it's more important that he's in a nurturing place with teachers who openly adore and recognize him for his talents. Of course, it could be that the preschool could be just as loving to him. You'd have to to go and see what kind of feel you get from the new staff. Personally, having worked as a preschool teacher and toured many in that capacity, I tend to find the "care" part in preschool/daycare programs less nurturing than the care in strictly daycare facilities. I'm not entirely sure why this is.... could be the breaking up of the day, having even more teachers and staff in rotation, care staff in preschool settings not as valued as the classroom teachers, restrictions on what care can do because the kids have been in "school" for several hours already, ect. Like I said, I'm generalizing based on what I've seen but worth paying attention to on your tours.</p>
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<p>Is the french opportunity not something available at the older preschool age or elementary level? I have one in Spanish immersion and he didn't start until he was 5 and in 1st grade. He still was young enough to pick it up rapidly and add a 3rd language 2 years later. Obviously, the younger the better but I must say, my 13-year-old is doing remarkably well in Spanish and she just started taking it in high school this year. It's likely this preschool won't be the ONLY chance your child will have to learn French and no reason why he can't stay in a place he's happy getting attention you've approved of (outside the sweets) and transfer over at 3 or 4 into immersion (or earlier if he seems to become restless in his current program.)</p>
 

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<p>I imagine there will be a point in time at which your DS needs to move from a toddlers' class to a preschoolers' class anyway, at which point you could move him to the immersion program. Until then, I'd give him the stability rather than the intellectual input. However, by this I do not mean to wait until he is three (or whatever the usual cutoff in your area is). At some point, life with barely verbal two-year-olds is just too frustrating for a very verbal toddler, but preschool is very socially overwhelming for a toddler, too. We decided not to move our very verbal, but anxious DS mid-year and waited till the end of the school year when he was 2y9m to remove him from daycare where he was obviously unhappy and frustrated and started him in preschool that Septmeber, when he was 2y10m (on the advice of the headteacher, who would have accepted him in May but recommended starting at the beginning when it might be easier for him to make friends).</p>
<p>Integrating socially (one of our little one's weak areas) proved to be a challenge all year, and it was only at the end of the year that he appeared to make real friends, initiated play, was asked for playdates etc (it is a mixed age 3-6 class). However, given the choice again, I would have moved him sooner, because he was still so much happier, enjoying the more challenging program (crafts, board games, circle time etc), not crying at drop off - in fact, for a long time when we told him it's preschool tomorrow, he'd first get upset, then asked whether he'd have to be with the little ones or the big ones and when assured he was going to be in "big "preschool for good, consent to go. Free play conbtinues to be a challenge, from what I gather, but is so much better. There is a big leap between how toddlers play and how preschoolers play and he is only making that now, despite being very academically advanced.</p>
<p>With some children, social development is more in tune with intellectual development and your child may be one of them. And intellectually, he might be more advanced than typical three-year-olds even now. Thus, I'd recommend a mixed-age setting for a very asynchronous child over the specific programming. </p>
 

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<p>The French immersion preschool starts kids at 2 1/2 and is a mixed age setting.  The social development issue is definitely an important consideration.  He prefers older kids already - like 5 to 10 year olds.  He often plays by himself in the 1 year old room.  The teacher can't get him to knock down towers of blocks with the other kids or play in the water and sand.  I have a few theories about this Maybe he just likes to do his own thing, maybe the other kids are too loud and rowdy for him (I'm sure this is part of it), My mom thinks he is bored by other kids his own age.</p>
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<p>I wonder if older kids would be even louder and rowdier and possibly scare him more, or if he would join in with them because what they do is more fun?</p>
 

