PDA

View Full Version : OT: Preschool..what did you do??


ThreeMusketeers
06-17-2006, 09:37 PM
Hi everyone...
Question for you, did you send your kids to preschool?
I am torn, preschool is not mandatory here in our county, and its SO expensive to find a private preschool, even for a couple days a week. (A decent one that is.) Not that my daughters education is not important, we are just in a penny pinch situation with a big move coming up, me finishing school, and being a SAHM. So if savings can be done..(we are talking $150 a month) than I think its worth at least the thought. I found one preschool that was cheaper, but it scared me..the doors were open to the public, kids could walk right out as well, and when we "surprised" them for a tour we could have easily snatched the poor little kid standing in the hall and noone would have even noticed. THAT SCARES ME! I work with dd alot, she has been able to write and spell her name since she was 3, she is reading small words, she counts well, Abc's 123's all down. I am thinking of doing a "homeschool" preschool program with her and socializing her through park trips, and during winter months trips to indoor children parks. We can take feild trips ect.. Is this a terriable idea? I don't want her to fall behind for Kindergarden.
What are your thoughs?? What have you done??

Thanks a bunch..

SleepyatDVC
06-17-2006, 09:52 PM
I would try posting your question on the family board - lots more knowledgeable people over there about pre-school I would think.

That being said, my kids both went to pre-school the year before they started kindergarden. It was a tremendous help in getting them use to the group environment. Also it got all the "fun" and play experiences out of their system so to speak since kindergarden concentrate so much on the academics now a days.

You could really tell which kids had pre-school experience and which did not. Although, I think a couple of months into the school year, it all evens out.

In NYS our pre-k classes are subsidized so it was a no-brainer for us. If we had to pay OOP, I'm really not sure that we would have sent them to pre-school, :confused3

The dropping off and picking up is really time consuming and we were already paying for a nanny, so we would be double paying for childcare. The nanny literally spends all day between 7:30am to 4:15pm running between 2 schools dropping off and picking up one of my 2 girls. She spends at least 4 hours on the bus per day!

It would be much better this September when both girls go to the same school.

Good luck with your decision.

sk!mom
06-17-2006, 09:58 PM
My DD stayed with grandma during the school year until kindergarten. I'm a teacher and do not think that early structured schooling is a must. My mom does childcare in her home and when DD was young she made a point to always have one or two other little girls DD's age for her to play with. She also used a homeschooling preschool program. DD took dance starting at 3, went to Sunday School, and had regular playdates. She had no trouble adjusting to Kindergarten and is a top student now.

IMO, preschool is a must only for children who would otherwise spend there days in front of a TV.

Do what is best for your family.

Wish I lived in Fl
06-17-2006, 10:19 PM
DD only did 1 year of preschool ,2 afternoons per week, because of cost. Because it was a town run early intervention preschool and DD was a peer model it was cheap, $80/month.
If she had qualified for early intervention it would have been free.

DD did have some social issues at first because she is pretty much an only child, her brother being much older. Even though we did a lot of playgroups and babysitting swaps she was still used to immediate adult attention and not used to waiting to be 10th or 12th in line once in a while.

I had her go to preschool solely for the school social skills. Around here most kids do at least 2 years preschool.

frogmommy
06-17-2006, 10:51 PM
I did a 2 day/week mother's morning out program for our son when he was 4. I did it because I lead a support group meeting once a month and I needed to have a place for him to go during that time. It was also nice for him to be with other kids his age. To be honest they really didn't focus much on academics. At first I was a little put off by this, but like you I had already taught basic skills to DS. He did not lose any of those skills and in fact I think he is still ahead of most of his peers. (Edited to add, the cost of the program was $95.00/mth. The school day was 9-12:30, T & Th).

I don't think your DD will fall behind by not attending preschool. You have already given her a really good start. You can teach any academic skill as well as a preschool can. Sometimes primary schools will have information about the skills they want children to have when they start kindergarten. You might want to look into this. The one skill I would make sure your daughter has is the ability to write her first name.

Frankly I think the benefit to preschool is more social than academic, especially for kids who have a parent at home. You can help develop social skills by joining a playgroup. Don't forget that sending your daughter will also increase her exposure to cold and flu, which could translate to medical costs for you.

I think there is a homeschool thread on the family board. You might try going there for some ideas and support.

tinkerbell13
06-17-2006, 11:42 PM
I really think it depends on your child, my first 2 children did not go and did fine in Kindergarten and on. My 3rd who was born much later than the first 2, needed it! She was more like an only child and we did not have kids in our neighborhood that were her age to help her adjust to other kids, etc..
I think if the money is really an issue, that you can find out the things your child needs to know to help her prepare in that year for "K".
The most important thing that I would do is find out what style of of writing(denealian, etc.) they will use and teach her that one, learning the letters correctly will be a big advantage.

