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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is just a general vent that I had to get out (my dh must be tired of hearing it LOL). Where I live, preschool is absolutely the norm. It is very, very unusual for my son (almost 5, would be in K in August) to not attend preschool. Subsequently, when we are out and about, we rarely see other kids his age. On the plus side, homeschooling is very popular in our state, so I mean, we have resources. But in the general community during the workday, we rarely see other 4 year olds.<br><br>
We've been utilizing our library programs, because they are wonderful and also free. The preschool storytime program yesterday had several stories, several interactive songs, and bubbles. Both kids love it. Obviously, I take my 2 year old, because he has nowhere else to go; I do not consider him to be a preschooler, however. Nevertheless, he sits very attentively and listens to the stories; you wouldn't know he was there. Both my kids do the songs, but they also sit with rapt attention for the stories. They love this program.<br><br>
It just bugs me that the library offers these programs from age 6 months and up, yet this "preschool story time" is almost exclusively comprised of 1 and 2 year olds. Those are not preschoolers, IMHO. And I wouldn't care if they actually sat and listened, but most do not have the attention span to sit and listen to the story. They run around, make a lot of noise and get into things. One week, the librarian had to repeatedly ask for the mother of a 2 year old to come get him, because he was getting into her stuff. They don't sit when asked and they seem to have zero interest in the stories. I don't understand why someone would take a 1 year old with no siblings to a preschool storytime program when that 1 year is not getting anything out of the program. I have theorized that, with the prevalence of preschool and "sooner is better", that people might be in a rush to consider their child older than he/she is. When my kids were 1, they seemed like babies to me and moved up to toddlers in the late 1s. I still consider my 2yr old a toddler.<br><br>
I could do like everyone else and bump my kids up to the next age slot, but that age slot does enforce age rules. Those age groupings are usually "age 6 and up". The topics are things that would greatly interest my 4yr old, like their "Japan Day", but you have to be "6 and up". Additionally, these programs are always during the day, so I would have nowhere to take my 2 year old. If I can even find a program that would be open to my 4 year, the 2 year old is absolutely not allowed. I can't figure out how SAHMs with multiple children are able to use any of these community programs.<br><br>
It was just a vent and I thank you for listening to me. I just needed to get it out. You should see my 4 yr old at the preschool story time though. Not only are my two in the minority for sitting and listening, but my 4yr looks HUGE compared to the other kids. He's a bigger 4 yr old anyway, but I mean he towers over these babies and toddlers. On the bright side, I got a smile out of a homeschooling family taking their kids to the program the other week, including what looked like an 7 yr old. The 7yr old was happily dancing and not at all concerned with "cool" or anything like that. That was nice to see.<br><br>
Thanks for listening!
 

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Feel free to speak with the children's librarian about letting your child try out the 6+ group. The children's librarian where I take Sophie to story time just told me to come to the 4-5 group even though Sophie is 3 because she's calm and sits nicely. My dh is a librarian but he does young adult. He's let 10-12 year olds come into his teen programs. So I'd ask what they think about your 4 year old trying it out. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>sweetfeet</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Feel free to speak with the children's librarian about letting your child try out the 6+ group. The children's librarian where I take Sophie to story time just told me to come to the 4-5 group even though Sophie is 3 because she's calm and sits nicely. My dh is a librarian but he does young adult. He's let 10-12 year olds come into his teen programs. So I'd ask what they think about your 4 year old trying it out. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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I had thought about it, but then I would have nowhere to bring my 2 year old. The programs are daytime programs <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>LeftField</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I had thought about it, but then I would have nowhere to bring my 2 year old. The programs are daytime programs <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"></div>
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Do parents usually go to the older kids' programs? Could your older child go in on his own, and you go into a corner of the library and read books with the little one?
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>TortelliniMama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Do parents usually go to the older kids' programs? Could your older child go in on his own, and you go into a corner of the library and read books with the little one?</div>
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I think that sounds like a great idea!!<br><br>
On a side note...who is supposed to be attending these daytime classes in the older groups? I mean aren't most kids in school during the day, or are they geared toward hs'ers?
 

