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Mods- please feel free to move this if it's in the wrong spot.

I took DS (19 mos.) to playgroup on Friday and a few of the kids his age were enrolled in our local preschool. From what I've heard, kids can be enrolled as young as 18 mos.

I really don't think DS is even remotely ready for preschool. I never went to PS and did just fine in school. DS can count to ten, understands what numbers 1-4 mean, has hundreds of words, speaks in short sentences, and in general is doing great. I can't see how preschool could help us, now or later on.

So when does a child typically go to preschool? Why do people send them to preschool? What are the benefits?

TIA!
 

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I sent Rivka to a small dcp (my friend) when she was 2 for a few reasons:

It was a small group, lots of love (6 kids one provider).
I was working at home at the time, and although technically I could have worked with her there, it would have resulted in my shouting at her a lot, me under preasure (the work had to be done by 4pm) and me encouraging her to play on her own far more than she was willing. Much better that she be happy and loved somewhere else.
My twins were at preschool (Universal Pre-K starts here at 3), and she was BORED CRAZY without her sisters home. Between this and my working, preschool was a good idea for her at the time...

So did she *need* preschool... no. She would have been fine without it. Did she benifit, have a great time, make some friends, and have a more sane mommy who was able to finish workin the morning without shouting.... so IMO it was worth it.
 

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Generally preschool starts at 3 yo. Generally anyplace accepting children under two is a daycare. I have noticed that some people like to call daycare "school." The trend of calling daycares "preschools" really irks me since daycare and preschools serve two distinctly different functions and the children and parents different needs.

I did start DS a bit early at 2 1/2 since he is a winter baby and will turn 3 part way through the year. He really just needed more stimulation than I am up to providing, so he attend a Montessori 3 afternoons a week. He really enjoys it. He's become much less shy and more out going.
 

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As the PP has said, preschool starts at three. I would consider anything before that to be daycare. Nothing wrong with daycare (my daughter attended) but that's what it is.

Preschool where we live is universal from age three. I would not dream of keeping my DD home when she became eligible. She is an only child and extremely social. She would be bored out of her mind with no other children to play and learn with. However, I do know other children, all of whom with siblings close in age, who do absolutely fine without any form of preschool (at school or home) and who just started kindergarten at age 5.

My personal experience: I did not start school until age 5, was bored out of my mind at home watching TV and hanging out with my mildly depressed mother. So I think that preschool is... fabulous.
 

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My son is at a Montessori school, he's 2 1/2...and they do consider it a daycare program...but since the whole school goes from 2 1/2 to Kindergarden...I'm one of those people that call it school -hehehe...plus, I've found that my ds likes to feel like a big boy and he calls it school...so that's what I call it. One time, he heard me say that he was in a daycare program...and he corrected me and said, mommy - I go to school!

We had to put him in some kind of daycare when we moved 3 months ago (we moved across country). Until then, we were in a small town and could afford a nanny. It was great and our ds thrived...he loved her! They would go to playgroups, parks, libraries, etc...and she was very respectful on how we wanted to raise ds (never batted an eye that we BF until he was 26 months and co-slept, etc). But I was constantly finding activities I felt it was appropriate for them to do. We were very strict on where she was allowed to take him (I didn't want them to be running errands, etc - if they were going to be out and about, I had to know where and approve of it)

But when we moved, we couldn't afford it anymore. We tried out a small, private day care (a woman who watched 4-6 kids)...and it was terrible...just not a good fit at all. I think that if we'd been lucky, we might have been able to find something that would have worked for us...but time was also an issue...and with one bad situation...my dh wanted to go a different route - where there'd be multiple adults around (sort of to make sure that all of the care givers were being observed as well)

We found a wonderful Montessori school within walking distance. I truly believe it was the best thing we did. They have so much variety and he is exposed to so much more than he would be at home...but still in a nurturing environment. I pack all of his food -so that's not an issue. They also have a great rule - no candy...and they have a guideline on *better* foods that I agree with.