Goobergal99
06-17-2006, 11:56 PM
I didn't send DD but I wish I did. She just completed her second year of kindergarten (we kept her back because she really struggled) I think if she had gone to pre-school she wouldn't have had to repeat. But then again, who really knows what would have happened. There is alot expected of kids in kindergarten now though, so I would definently consider it.

aka-mad4themouse
06-18-2006, 06:05 AM
I sent both of my children to preschool, not for the academics but for the socialization. I felt that they both needed to "learn the rules" of a classroom, like sitting quietly during story time, raising their hand to speak, sharing their toys, communicating with their peers, forming a line and staying with the group and conflict resolution (as much as a 3yo or 4yo can do).

However, I wouldn't have done it if I felt that they were not in a safe environment. And if that's all that was available to me, then they would have stayed home with me. They eventually "learn the rules" in kindergarten. If you feel that you child would not be safe at that school, trust your instincts. They're almost always right. There's a lot of truth to the notion of a mother's intuition.

jeankeri
06-18-2006, 06:16 AM
I sent both my sons to preschool. At the time we were living in an apartment complex while DH was in grad school. There were no kids around and my sons needed interaction. We went to library programs and museum(sp)/zoo mini-classes, but there was little chance for them to make friends. In the preschool thet got to do that. We were away from our friends and family during that time; it may have been different if we hadn't.

EthansMom
06-18-2006, 06:36 AM
I too sent my son to preschool for socialization. We "homeschooled" him in reading and math. His preschool offered a discount if you prepaid for the year.

Around here, most kids attend preschool or pre-K for at least one year.

However, I wouldn't consider preschool to be mandatory. You may look into getting into a playgroup or taking your daughter to Sunday School -- anything where your daughter will be able to socialize with kids her age. Not sure where you're located, but http://www.momsclub.org is a great organization for playgroups, field trips, etc.

Good Luck!

bartleby1
06-18-2006, 07:08 AM
I sent my kids to preschool basically to socialize and get time away from me. Around age 3, it seemed that my kids needed and enjoyed the little bit of independence from being on their own a few hours a week.

I don't, however, think that not sending them would put them behind in kindergarten. It does help them adjust in the beginning, but I don't believe they would have been terribly "behind" without it.

Have you checked your local churches for preschool programs? Around here, they are significantly lower priced than free-standing preschools and many of them are just as good. I pay $116 per month for two days per week (9:00 - 11:30). My neighbor pays $210 per month at another preschool for the same amount of time (but in a nicer building).

LisaNJ25
06-18-2006, 07:32 AM
Hi everyone...
Question for you, did you send your kids to preschool?
I am torn, preschool is not mandatory here in our county, and its SO expensive to find a private preschool, even for a couple days a week. (A decent one that is.) Not that my daughters education is not important, we are just in a penny pinch situation with a big move coming up, me finishing school, and being a SAHM. So if savings can be done..(we are talking $150 a month) than I think its worth at least the thought. I found one preschool that was cheaper, but it scared me..the doors were open to the public, kids could walk right out as well, and when we "surprised" them for a tour we could have easily snatched the poor little kid standing in the hall and noone would have even noticed. THAT SCARES ME! I work with dd alot, she has been able to write and spell her name since she was 3, she is reading small words, she counts well, Abc's 123's all down. I am thinking of doing a "homeschool" preschool program with her and socializing her through park trips, and during winter months trips to indoor children parks. We can take feild trips ect.. Is this a terriable idea? I don't want her to fall behind for Kindergarden.
What are your thoughs?? What have you done??

Thanks a bunch..


I would just "homeschool" his like you said.

My oldest I did not sent to pre-school. With my 6yo my town had just started free half day pre-school and it was at the elemetery school so she went. If I had to pay $150 a month she would not of gone.

DawnM
06-18-2006, 07:32 AM
I worked full time when my boys were little.

They went to a nanny up to age 2 and then went to a pre-school. When my oldest was K age and my youngest was 3 we pulled them both out and have kept them home ever since.

We are now homeschooling and it is the best decision we have ever made.

If I were to do it again I would not send my kids to pre-school.

I could say more but I am afraid it will strike a debate and that is not my intent.

I guess my point is that if you are home and not needing daycare/pre-school for you to have someone to watch them while you work, then being home with you is all they need. We are a VERY social family and get together with other families with kids all the time.