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Our local library has age 6+ classes in the afternoons.The local park has some great classes,but they are very strict about age seperation which makes it impossible for my 4yo and 7yo to attend.<br><br>
I am suprised that the librarian has not instituted a more strict age requirement(or behavior requirement) for the story time.One library I went to broke it down by ages on T/Th and provided an all age storytime on Wed.<br>
I am suprised too that the mothers would not remove the children. When my dd did not pay attention(or got out of hand) I was the first to wisk her out of the room until the next week.If the behavior contined I removed her from the storytime program till the next sign up. Some kids sit better at younger ages, and parents should consider those children who really want to sit and listen. We don't get out very often, and it is the pits when another child ruins the time.<br>
Maybe your library could create a 1-2 age group storytime and restrict the preschool one to 3-6. Then an open storytime on one day.<br><br>
When my dd was in storytime at 4-5 I would check out movies and books,or go to the play area in the library with my younger one. Best wishes!
 

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Our library has infant storytime (newborn-18 months) and toddler storytime(18-36 mo). Then "pre-school" storytime for ages 3-5. For the 3-5 group, the parents need to stay in the library, but are not required to stay with the kids. Some do, some don't. Me, I enjoy 30 minutes of 'me time' in the library.<br>
They've got other programs throughout the year, but mostly in the summer, that are geard towards older kids. The room they do those in is big enough that the kids can sit on the floor up front and the parents/babies/toddlers can sit on chairs towards the back.<br>
I agree, ask the librarian if your child can try the older class. They notice which kids behave and which don't (believe me, I've had several tell me they wish more kids were like mine), and may be willing to give your child a chance.
 

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I know what you mean. Dd is now 4 and her last round of 'preschool' storytime was disappointing because almost all of the other kids were 2 or very young 3's. Same with the drop-in playgroups at the centres that are supposed to cater to 6 and under's - they're actually populated by 3 and under's.
 

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I love my Libruary, they have several "pre-school" programs, but allow older and younger w/o a bat of an eye as long as the older kids that know the information allow the younger kids a chance to answer. The only thing I don't like is during "preschool" story time they do read and such, but also pull out a video...I can do that at home...so I don't go to that one very often.
 

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The local libraries here have a separate toddler story time for just the reason you described. Older sibs and babies are welcome too, but there has to be an adult per toddler, and there's not as much expectation they sit still and watch the way babies in "lap sit" story time and preschoolers do. There's more "wiggle room" if you will.
 

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Another thought.... in our area. "preschool" is used to mean "pre- school age children. menaing HCildren that are not old enough to attend a public school. Gneerally ages 0-6. Our library story hour is that way. most of teh childnre are ages 2-4 but there are a few 0-1 that tag along with the siblings.<br><br>
I would talk with your librarian and maybe another parent adn see if you could trade off and take turns bringing your 4 year olds to teh 6 and up group stuf so teh baby wouldnt' be an issue. Just a thought .
 

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Maybe you should mention to the librarian that they need a better differentiation between "preschool" and "toddler" storytimes.<br><br>
Namaste!
 

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I take my whole crew to older kids classes. My five year old ds has a Spanish class on Friday mornings that I take all three of them to. We're the first family to take younger siblings, but the teacher was happy to see them there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>phathui5</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I take my whole crew to older kids classes. My five year old ds has a Spanish class on Friday mornings that I take all three of them to. We're the first family to take younger siblings, but the teacher was happy to see them there.</div>
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I don't take issue with some of the kids being younger, but I think it's odd that the entire class is younger than the program specifies. But the thing that really bugs me about it is that the younger kids don't go along with the program. Rather, they shriek, run around, and stand up in front of the book the librarian is reading. It's hard to even hear what the librarian is saying and a lot of the time, we can't see the pages, because of this. I hate to sound so negative, but it just makes it hard for the kids who do want to hear and see the story to enjoy it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wow, you guys are so resourceful and wonderful! I'm sorry I abandoned this thread today. We were out for most of the day. I promise I'll come back in the morning and reply. I also wanted to recheck the brief statement about the library programs to make sure I had the right expectations. Thank you so much! I'll be back tomorrow. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/love.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="love">
 