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<p><br>
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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>pranava</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278841/move-ds-to-a-preschool-or-keep-him-in-daycare#post_16039842"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>The French immersion preschool starts kids at 2 1/2 and is a mixed age setting.  The social development issue is definitely an important consideration.  He prefers older kids already - like 5 to 10 year olds.  He often plays by himself in the 1 year old room.  The teacher can't get him to knock down towers of blocks with the other kids or play in the water and sand.  I have a few theories about this Maybe he just likes to do his own thing, maybe the other kids are too loud and rowdy for him (I'm sure this is part of it), My mom thinks he is bored by other kids his own age.</p>
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<p>I wonder if older kids would be even louder and rowdier and possibly scare him more, or if he would join in with them because what they do is more fun?</p>
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The French immersion school sounds like a good option.  We've had some really good luck with DD in a multi-age daycare that was in a new language to her.  What ages does it go up to?  Does it do heavy academics? Are the costs ok for you and does it fit your work schedule? </p>
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<p>If he seems to be hesitant around rowdy kids/noise etc... a Montessori preschool could be a good option for him (assuming you could find a good one where you live).  There he could work at his level and the environment shouldn't be too loud/rowdy for him.  If the French immersion school is play-based it might be a bit overwhelming for him depending on group dynamics there. </p>
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<p>We're going through something similar right now for DD (almost 2).  She's ahead in language but lately has been surprising us with her math abilities.  We're leaning towards a Montessori school that has made a good impression on us (and they claim to really follow a child's lead and seem to be very willing to provide materials that are at her level regardless of age). </p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>pranava</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278841/move-ds-to-a-preschool-or-keep-him-in-daycare#post_16039842"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>The French immersion preschool starts kids at 2 1/2 and is a mixed age setting.  The social development issue is definitely an important consideration.  He prefers older kids already - like 5 to 10 year olds.  <strong>He often plays by himself in the 1 year old room.  The teacher can't get him to knock down towers of blocks with the other kids or play in the water and sand.</strong>  I have a few theories about this Maybe he just likes to do his own thing, maybe the other kids are too loud and rowdy for him (I'm sure this is part of it), My mom thinks he is bored by other kids his own age.</p>
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<p>I wonder if older kids would be even louder and rowdier and possibly scare him more, or if he would join in with them because what they do is more fun?</p>
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Based on your first post, my response was going to tend toward leaving him in the daycare, since it seemed to be meeting his needs and he's happy. Your description of him frequently playing alone alters my impression of his situation. He may not be connecting well with the other toddlers because of his asynchronous development of language and cognitive skills. A multi-age preschool setting may be more suitable for him. He'll have more opportunity to find other children with similar abilities. </p>
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<p>Regarding the language immersion, I wondered whether you've checked out the primary and secondary school options. If there is no continuing immersion school program or if you dislike the immersion school, then you'll have to adjust your expectations about language acquisition. I know lots of people who attended language immersion primary schools, but opted out in high school. They lost most of their second language by the time they finished college. It isn't a reason to decide against an immersion pre-school, but it's something to consider if you have other pre-school options available.  </p>
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<p>I would lean toward leaving him in daycare at this point. He may have the same behaviors in a new setting as well. What is the age range in the class he is in now?? He feels safe there and at his age, he will be learning everyday no matter what. Good teachers will be reading books and talking a lot to the kids--both of which will help him grow in the language department.</p>
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<p>As for the playing alone and avoidance of water/sand play- have you looked at sensory issues? If he is sensitive to noise, texture, etc then you may want to look into some sensory activities to help him develop a tolerance for 'messy/loud' play. It may not ever be his favorite kinds of activities, but introducing it now can alleviate problems down the line. I think the 'alone' play and the avoidance of certain activities and his advanced language  are different topics.</p>
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<p>I think any age has the potential to be noisy and loud---different groups of kids have different dynamics.</p>
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<p>If he does not like certain activities when he understands the language (which is his area of strength), then how will he handle it if he does not understand the language? Is he flexible? Does he adapt well? If so, he could handle the change easily and the immersion program may be a good fit--but if he has a hard time with change and expresses frustration or an intolerance for change then I would lean toward leaving him in place for now.</p>
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<p>At 18 months would he need to be potty trained? What would the age range be? How are his other skills? (if he is working with older students that are doing activities that require a high level of fine motor skills, it may be frustrating).</p>
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<p>If the daycare immersion program is geared toward his age and maybe has multi-age classes, I would try it. If he does not adapt well--you can put him back in the daycare setting and maybe try next year. A year can make a big difference.</p>
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<p>DD is just about to turn 18 months, and doesn't seem to like playing with kids her own age either. we've been going to a playgroup with kids birth to 4-5, and she's been playing with 3-4 year olds. I think she finds the kids her age to be boring. I remember being the same way when I was in preschool. I went to a co-op preschool when I was 4, and didn't really play with more than one or two of the other kids, and I had issues interacting with those my same age until college. I usually did better in a mixed age setting, or a setting where most of the kids were bright or gifted.</p>
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<p>my first thought is, 18 months seems really young to start any kind of preschool, even for a very gifted kid, but it sounds like he wouldn't start until he was 2.5? if that's the case i wouldn't make a decision just yet, but wait to see how things are closer to that time. I would make sure I was familiar with all the options in the area, both for preschools and later, because you may find something that fits your needs better, or it may be the best choice. </p>
 

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<p>Another vote for leaving him in daycare for the next year. When your son turns 2 1/2 and is eligible for the immersion program, I'd do that <em>if</em> you were committed to the immersion program through elementary school.</p>
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<p>Many 1 year olds don't play with other kids. Parallel or independent play is much more common. It sounds to me like he can get the stimulation/attention and emotional stability he needs from the daycare, and that's the most important thing right now.</p>
 