Dawn

minkydog
06-18-2006, 07:46 AM
I homeschooled my DD through most of her preschool years--she went to one year of pre-school because we had a family crisis and I needed the respite. Otherwise, I did exactly what you're doing--letters, counting, painting,cooking, field trips. Not only that, but we skipped kindergarten altogether and just kept doing what we were doing. No problems.

If money is tight and you are aSAHM anyway AND you have the desire, you can mozt certainly do preschool on your own. Piece of cake! :artist:

rdsx28
06-18-2006, 07:58 AM
Hi,
In my own opinion I think preschool is very important. Socially they are able to interact with other children in a school setting. I see the children in my daughters kindergarten class that did not have preschool and they seem to have a harder time adjusting to school. My daughter did 2 years of preschool. Our city does however offer free 1/2 day preschool which was great. I do know that the Y in our city has a preschool program which I have heard is wonderful. I'm not sure of the cost but it may be something to look into.Also sometimes local colleges or trade schools run preschool classes as well as some churches.You may want to investigate a bit further but I totally understand the cost thing as everything is so expensive to do today. Good Luck!

Pea-n-Me
06-18-2006, 07:59 AM
I sent both of my children to preschool, not for the academics but for the socialization. I felt that they both needed to "learn the rules" of a classroom, like sitting quietly during story time, raising their hand to speak, sharing their toys, communicating with their peers, forming a line and staying with the group and conflict resolution (as much as a 3yo or 4yo can do).
Ditto. For us, it was a good move (I have twins).

Kindergarten is not like it used to be, I was surprised. Today they are expected to get right down to the nitty gritty: work. When our kids went to orientation, the teacher had each child write their name as they came in to see where each child was with their writing. I was glad my kids knew how to behave in the classroom because it left them with energy to spend on the academics.

I don't think kids have to go to preschool. As with everything else, there are choices and each family will do what's best for them. But I do think that you cannot compare the skills your daughter will gain in a preschool classroom will compare to anything she'll get in an indoor playground. The rules are simply different there. Best of luck to you. :wizard:

tamman
06-18-2006, 08:09 AM
It sounds as though your daughter is on the right track for kindergarten. As a kindergarten teacher, I can tell you that the curriculum is much more like first grade here in Michigan. My parents are always floored at what their kids need to know by the end of the year. I am not sure if your are doing this or not, but with the ABC's, introduce both capital and lowercase letters as well as their letter sounds. Also, show teach her the "a" and "g" (not the g I wanted to show you...I can't change the font for some reason. But it is the Times New Roman font g that looks like an 8). The reasoning is because a lot of the print in books use the different fonts and it is a good idea to expose your child to the different types of letters. Sight words are good and it sounds like you have already started that. Recognizing numbers up to 10 or 20. In kindergarten it is 30. Self help skills such as putting on shoes (not necessarily tying them), snapping pants, zipping coats...heck putting their coat on!!! I was shocked to see how many kids would have their coat on upside down and not even realize it :rotfl:. All of that said, I must say that I have one of the best jobs in the world. I just love those little buggers :sunny:

tinker&belle
06-18-2006, 08:26 AM
As a pre-k/k teacher in a private school setting, I have seen children who have been in preschool their whole lives and children that are just beginning school. Counting, writing and those 'academic' things are great and will help her later in life but SO MANY other skills are learned in a preschool setting, especially when mom and dad are not there to resolve the child's problems. Children are assisted by teachers to learn how to discuss their problems and feelings. A child who comes to kindergarten who does not know how to address the child who took his shovel on the playground will have a hard time. Yes, he can get a teacher there as well (if they are on the playground instead of the college aged playground assistants we have around here that rarely leave the bench they are sitting on :confused3 ). When the child is working on so many academic skills it is SO helpful for them to have a good social base.

That being said, I will get off my soapbox. You SHOULD do what is best for your family, but you asked if preschool was important and this is my opinion as an educator. BTW, if it is only 150 a month, that is what my center charges a week (maybe it is part time?) but I would really question the safety and richness of a full time program that is REALLY cheap compared to comparable programs in your area.

Littlemotherhaywood
06-18-2006, 08:39 AM
We sent our dd to preschool for one year and she entered kindergarten a year early. I don't know if preschool had anything to do with that or not. Personally, I sent her for socialization reasons. She is not my most social child. She did not care to take turns or lose at a game and preschool really helped with these aspects of her development. It was time consuming to drive her and pick her up. We lucked out. We found a really nice preschool for $90 a month, three mornings (2.5 hours) a week. The curriculum included sign language, kindermusic, and gymnastics as two of the teachers were certified to teach these things. They took a few field trips and my dd got to do a lot of things she never would have otherwise. Now I'm very active in a playgroup that has about ten kids my ds's age and we go to different gatherings and I can already see that his social development is further ahead than my dd's was at the same age. I suppose only time will tell. I really think a parent is the best teacher for a child so I don't think children will miss much by not attending preschool. This school was able to offer my dd something I couldn't at the time...above and beyond education. The case may be different with my ds because our circumstances are different. Given that, we may not send him to preschool. I would follow your intuition about this. It sounds like you're a good parent and that you're already working with your child on the skills they will need upon entering kindergarten.