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Popping in as a librarian here: I totally agree with the OP. It's just often very, very difficult to tell people no toddlers allowed at preschool storytimes, due to the sibling factor. Most small toddlers just don't have the attention span for preschool-aged books and activities, unless it's geared to their age. I always had separate storytimes too, but it was difficult to force people to attend during their times.<br><br>
Because if she told the parents that, they'd say, "how come LeftField's two year old gets to come then, no fair!" and so on and so forth. And then she'd have to tell them that Little Graydon has a problem listening and then Little Graydon's mama would get all up in her face and go and write a mean letter to the local paper and file a complaint at the library about that mean exclusivist librarian. And, if you try to tell kids to zip it and sit it during storytime, you get branded as the hardcore old-school librarian, and you don't want that either.<br><br>
Not that this has happened to me or anything. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> But I've heard of it happening...I would do what other posters have suggested - have a talk with her. She might have some good ideas for your family, particularly if she knows you. She might let some requirements slide a little, as long as Graydon's mommy doesn't find out.<br><br>
The other annoying thing: when moms sit in the back of the room and talk during storytime. Talk about setting a good example...
 

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At the library we used to attend but don't anymore, the toddler storytime was "all-ages" and the moms attended with the kids. But the preschool storytime was strictly age-delineated, no exceptions, and was held in a separate room. Moms and younger kids just stayed in the children's area during this storytime.<br><br>
Although I completely agree with this strategy, it is the reason we stopped attending. Once Ramona turned three and Efram was still two, I wasn't willing to make the 20-minute drive twice a week for two different storytimes, and Ramona was adamant that she wanted to be in Preschool, not Toddler, storytime.<br><br>
Now that the kids are three and four, we could go back to that library for storytime and they could be together, but we have found a nice closer library with an all-ages storytime that works well (Ramona is satisfied with being there because her friend, who is almost six, also attends). Plus, that other library required registration for storytime, and I didn't like having to worry about not getting in and spending 1/2 an hour hitting redial on registration day before I got through.<br><br>
Namaste!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you for sharing a librarian's perspective!! I can see why it would be hard to enforce age groupings. For example, one week, a Mom of a preschooler brought her infant (I think I did that once too). The homeschool family had older and younger kids. I can see that. But I guess it puzzles me that most of the 1 and early 2s are being brought by a parent with no other children. I can't understand why someone would bring their only child, a very young one, to an older program when that child does not have the interest or attention span for that program. That's why I had originally speculated that people are in a rush to see their toddlers as, "preschoolers"; they often start "school" here as young as 2. But I guess some of it might be a Mom's social time. We had that issue you spoke of, of the Moms and Dads talking during storytime! A friend of mine that I bumped into was similarly annoyed and she clued me into a program at a different branch where she says it's "less chaotic". So I'll check that one out.<br><br>
I really feel for the librarian now. I cannot believe that happened to you and I can't imagine how difficult it can be. What galls me is when the parents are sitting a foot or two away and it takes the librarian to ask the kids to stop doing something obvious. One week, little Graydon or whoever was getting into the librarians table of props and the librarian had to ask twice who he belonged to and if she would please come get him. The Mom smiled at him and weakly called his name while he just stared at her. She finally did get up and get him. And the other day, in front of parents, the librarian had to tell the kids twice that she would not be reading the story until they all sat down (they were huddled in front of the book and no one else could see). I don't understand why their parents don't speak to them. So I feel for the librarian and I can see the dilemna involved.<br><br><br><br><div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>flyingspaghettimama</strong></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Popping in as a librarian here: I totally agree with the OP. It's just often very, very difficult to tell people no toddlers allowed at preschool storytimes, due to the sibling factor. Most small toddlers just don't have the attention span for preschool-aged books and activities, unless it's geared to their age. I always had separate storytimes too, but it was difficult to force people to attend during their times.<br><br>
Because if she told the parents that, they'd say, "how come LeftField's two year old gets to come then, no fair!" and so on and so forth. And then she'd have to tell them that Little Graydon has a problem listening and then Little Graydon's mama would get all up in her face and go and write a mean letter to the local paper and file a complaint at the library about that mean exclusivist librarian. And, if you try to tell kids to zip it and sit it during storytime, you get branded as the hardcore old-school librarian, and you don't want that either.<br><br>