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<p>Kids tend to not play with other kids at that age, they do mostly parallel and independent play until about 3 and a half or so, and some kids don't enjoy water and sand play because the texture is too strange to them.  I think a nurturing and enjoyable environment is a good place for a child this age.  A preschool environment will have higher behavior expectations, especially for a verbal child, and that is very hard for young children to deal with even when they are preschool age. </p>
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<p>If you are going to keep him in a french immersion school or have realistic opportunities to continue to develop his french ability throughout his childhood then I think french immersion is a good idea for preschool or even now as long as the nurturing and understanding of how children develop is there.  If that isn't going to happen then I think you should keep him where he is.  Switching him probably won't take away the problems that come with not having anything in common with the less verbal kids so if that is part of what is motivating you to switch I suggest not doing it.  I switched my dd to a more academic preschool setting when she was four and it was the most miserable year of her life.  The teacher was very cold and the academic stuff wasn't all that challenging.  Dd was still bored with the other kids and hated it because only one other girl would sit and talk with her and she wanted to also play.  My dd was friendless and faced with a teacher who thought that being matter of fact and seeming not to care was the best way to run a classroom and things got really bad before I was able to recognize what was happening and get her boss to make a change happen.  Preschool seems like an awesome thing but you really need to be careful to look underneath the cover of academic wonder and good reviews so you can really make an informed decision that will ensure your child has the opportunity you are trying to give him instead of another class that is the same or worse.</p>
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>One_Girl</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278841/move-ds-to-a-preschool-or-keep-him-in-daycare#post_16045817"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br><br><p>Kids tend to not play with other kids at that age, they do mostly parallel and independent play until about 3 and a half or so, and some kids don't enjoy water and sand play because the texture is too strange to them.  I think a nurturing and enjoyable environment is a good place for a child this age.  A preschool environment will have higher behavior expectations, especially for a verbal child, and that is very hard for young children to deal with even when they are preschool age. </p>
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<p>I agree with this. 18 months is really, really young. I would wait till 2.5 or so to switch him. FWIW, it may be a while till he plays with others. My older daughter didn't really do this till about 4. She was very verbal and found kids her age frustrating and unpredictable for a very long time. (On the other hand, my 2to is also very verbal and has made great friends at his in-home daycare, though his buddies are somewhat older.)<br>
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<p>I agree with everyone who said that he may not play with younger kids because he finds them too rowdy and unpredictable. He may prefer to be with older kids, because they're calmer and more predictable (turned out to be like that for our little guy - he went from a class with 12 toddlers to a class with 24 preschoolers and dealt with the noise level MUCH better). However, he might not play with them either - a) because it is really up to older kids if they choose to play with a little one - some like to do so, especially girls, some don't -   b) because he is still into parallel play or c) he may just prefer solitary pursuits because he likes to be in control of what he's doing, and older kids, while more predictable, still do not feel as safe as grownups. Probably all of the above, actually.</p>
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<p>I'd treat it like any other daycare switch - check out whether you feel they will do as well by your child as the current one does, and treat the French immersion as a nice extra. If they accept 2.5 year olds, they might be set up for typical toddlers' needs (smaller staff ratios, longer habituation period, diapering, potty training, help with difficult dropoffs, strollers for outings, help with food, drink and clothes, naptimes ect.) and be able to deal with an under-two kid. Then again, they might really be set up for preschoolers and developmentally advanced older twos and it might be overwhelming for an under-two. </p>
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<p>by next summer, your little one will be just a little over two, right? Might be the prefect moment to switch.</p>
 

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<p>I will put on my preschool teacher hat and say that it's perfectly normal for 18 months old not to play with other kids and I'm surprised the current staff sees it as unusual. Toddlers, gifted or not, want to play with adults or older children (like 5 and up.)</p>
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<p>Since he's happy now, I'd just let him finish off the year where he is with teachers who love him. 2.5 is plenty early enough to start in an immersion and likely more structured setting. While he might want older children for socialization in the future, I don't know that I would rush to put him with two-year-olds. This is a very difficult age in the preschool world. They are at the height of their grabbing, hitting, tantrum stage and their awareness of other kids doesn't really help things. Toddlers are still pretty mellow and more into their own thing than bugging their classmates. Plus, if his stimulation needs are high they will just get higher with age. If he's satisfied where he is, let him "use up" that environment before moving him on. Otherwise he'll spend an extra year in the preschool program where he's already gotten everything he could from it and you'll be searching for something else. If he was unhappy, certainly, I say to move him. But happy? Save that new stimulation for when he clearly needs it.</p>
 

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I think my choice would depend on the environment and expectations in the preschool. Is it warm and nurturing, too? What sort of "academics" do they expect? Will they adjust their curriculum to his level?<br><br>
I don't think I'd base my choice on whether or not he'll continue French after preschool. My understanding is that learning a language by 5ish causes kids to be more sensitive to language in general, and gives them the ability to produce more sounds, regardless of whether they continue to speak the language.
 

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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>Aufilia</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1278841/move-ds-to-a-preschool-or-keep-him-in-daycare#post_16052870"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border-bottom:0px solid;border-left:0px solid;border-top:0px solid;border-right:0px solid;"></a><br><br>
I don't think I'd base my choice on whether or not he'll continue French after preschool. My understanding is that learning a language by 5ish causes kids to be more sensitive to language in general, and gives them the ability to produce more sounds, regardless of whether they continue to speak the language.</div>
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This was my understanding of providing another language opportunity to a toddler.  Just the exposure is good for the brain.  My grandma spoke Spanish to me before age 5 and although I didn't retain it, I think I picked up the language and accent easier than most in high school.</p>
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<p>I talked to the preschool and they will accept him at 2.  It is very homey and play based.  Only 12 kids max with a 4/1 kid/teacher ratio.  Teaching is hands on and not worksheets and such.  No potty training necessary, although he's well on his way.  I think it will be a great place for him.  Thanks for all your responses!</p>
 
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