Mic
06-18-2006, 09:03 AM
I have had a small daycare (no more than 8 children) in my home for 15 years, and not one of the children had any issues with starting kindergarten. All but one actually scored well above average on the mandatory assessment given 6 months before they started school. Having a small group with mixed ages has actually helped a lot with socialization: the 5-year-old is often the age in the "middle". They must learn to share and be patient with the younger children who do not walk/talk/draw/write, etc. as well as they do. For much of the day(until the afterchool children arrive), the 5-year-old is the "leader" in a sense, with the younger children watching and doing everything the older child does, so I stress setting a good example. I have been fortunate in having great parents, a lot of them teachers, who want their children in a home environment with a small number of children. While we do a lot of learning activities, it never feels like "school". I have tried several approaches to "kindergarten readiness", my most ambitious being using the High Reach Learning program for 2 years. It was the 2 years before the youngest of my own 4 children started kindergarten, and I had lucked into a great situation. I had 4 other girls in my daycare: a 5-year-old, her 4-year-old sister, a 3-year-old and her after-school sister(9), in addition to my own afterschool children, a son(6), and older daughters(7,9). When my daughter started kindergarten, though, she was bored most of the year, and wanted to quit school(my DH and I joked that we almost had a kindergarten drop-out!)According to her "All we do in school is color". So I re-vamped my program, going back to the tried and true system that had worked for years, and I accepted infants again. The infant that started with me that year(at 6 weeks of age, weighing in at 10 pounds) will start kindergarten in 2 months. At her kindergarten assesssment, she did very well academically and behaviorally. Indeed, it was noted that her maturity level seemed well above average for her age. So what I'm trying to say in a long-winded way is that preschool may not be worth the cost. If socialization is the main concern, there are several things you can do to help with that. Make friends with at least 2 other families with children the same age, and arrange play dates for the kids on a regular basis. Attend local free events for preschoolers(weekly storyhour at the library) or low-cost events(like Mother's morning out at a church or summer movie program at the local movie theatre). If your county/district has a pre-k sports team, join that(our elementary booster club FINALLY started 2 pre-k sports teams for soccer and c-ball). Church is also a great place for socialization, and Vacation Bible School season just started. In my opinion, the most important thing needed for a rising kindergartener is a daily routine. If you don't already have one, establish one. Our local elementary school begins at 8:10 AM, so we were always up, fed, and ready for our day to begin by 7:30. My local elementary also has a 12:05 pm lunch time for the kindergarteners(they are the last ones served), with a morning snack @10 am, so that is what we do here. Good luck with whatever you choose to do, and kudos to you for wanting to help with your daughter's transition. Oh, and to make this an "on-topic" post, I have to share this bit of Disney info: the 5-year-old I am sending to kindertgarten in 2 months will be going to Disney World with me in less than a week! After her assessment, her parents felt she was ready(we've talked about it for a year!). I was able to get a room at the Boardwalk for 3 nights using a combination of my DVC points and cash, AND I lucked into an obvious cancellation for the Princess Storybook Breakfast for Saturday. The only magic that hasn't happened yet is dinner at 'Ohana's, and I am optimistic that it may. My daycare parents are mostly teachers, so getting 2 days off during the summer is fairly easy, and they were all very excited for us. Of course, I may have just started something I will be expected to continue, but I can definitely live with that!
:thumbsup2

mamalle
06-18-2006, 10:52 AM
find a church- mine have gone to a parents day out program for the last 3 years. mon-thurs 9-12pm. its been the greatest thing. the teachers are all certified and its a very safe enviroment for the kids to be in. we started at $11.00 a day donation. It is now $12.00. it varies from month to month due to the days in school.Norm is usually $180 a month. They follow the public school systems schedule. holidays and special events at the church the kids are off and we do not have to pay. which is SO unlike other preschools. I cant say enough good things about the whole experience.

my dd started kindergarten last august and let me tell you- its not like it used to be when I went. these kids are reading and doing so much more. the teacher said she could tell the ones that didnt go to preschool compared to the ones that did. tae learned social skills, following directions, etc in preschool- so it was all about academics when she started school. Next year our son will stay one more year in preschool due to his bday being in November. They are going to start using the kindergarten site words for the kids to learn. One a week and go from there. I think its great. our son loves to learn and keep up with his big sister so he will be that much farther ahead when he goes to school.