Not that this has happened to me or anything. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/winky.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Wink"> But I've heard of it happening...I would do what other posters have suggested - have a talk with her. She might have some good ideas for your family, particularly if she knows you. She might let some requirements slide a little, as long as Graydon's mommy doesn't find out.<br><br>
The other annoying thing: when moms sit in the back of the room and talk during storytime. Talk about setting a good example...</div>
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Ok, I'm back. And I want to say again that I'm so amazed by how resourceful and creative you all are. This is such a great list. What I'm going to do it to type the program description from the library here...<br><br>
The one we go to...AHHHH....it says, "preschool aged children" and does not list an age. The one below it in age says "up to 18 months". Ok, so I was misinformed. While I still don't consider an under 3 a preschooler, I still feel confused why someone would bring any child who has no interest or attention span for the books. Oh well, we just have to decide if it's worth going still. One of the particular programs is led by a really cool and funky librarian who makes it worth going. She really gets into everything. We'll probably keep going to that one, but drop the one at the main library.<br><br>
Ok, here's a sample description of the older kid program that would definitely work for my 4 year old but runs into a "babysitting" issue for me.<br><br>
"Make Animalitos from 3:30 - 4:30 p.m. at the main library in xxx. Bring a strange-looking stick and leave with an animal puppet. The event is for children ages 5-10. Children ages 5 and 6 must attend with a caregiver. Registration is required."<br><br>
"Explore Japan from 4-5p.m. at the main library in xxx. Today is "White Day" in Japan. Learn about this holiday, Japanese customs and origami. The event is for children ages 6-11. Registration is required."<br><br>
I LOVE the idea of occupying ds2 with some books right outside the room, but the programs insist on caregivers attending. The time is set so that no one is here to watch ds2.<br><br>
What I think is that I, personally, wish the library had a similar program for ages 2ish to 5, one that has themes like the older kid programs (e.g. Japan Day, Native America Day, etc). Without the fun kiddie songs, perhaps many of the 1 and 2s would not attend. The storytime includes these songs so maybe that's why it attracts little ones who don't listen to the stories. A serious craft or cultural program would remove that issue. BUT, as I said in the OP, preschool is very much the norm here. So I don't think they could pull off attendance for one of these programs. Maybe I could write a letter to the library anyway and suggest it as an idea.<br><br>
I think I'm stuck on the library program thing though and I think I'm just going to have to look outside the library for what I want. We will continue attending the storytime simply because the kids love it, even if they do get annoyed they can't hear the book. But I think I'm stuck on those older kids ones. As I said in the OP, homeschooling is really popular in our area, so maybe I need to touch base with our support group again to see what's out there. Maybe if there were enough interest, maybe the library could coordinate something with the homeschool group.<br><br>
Thank you so much for you ideas. I am really touched and overwhelmed by your responses to my situation. I felt nervous about venting after I posted and I really appreciate your thoughts!
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">This is just a general vent that I had to get out (my dh must be tired of hearing it LOL). Where I live, preschool is absolutely the norm. It is very, very unusual for my son (almost 5, would be in K in August) to not attend preschool. Subsequently, when we are out and about, we rarely see other kids his age. On the plus side, homeschooling is very popular in our state, so I mean, we have resources. But in the general community during the workday, we rarely see other 4 year ol</td>
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I know exactly what you mean. I think this is a difficult age to "home-school" because preschool is such the norm..yet most homeschool activities are geared towards older kids and have age-requirements (like 6 and up). Around here, everyone is in preschool, and it is difficult on so many levels. Our library does have two storytimes, a preschool one and a toddler one, however 90% of the time, the preschool story-time consists of the local preschool and us. I do bring my almost 17-month old as I have no choice, and we just sit in the back or wander around in the back, she is never disruptive. Two weeks ago my daughter got her own private story-time because the the local preschool was having van trouble and couldn't make it, so dd was the only one there.<br><br>
Even going out in the mornings to the playground or whatever, it is hard because there are usually only kids under 3 there, and dd loves to make friends and find kids to play with..but most everyone is usually younger. If we want to see older kids, we have to go in the afternoon when preschool is out..but that is hard because it interferes with dd2's nap.<br><br>
We have joined the homeschooler groups, which help..but still most of the kids are older and many things are geared towards older kids, although our group does have lots of younger siblings, so there are still usually kids my dd's age for her to play with.<br><br>
I don't really have any advice..just wanted to commiserate with you.
 
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