OT: Preschool..what did you do??

Discussion in 'Budget Board' started by ThreeMusketeers, Jun 17, 2006.

  1. ThreeMusketeers

    ThreeMusketeers DIS Veteran

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    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..
     
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  3. SleepyatDVC

    SleepyatDVC DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  4. sk!mom

    sk!mom DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  5. Wish I lived in Fl

    Wish I lived in Fl DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  6. frogmommy

    frogmommy Supercalifragilistic

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    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.
     
  7. tinkerbell13

    tinkerbell13 Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  8. Goobergal99

    Goobergal99 <font color=green>E-A-G-L-E-S- EAGLES!!<br><font c

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    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.
     
  9. aka-mad4themouse

    aka-mad4themouse <font color="blue">Budget Board Co-Host</font>

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    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.
     
  10. jeankeri

    jeankeri <font color=darkorchid>I threw cartons of milk at

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    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.
     
  11. EthansMom

    EthansMom <font color=red>spare yourself from asking me to d

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    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!
     
  12. bartleby1

    bartleby1 DIS Veteran

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    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).
     
  13. LisaNJ25

    LisaNJ25 DIS Veteran<br><font color=aqua>I paid $300 back i

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    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.
     
  14. DawnM

    DawnM Dawn

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    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
     
  15. minkydog

    minkydog DIS Cast Member

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    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:
     
  16. rdsx28

    rdsx28 Proud Member of Red Sox Nation!

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    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!
     
  17. Pea-n-Me

    Pea-n-Me DIS Veteran

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    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:
     
  18. tamman

    tamman Mouseketeer

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    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:
     
  19. tinker&belle

    tinker&belle DIS Veteran

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    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.
     
  20. Littlemotherhaywood

    Littlemotherhaywood Mouseketeer

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    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.
     
  21. Mic

    Mic <font color=purple>They can take away my freedom b

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    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
     

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