Debbie Jean
06-18-2006, 11:10 AM
My daughter attended a cooperative preschool program for 3 years and it was wonderful! Cost was a factor for me, as well, and this was by far the least expensive alternative.

More importantly, though, I was able to be involved in the school which I think made both my daughter and myself fell more comfrotable. Each family... ususally it was the mom, was responsible for spending 2 days each month in the classroom assisting the teacher. I not only knew exactly what went on in the classroom, but got to know all the other children as well as the other moms. For the 2 years olds, it was 2 mornings or afternoons a week, for 3 years olds, 3 mornings or evenings a week, and for 4 years olds, it was 4 mornings or evenings a week.

This is not the solution for someone who needs childcare on an ongoing basis, but a great preschool solution for a SAHM or one who works very part time (that was me).

susykt4
06-18-2006, 12:14 PM
My daughter went to a 2 day a week preschool at a church that I thought was a total waste of time other than the interaction with other kids. At my spring parent-teacher conference the preschool teacher advised me to have DD screened for speech problems. I was a little surprised because her speech had improved so much over the year, but I went ahead and set up the appt. The "screener" informed me that DD was right on track for her age. I went back to the teacher and asked what her concerns had been and she admitted she hadn't actually heard DD talk since the fall!!!

Fortunately at the screening I found out about a FREE public school pre-K in my town. It turned out to be excellent. I had previously thought that the free programs were only for "poor people" and that we wouldn't qualify. I was very wrong. If your school district offers a free preK it's worth looking into! She loved the program and the teachers were actually qualified to teach and monitored each individual child closely.

caribear
06-18-2006, 12:15 PM
I am getting ready to send my dd to pre-school in the Fall. She will be 4 in August and she asks everyday if she can go to school with her "freinds." I am a sahm, so she has been at home with me since she was born. I feel that she really needs the socialization...the structure....and the independence. The cost is going to be very hard for us....I am sending her 3-days a week from 8:30am - 3:30pm and the cost is $385 per month. This includes ballet classes once a week and she is so excited! She will be attending an enrichment center, not a daycare facility. There are only 4 classes at her school.....2 classes of 3 year olds and 2 classes of 4 year olds. I can't believe the things she will be doing....creating science fair boards, an all about me portfolio and other wonderful projects that I know she will enjoy.

Microcell
06-18-2006, 12:22 PM
I had my kids in preschool to keep my job. I work part time, but I don't want my boss feeling like she needs to replace me. I work 12 hours a week and can pay for preschool and two car payments with that. I feel like DS needs the social interaction, but if you have your child in preschool when you don't need to I think is more of a nicety, but not necessary for social development. There are playgroups for that. You just need to be sure your child knows numbers, colors, able to write name in block letters and know their address verbally, and they will be fine for Kindergarten (which by the way is not manditory in very many states either!).

I went to preschool one day a week for four hours back in 1978, and I am functioning just fine! I take that back, in 1st grade I was reading 4th grade level and went to their class to take reading so I would stay challanged. (I will always remember asking the teacher what one word said that I couldn't make out because it was in cursive, which as a first grader I couldn't do, and it was "Ronald Regan"). In second grade my guidance counsler wanted me to skip third grade, and my mom said no because I was shy. By ninth grade they invited me into the AP classes in school, after testing my reading level at 3rd year college level! Either I was just going to do that well or the one day a week at preschool was REALLY beneficial!

Cari, wow! Mine is 260 a month for 9-3, three days a week! I just had a vision of DS doing Ballet, :rotfl2: which is not included with ours!

mercydisney
06-18-2006, 02:58 PM
DD5 didn't go to pre-school, when the time came for her to go she was teriffied. She was always w/me (my family lives out of town) I am a SAHM DD10 was in school so it was just me and DD5. When I realized she was afraid of being w/other kids I immediatly made her a social butterfly, I joined out local YMCA, I put her in all the classes that I could. I also joined the local library group. She made many friends but was terrified of the school atmosphere. When she was 4 we enrolled her in VBS, the teachers were young and wonderful. By the end of the week she couldn't wait to start school. The Disney Cruise helped also, she loved her "Her Club".

Unfortunatly it was to late to enroll her in any pre-school because as you all know if you don't enroll your kids 2 yrs prior, all the good pre-school are full and you are put on waiting list.

We worked w/her at home. She started K last year, when it came time for evaluation her teacher was surprised when I told her she never went to preschool.

I did as you are doing now, I worked w/her. When she entered K she knew her letters, her numbers, etc. She now can't wait to start 1st grade. We have come along way.

