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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is a nice private school in our area that my husband attended (years ago!!!), and we have been considering taking our children there. DS isn't 3 yet, so I have plenty of time for this decision (such a planner <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">: ), but part of their requirements include a year of academic pre-kindergarten, also part of their curriculum.<br>
I haven't even decided if DS will attend any kind of regular preschool when he turns 3, but it seems like it would be good to do a few days a week if I am planning on sending him to this pre-K program. I like the school but I'm not interested in rigorously overeducating my 4-year old. Has anyone had any experience with a program like this? I don't have any details on the program, their next open house is in January.<br><br>
Thanks for any opinions offerred!<br>
Steph
 

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I am a big fan of nursery school as a regular, planned, pleasant outing away from home at which one might also learn some nice things about the alphabet, counting, reading, and even some handwriting. More importantly, the nursery school experience lets kids play together in groups, which is fun. Some children think that academics is fun, even at an early age, so they might like that kind of school. Let your child be your guide.<br><br>
OT, and full of unrequested advice: I would also say to check to see if the private school is the same as when your husband went there. I'm thinking it may have been a fairly long time, and the philosophy of the school, and the people implementing the program, may have changed considerably.
 

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My niece went to an academic pre-K last year and is now in K5. Her school made learning fun - why not learn at age 4 - they learn so easily at that age. They only do academics from 8-12 but that also includes snack, playtime, and art or music.<br><br>
She loved it and we were so pleased that she learned to read 1 syllable words by the end of the year! She never felt pressured to learn!<br><br>
So I say look into it! It was nothing but a positive experience for us. I don't think my niece even realized when she was learning - to her it was just fun to go to school!
 

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I don't have personal experience with academic pre-k, but I do have wonderful experience with play-based preschool. If the academics were only presented in a fun, developmentally appropriate fashion, some kids would probably like it. I am curious why they need to label it academic--we are always learning aren't we <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/Bolt.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bolt"> It sounds not developmental and approp. So many concepts are simply too abstract for toddlers. They may memorize them but they're not internalized and "aquired." I would really question what they mean by "academic." If they're drilling all the letters and #s, I'd stay away. If they simply mean they offer educational games AND still offer plenty <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> of unfocused play time, then it would be fine. Toddlers need to play. They learn through gross motor skill play. They need to explore booksand talk about them and IMAGINE. These are the skills I look for in an entering class of kinders.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all so much for your input. I definately plan to check out the program at the open house, and attend a class or two to see how it really goes. We've kept somewhat involved in the school, and they have a great reputation, amazing resources, creative teachers and a very nurturing approach overall, so I'm hoping for the best. My main concern is feeling like I'm putting my son on the fast track to education, I don't think it's something that needs to be rushed.<br>
Thanks again!<br>
Steph
 

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Please read "Miseducation" by David Elkind.<br><br>
He sights many studies where children who are pushed academically at an early age tend to drop out of school at higher rates and develop more learning disabilities.<br><br>
My belief is that nursery school should be a time to have fun, learn about social relationships and have an opportunity to be with an adult other than the parent.<br><br>
My dd starts nursery school on Friday. It is a NAEYC accredited parent co-op (parents help teach and run the school).<br><br>
Go on <a href="http://www.naeyc.org" target="_blank">www.naeyc.org</a> (National Association for the Education of Young Children) to find a list of nationally accredited, developmentally appropriate programs in your area. The strict NAEYC guidelines for schools and teachers will also be listed.
 

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I believe preschool and K should focus mainly on fun and interaction, and that anything academic they may learn there should be purely accidental!<br><br>
I would stay away from schools that have pre-admission testing, as well as those that "guarantee" academic performance. I looked at one school that started at age 4, but turned them down when they guaranteed that dd would be reading by age 4 and would score in the top 15th percentile on the SATs. I don't want her to be pushed! I would rather her do just average in school if she could have lots of fun instead. Besides, I learned how to read when I was 3 and was not pushed at all. I don't want her to go to a school that teaches how to take tests!
 

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<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">would score in the top 15th percentile on the SATs.</td>
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That is one of the wierdest things I have ever heard. Do they really track the kids for the next 14 YEARS and find out how they did on the SATs? There might not even be SATs then, lol.<br><br>
I am very against "academic" schooling before at least 8 if by "academic" they mean: sit here, do this worksheet, etc... If they mean play monopoly jr, legos (geometry), lets read lots of books, etc... and the kids get to choose what and when they do it: great.<br><br>
Kay
 
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