Also, they are very laid back - meaning that if all my ds wants to do is sit in the reading nook...he can...or he can go to any of the *jobs* (that's what they call all of the areas/activities - not crazy about the name, but like that they have so much they offer)...they have an art area, a manipulatives area (puzzles/hands on activities), they have a reading nook, they have a math/science area, etc...this is something that we don't have at home...yes, we have things that could be considered activities that would fit in these categories...but we don't have the space to have so many different things that he could interact with. Plus, all of the items at the school are wooden and none are licensed characters...and even at his age, I've noticed other children only talking about Elmo or Dora...and at his school they don't...which I appreciate.

DS is not super social...but he does like to be around people...so I think it's a positive for him to be going there...and he already really likes his teachers. He runs and gives them a hug and kiss before going home...which always makes me smile

Would we have him in a daycare/school if we had the choice...probably not. But is he thriving and learning...yes! I enjoy working and having that time to do my thing. I would be such a cranky, horrible mom if I didn't have an outlet...and work is my outlet...so overall, it's the best situation for us.
 

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I'm planning on putting my DD in preschool when she's 3, for 3 hours a day, three days a week.

I feel that by the time kids are 3, they are interacting with each other enough to get some benefit from it. Before then, I don't know that it would be harmful (assuming a high quality place) but would be more for your benefit than for the child's benefit (not that there's anything wrong with that!)

I wouldn't worry about the academics of it at all -- they have their whole rest of their lives for that.
 

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My son has been in a toddler group 1 day a week for 2 hours since he was just over 2 years old. When he turns 3 we will put him into preschool. He is an only child and we don't have many children around for him to play with, so I thought the socialization would be very beneficial to him. Plus, I think that they would incorporate a ton of stuff that I don't necessarily do at home. I'm not that creative and when you look at going to get stuff for crafting, it comes in sets of like 12 -- what the heck am I going to do with 12 door hangers? I don't even know 12 kids!
 

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Probably different here in the UK - but typically a child goes to preschool for the year before they start school (so here, it is roughly at the age of three).

We home educate - so DS is not going to preschool or school.
From what I understand, the general idea of preschool is to prepare them for school.
From what I have been told (by friends and family) - they send their child to preschool for socialisation and because it can offer their child more than they can (added with the 'cant wait to get rid of the little buggers') Laughable lol

I guess we are what you would call 'unschoolers' (Though we do not use that term here in the UK) - So I do not think anyone 'needs' school ...let alone preschool! I can not even get my head around the thought of it...my son would not be happy about it at all!
 

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I am trying to decide whether or not to send ds1 next year or not.
Originally I had intended to send him when he was 4. So he would have a year to acclimate to a school-ish setting before Kindergarten. But now I am considering sending him next year. But not at all for academic reasons, he is a very studious child, but for the social and emotional benefit.
 

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Our small home daycare has a preschool that starts at age 3. My oldest did that and is quite a bit ahead of the rest of his class at school. My 2 1/2 year old will start next fall. Its only a few hours a week and most of it is spent learning to write letters, their name, numbers, simple stuff like that.

I don't see anything wrong with it. My kids will go to daycare anyways so its kind of natural that they'll do the preschool part of it. If I were a sahm, I probably wouldn't do preschool.
 

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I didn't send Dd until she was 4 and Ds will go next fall he will be almost 5.
Reasons we decided not to follow the trend of sending them at 2 or 3 (I agree with PPs, 2 and sometimes even 3 is daycare, not preschool)......
I SAH
We are very busy and involved with several groups and activities, so social and stimulation needs are already met.
They didn't want to, and I didn't want them to be gone several hours at a time for two or more days a week.
If there is no need or desire then it would turn into following a trend thing, and well, that's just not for me


Oh I should add....we ended up pulling Dd1 out after 3 months. She didn't really like it, and it didn't seem to be giving her anything she needed. She had very little trouble adjusting to kindergarten and the only problem was that it was all day every day.
 