I did not force her to go to pre-K because, I felt that I was SAHM they will be going to school for such a long time, I was not going to rush it. Before you know it they will be going away to college. I want to keep them w/ me as long as I can. I

I'm proud of the decision I made and would not change it.

vegasnative
06-18-2006, 04:17 PM
I have 4-year old twins. I put them in pre-school this last school year, and they will return this school year for their second year (they have late birthdays, so won't start kindergarten until school year 07). Having 2 in at a time was a little tough, we pay $160 per kid per month, so I was paying $320 a month for 2 1/2 hours a day, 3 days a week. The fee is going up $10 a kid next year (this August). It was worth every penny! The amount that my kids have learned in this last year is amazing. They love to go, they like the interaction with their school mates, they seem to like the learning process and I think this is important to start it early. I'm not worried about them being "ahead" of everyone or anyone else when they get into kindergarten, I just wanted to get them liking the whole school/learning environment...and it worked! I would consider one where they have better regulations on kids being able to walk out though...that would scare me also, I would look for another one. At the ones my boys go to, you walk in to a little lobby area, then they are let into the school room area through a gate, when class is over they are let out through the gate ONLY when teachers see mom and/or dad waiting. All parents have to sign kids in and out, and if someone other than mom or dad picks them up, they have to be on the childs paperwork as an "ok to pick up" and then that person still needs to show i.d. Safety issues, and learning environment should be highly considered. Like I said, it was tough, I am also a stay at home mom, but, so we didn't eat out as much this last year, and really budgeted our money...but it was the best experience for them at this age.

butterfuleyes
06-18-2006, 05:19 PM
I work with dd alot, she has been able to write and spell her name since she was 3, she is reading small words, she counts well, Abc's 123's all down. I am thinking of doing a "homeschool" preschool program with her and socializing her through park trips, and during winter months trips to indoor children parks. We can take feild trips ect.. Is this a terriable idea? I don't want her to fall behind for Kindergarden.
What are your thoughs?? What have you done??

Thanks a bunch..
Preschool is important for socialization and basics, like what you have done with your daughter. I would NOT send her to a school where people don't have to pass or go through the office first.

Many kids that come to us (I'm a teacher) in Kindergarten don't know what a line is. They cannot do simple things on their own, like color, or do not know how to behave (share) with others. What you have done with reading, abc's, 124's, etc., just include socialization and you should be okay!

ThreeMusketeers
06-18-2006, 05:59 PM
Thank you all for your thoughts and advice. I still don't know what we are doing, but your experiences are giving me an idea of whats out there. I am curious about the people who have posted NYS info, We live in NY currently and I haven't found ANY free programs except those that are for income based.
Thanks again.

canwegosoon
06-18-2006, 06:24 PM
I am in NY(upstate-near Albany) and our school district(and the ones around us) has early intervention(for Preschool) and Full day kindergarten(as opposed to 1/2 day) for children who are identified at need or risk. Call your school district superintendent's office-the secretary can tell you if there are programs in your area.

I did a private preschool(I have twins also-so they needed to be socialized to class as Mad4mouse said)....but there are mother's groups here(at our local community Christian church in Loudonville) that has a Mom's Day Out. The moms attend meetings/activities/coffee, and the children attend little classes according to ages with volunteers from church. Perhaps that would help. I believe it was either free or very nominal donation.

rach2674
06-18-2006, 06:35 PM
My dd went to preschool last year and is going again this coming year. She loves it and I think it was great for her to "socialize" and learn how to act before she went to Kindergarten. I sent her to a Lutheran preschool and the teacher and her assistants are great. I'm glad I decided to send her. Although it is costly, I think it's worth it for us. It gives me a few hours a week to do things or work at our business. It was only 2 days a week this year and next year it's 3 days a week. I think it's good because it gets them used to going to school and eases them into 5 days a week for Kindergarten.

I haven't checked for preschool, but have you ever thought of searching out financial aid? It's worth a shot.

Rachel

SleepyatDVC
06-19-2006, 12:02 AM
Thank you all for your thoughts and advice. I still don't know what we are doing, but your experiences are giving me an idea of whats out there. I am curious about the people who have posted NYS info, We live in NY currently and I haven't found ANY free programs except those that are for income based.
Thanks again.

It's called the Universal Pre-K program (UPK). Maybe do a search on the internet?

I know that it is funded by the state and that in NYC it is open to everyone and not need based. But perhaps because it is different in different regions? I would call your local school district and ask for information.

In NYC, I don't even think kindergarden is mandatory. But unless they are homeschooling, most parents send their kids to kindergarden. Maybe because it's free and maybe because most people are familiar with it?

UPK does not seem to be heavily promoted and many parents don't even know that it was a FREE option for them until they take their kids to kindergarden and find out from other parents!

Most if not ALL UPK programs, at least in my neighborhood, are not held in public schools at all. They don't seem to have the facilities for them.

They are run by mostly private nursery or pre-school programs that are pre-approved by the state. The only difference is that they have separate UPK classes for 4 year olds that are mandated as well as funded by the state. It think there are state guidelines that the program has to adhere to. I know our teacher has state mandated training she has to attend.

It is 3 hours a day, 5 days a week. I believe it is limited to a class size of 16 children per class with 2 teachers. It is opened to everyone and is NOT need based and FREE. My DDs both went to a very well-run parent cooperative nursery school and their teachers are excellent They both had the same teacher. All the kids love her.

The program is to encourage more parents to send their kids to pre-school so that more kids will be ready for the transittion to kindergarden. With all the coursework kindergarden teachers have to cover, it really helps if a larger percentage of the class does not have to learn class rules from starch.

I think it is a given that many children won't learn about classroom behavior until K and the teacher will, of course, go over everything in the beginning of the year, but it's easier and quicker to show 7 kids "the ropes," then 20 kids all at once.

Check around and ask about the UPK program. In NYC, there are waiting lists for the UPK program run by the popular pre-schools. So, maybe that's why they don't advertise? And since they aren't available or held at the public schools, some parent's don't even know they exist.

If you can find a free UPK program, I would really encourage you to take advantage of it. If it is not available and it's hard for you to send her otherwise, just do what you are doing.

An involved parent is the most important advantage a child needs whether or not they go to pre-school - and it's more long-lasting! Good luck with everything. I know how stressful figuring out all this can be.

disneyfan'ole
06-19-2006, 06:44 AM
We started out daughter (4) out in a private preschool last year. It was 3 days a week from 8-12. She loved it. She has her "friends" (too cute). This year she will be in EC4 which 5 days a weeks from 8-12 to get them ready for kindergarten. She is an only child (so far! :) and the socialization and learning part was very important to us.

We live in Florida and they to have free preschool but it is limited to certain schools and our public school system IMO is not the best in our area. That is why we are going private. It will cost us about 400 a month. But it is worth it.

Carrie Ellis
06-19-2006, 07:24 AM
I have 2 sets of twins. The first set went to preschool 3X a week for about 3/4 of a year. Their birthday is Aug. 30th so they are very young for their grade. It did not help them learn what they "wanted" to learn. They are boys and it was about mid Kindergarten year that the light came on and they started really taking off. I think that, especially boys, you have to just go with the flow and when they want to learn....you run with it! So, preK was more for fun and socialization with them. I homeschool them now and they will be in 5th grade the next school year.

What I feel with the public school system, the fun of learning seems to start wearing off about 2nd grade. I started seeing the boys really rejecting new stuff because it was "more" stuff that they had to hurry up and learn. I thought that just shouldn't happen! There is got to be a better way. So I am responsible for their education now and they are doing very well. We avoid many of the public school money drainers too. Such as fundraisers, 2 sets of pictures, etc....

Now my second set of twins just finished preK and they went 5 days a week for 3 hours. They only went from Jan-May because we had just moved to Georgia. We found a church that had a great program and it was only $115 per month. It averaged about $2/hour which I thought was great! It was very fun oriented for them and the learning happened in a very fun way.

They (second set) only went 1/2 a year and I feel they got alot out of it. That is always an option for you to. People move and things happen so there is a good chance there might be an opening when you are more settled and moved. I don't think preK is mandatory or that it will damage your child if they do not go. Once childhood is over it is over and you can never go back. I want my kids to enjoy being children.

Plus, I hated them missing a week for WDW! So enrolling them after Christmas gave us to get our move and a WDW trip out of the way! he he!

Hope it works out for you.
Carrie

K&KsMom
06-19-2006, 07:41 AM
My DS went to a private preschool for 2 years at a $190 a month. He had a wonderful experience there. He built relationships with teachers and classmates as well as learning so much. My other DS is signed up to start in the fall and our plan is 2 years for him too. I truly believe in building that foundation early. :thumbsup2

flagdaytwins
06-19-2006, 08:06 AM
My 4 y/o twins went to a community center daycare last year, two days a week for 6 hours each day. I did not work (I was job hunting). I chose this over pre-school because the day was longer for them and included more activities to help with socialization.

My daycare cost per hour per kid: $4. If I were able to write this off on my taxes, my cost per hour per kid would have been around $2.50 per hour.

Just a thought: if you are going to school yourself, and you put your child in a daycare (and not a pre-school), can you write this off on your taxes? I'm saying this because of your expressed concern about budgeting -- and I (stressing "I") did not know about the tax situation (that you can write daycare off on your taxes if you are working or in school full-time). Having said that, don't rely on me for good info -- check w/ the IRS for the real facts!