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I have fond memories of preschool. I went to Treetop Nursery School. We colored a lot and there was a girl with lots of boogers. And we sang songs in a circle. And one time we made Christmas ornaments.

I think it is mostly about learning how to interact wirth other adults and children outside of the family setting, which many children are ready to start trying around age 3 but some are not.
 

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I am really debating on whether or not to send my girls to preschool. I do stay home with them all the time, they have never been to daycare and my MIL is the only other person who watches them other than DH and I. They are socialized with other children (I take them the parks, museums, play groups, etc.) and I just don't see the WHY I would need to make them go, unless she REALLY REALLY REALLY wanted to go. She won't be 3 until March and the prices of preschool here are outrageous and they way these pre-K schools are designed are more like a daycare, which really turns me off. She is VERY smart and can count, knows colors, shapes, alphabet, can write her name, and is beginning to read simple words. So I guess my opinion is a little different than others.
 

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My main concern is ds learning to function in a class like setting. I have always stayed home and we have plenty of social stimulation and he has lots of contact with other kids- playgroups, church, library story time, open gym, etc. But he has never been in a class like setting with a teacher. I taught kindergarten and have seen how hard it can be on the kids who have never been in a school setting to adjust. I don't want him to miss out on the things he could be learning because he is spending all his energy just figuring out how things work in a classroom.
My original thought was that preschool at age 4 (the year before kindergarten) would be enough to get him ready. But I was talking to a friend who is also considering sending her 3 year old. I am interested to see all the responses and everyone's reasons and thinking.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by eepster View Post
Generally preschool starts at 3 yo. Generally anyplace accepting children under two is a daycare. I have noticed that some people like to call daycare "school." The trend of calling daycares "preschools" really irks me since daycare and preschools serve two distinctly different functions and the children and parents different needs.
Not 100% true, there are centers such as the one we use which are both. So it's a daycare center until age 2, and then certified as a preschool for 3-4. But it's all the same building and same director and all that.
 

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I think a lot of Montessori programs start between 18 -24 months. From what I understand, in the Montessori approach, the younger years are the formative years so the earlier the better. My son is almost 2 years old and I am considering putting him in a Montessori program.
 

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I just wanted to chime in to say that I did not go to preschool, and I was a very sociable, "only" child. I was never bored out of my mind, because my mother was a SAHM and she did stuff with me all the time.

When I started school at age 5, I had no problems adjusting to the masses of children I encountered every day.

Neither of my kids went to preschool. They attended a home daycare until my oldest went to school and the youngest was 3-ish. We've been homeschooling/unschooling since they were 8 and 4.5.

From a developmental standpoint, I don't think that preschool is at all necessary for normal, healthy children. I think kids that age (and older, even) should be playing and exploring, not doing worksheets and other seat work (unless they want to).
 

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OP - Your DS is doing all that at 19 months? Wow! That's crazy! I also don't see why you should send him to daycare/ps/whatever from 18 months on if you're happy with your current arrangement.

To another poster down the thread... I was just curious at something that caught my eye. Why didn't you want the nanny running errands with your LO? I love running errands with the kiddos, because they see "adult tasks" in action, and they enjoy it. (Not that I really have any other choice but to take them with me, but that's neither here nor there.) I was just curious as to why you didn't want your LO going out on errands. Not judging, just interested for the logic!
 

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We enrolled our oldest when he was 3yo. We found out they also had a 2 day per week toddler class, so we enrolled our second son as well. It has been wonderful. Preschool is usually just a few hours, whereas daycare is most/all day. Our 3rd son is now in the toddler class and LOVES it. I'm so glad we have this option, and the teachers are fabulous.

A great thing to look for is staff retention. For instance, the 4-5yo class my oldest son was in last year has a teacher who was herself a student there as a child, taught by her mother!! In our 3 years there, there has never been a staff member leave (another big difference between preschool and daycare).
 
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