Pre-school/daycare is nice but I wouldn't stress over not putting your child in one.

staciepm
06-19-2006, 08:09 AM
I put myself on the sub list for DS preschool. If I pick up 5 days a month, I can cover his 3 day a week 9-12 tuition. If I sub more, I can have extra cash. He get preschool and I get to interact with the other teachers and children. The good thing is that I only have to work on days that I can. I can also sub on his nonschool days and they take him in his normal class.

The arrangement works well for me. I really like the freedom to help in my DD's 1rst grade class while he is at school.


Stacie

gottaluvdis
06-19-2006, 08:10 AM
My DS went to a private preschool for 2 years at a $190 a month. He had a wonderful experience there. He built relationships with teachers and classmates as well as learning so much. My other DS is signed up to start in the fall and our plan is 2 years for him too. I truly believe in building that foundation early. :thumbsup2

I totally agree. We had DD9 in home care at our neighbor's from age 11 weeks to 2 1/2. We then split her time between home care and pre-school (private). Very soon thereafter she wanted to go to the school rather than home care, so we put her in the school program 5 days/week. This program was a combination school/daycare. She ended up staying at this school through Kindergarten (we have no public Kindergarten in our town). By the time she hit 1st grade in public school, she was way ahead of other kids and was placed in an enrichment program to challenge her, which she continues with today. Her pre-school years were a wonderful experience and she still remembers and talks about her early teachers. She's done wonderfully in school since, and has always been very social and comfortable in school. We felt the early socialization was key for her, especially as an only child. I firmly believe that, at least in our area, you get what you pay for. This school was pricey (it was about $6000 the last year she was there, which included full day Kindergarten, after care and summer care). However, it was worth every penny to us considering how well she's doing now. Part time programs can be just as beneficial however. Learning social skills is key at pre-school age IMO.

CJMZ
06-19-2006, 08:29 AM
My chose to send our daughter to pre-school for socialization and learning skills, which helped her transition to Kindergarten easily.
The teachers were wonderful and the class sizes were small - 6 kids. Of the 6 children, 5 went to Kindergarten reading. Now my daughter is entering 2nd grade this fall, she is already on a 4 grade reading and comprehension level, she is very social and has lots of friends.
There is no free pre-school in our area(I wish), not even on an income basis. We paid 750.00 a month for 5 days a week - 8am-3pm. She had all day Kindergarten that ran 7:40am to 1:40pm, so that also helped prepare for a long day.
Because she attends a private school now, she had to test prior to Kindergarten to be accepted. I was present at the testing - which was written and verbal, and was amazed at what they assumed that a 4-5 year old would need to know for their first school year. I do know that all of the children in her class of 15 attended a pre-school, some of them actually attended with her. It appears that because most of them are advanced, the teacher and aide are able to accomplish so much more academically.
Although it was expensive, I don't regret doing it.

Gillian
06-19-2006, 08:33 AM
DD (age 3) is starting in the fall & ds went for 2 years before kindergarten. Our school is not the most academic, but they learn the basics and have fun playing! It is safe - no open doors, gated playground, etc.

It was important for me that they learned to stand in line, sit quietly in a circle, etc. Things that I can't teach them with just 1 or 2 kids at home. They both had playgroups and social activities, but I wanted them to learn how to act in a group with an instructor.

Also, for DS I used full day pre-K 3 days a week to help him transition to full day kindergarten.

kinntj
06-19-2006, 09:10 AM
My dd went to preschool last year and is going again this coming year. She loves it and I think it was great for her to "socialize" and learn how to act before she went to Kindergarten. I sent her to a Lutheran preschool and the teacher and her assistants are great. I'm glad I decided to send her. Although it is costly, I think it's worth it for us. It gives me a few hours a week to do things or work at our business. It was only 2 days a week this year and next year it's 3 days a week. I think it's good because it gets them used to going to school and eases them into 5 days a week for Kindergarten.

Rachel

We are at the same place as you. My DD will start her 2nd year of preschool this fall (3 days a week) and she just loves it. We also wanted to transition to her going to school 5 days a week for Kindergarten.

I have a younger DD that I can spend time with when older DD is in school. She loves her mommy time and is much happier on those days.

The preschool we chose is inexpensive, but private. The whole year from September to mid May is $960 for 3 days a week and $680 for 2 days. The teachers are so nurturing and loving. She's such a different person when mom and dad are not there. She's so much more independent when we're not there holding her hand.

Good luck in your decision. Whatever it is your DD will do great and don't worry so much.