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Pre School, is it worth it?
Old 08-26-2019, 12:45 PM   #1
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Pre School, is it worth it?

Pre School... I realize everyone's children are running a different race.

Our son is 4 now and a lot of his peers parents have bent over backwards to get their kids signed up into Pre School.

We did the Kindergarten screening for public schools last year and he passed the criteria, so technically he is kindergarten ready.

The options we have here are full day and half day, 2 to 3 days a week.

Our daycare provider (In home) does do a scheduled "pre school" curriculum, but even the other 4 year old is leaving daycare to go to an "official" pre school.

Pre school costs range anywhere from $2000 upwards, and it's just a cost I feel might not provide the ROI...also it's quite difficult to our working schedules that me and DW have.

Did you kids go to pre school, and what are your thoughts?

In terms of development, he is not socially awkward, he has no learning disabilities that we know of, great vision, he has an incredible memory and knows his ABC, his name, his address, my phone # he is starting to read small books like "Sam and Cat" and honestly...I think he has developed just fine.

We are worried that since his best buddy is going off to Pre school he will lose touch with the younger kids being his new closest playmates. Probably not a huge concern, but likely the one biggest concern we have.

To combat that, our plan was to just enroll him in some extra curricular things and try and sort of pickup the slack ourselves creatinga 2x nightly Pre-School routine...of course this would be at home with us, but I feel like it's a good second option in place of the expensive, and less than ideal schedules (He would need to get on a bus from daycare and go to pre school for 2.5hours and then get sent back from the bus about 5 miles back to daycare).

HELP! Lol.
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:11 PM   #2
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As you point out, it's highly individual. I sent my daughter to a 3-hour-a-day preschool, because she is an only child and I thought it would be good for her to interact with other children more often. In her case I don't think she learned anything she didn't already know, except for social skills. But she loved being around other children, once she got used to them, and it was very good for her in that respect.

I think $2000 is a bit high for preschool, but not unheard of. I would try not to weigh the cost when evaluating whether or not this would be helpful for your child. These are the formative years.
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:18 PM   #3
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Our DD, now 4, has gone to a Montessori preschool since she was 2 and we'll be sending DS as soon as he turns 2 as well. It has been wonderful for her and she has truly thrived in the environment. The socialization and school structure is very good for her and she just loves school. I think there's a lot more to 'kindergarten ready' than academics.
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Old 08-26-2019, 01:30 PM   #4
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DM refused to send me to kindergarten. I went straight into First Grade and I turned out ok. Being the youngest of 10 may have helped.
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Old 08-26-2019, 02:03 PM   #5
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We did the Kindergarten screening for public schools last year and he passed the criteria, so technically he is kindergarten ready.

Our daycare provider (In home) does do a scheduled "pre school" curriculum, but even the other 4 year old is leaving daycare to go to an "official" pre school.

In terms of development, he is not socially awkward, he has no learning disabilities that we know of, great vision, he has an incredible memory and knows his ABC, his name, his address, my phone # he is starting to read small books like "Sam and Cat" and honestly...I think he has developed just fine.
There is no ROI in this case. Your son is already Kindergarten ready. He won't get "more ready" with pre-school.

Start avoiding "keeping up with the Joneses" regarding your children right now. Do what is best for you and your family. Ignore what others do.

Your son sounds terrific. 4 year olds need play, not school.
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Old 08-26-2019, 02:05 PM   #6
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If your day care provider does a pre-school curriculum, then do you really need to do another one at home? It doesn't sound like the academics are needed, and he's around other children at daycare, so the socialization isn't a worry either. He can get everything he needs academically by reading with you on a regular basis.

Are he and his friend the oldest children in the daycare home, or are there other older children who also go back and forth to grade school? If this would be a situation where he's the only 4+ yr old who doesn't go back and forth to a "big kids" school, I think there's a potential for him to feel left out and to possibly get picked on and that would be a concern for me if I were his parent. If it's more that the friend won't be there at all, or only on certain days, and now yours will be the oldest kid there some or all of the time, I don't think that's such a probem. Many, many children (including me) have spent their 4th year at home with younger siblings as playmates and turned out just fine.

As to what we did, when our daughter was that age, she was in a larger daycare center that had a 4-yr olds room with a dozen or so kids in it. Kids were there for different amounts of time during the week, but none of them were going off to another school on a regular basis. We moved her to a Montessori grade school at the beginning of the summer before her K year and she attended there all the way through 6th grade, so 7 full years.
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:02 PM   #7
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I shared your post with my DW who retired 3 years ago from a teaching career that spanned several decades working pre-K and kindergarten age kids. Early childhood education was her major in college. The following is her take.

In answer to your question "should my son go to preschool", she gave a resounding YES. It's great that he knows letters, numbers, and is starting to read, however, preschool is about getting your child socially and emotionally ready for kindergarten. The article below is one that DW has often shared with parents of preschool age children and explains what you should expect from a high quality, pre-K program. Once your child starts kindergarten, he will be in a class with 15-20 other children his age, all with different abilities and needs. Preschool will help better prepare him for that experience.

https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/famil...school-program

Edit to add: YMMV - one size does not fit all!
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:03 PM   #8
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If your day care provider does a pre-school curriculum, then do you really need to do another one at home? It doesn't sound like the academics are needed, and he's around other children at daycare, so the socialization isn't a worry either. He can get everything he needs academically by reading with you on a regular basis.

Are he and his friend the oldest children in the daycare home, or are there other older children who also go back and forth to grade school? If this would be a situation where he's the only 4+ yr old who doesn't go back and forth to a "big kids" school, I think there's a potential for him to feel left out and to possibly get picked on and that would be a concern for me if I were his parent. If it's more that the friend won't be there at all, or only on certain days, and now yours will be the oldest kid there some or all of the time, I don't think that's such a probem. Many, many children (including me) have spent their 4th year at home with younger siblings as playmates and turned out just fine.

As to what we did, when our daughter was that age, she was in a larger daycare center that had a 4-yr olds room with a dozen or so kids in it. Kids were there for different amounts of time during the week, but none of them were going off to another school on a regular basis. We moved her to a Montessori grade school at the beginning of the summer before her K year and she attended there all the way through 6th grade, so 7 full years.
This is actually a great alternative I hadn't thought of. IF Kindergarten is a bit of a struggle, or if we decide next summer to do a summer school type of thing, that might be a good idea.

He is the oldest, his buddy who is leaving next week for Official Pre-School is also 4. So he will be the oldest and will be for a full year.

I do feel there is a slight "keeping up with the joneses" going on here. Well, billy, bobby and susy are doing it so we should too type of mentality.

Even the other child that leaving...his mother said, oooh your boy will be fine without Pre school when I started sort of questioning out loud if maybe we needed to make the P-S switch.
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:17 PM   #9
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I think it probably depends on the day care and how structured it is. Most pre-schools have the option for before/after care, so it doesn't necessarily mean a long bus trip. Our DD stays until 3:30 most days, but many kids are there until 6. Our school has a ton of after school activities they can participate in--this semester DD will be staying after for a cooking lesson, art class, play ball, science and yoga. It's fantastic for her and not much more $ than regular day care. In particular, DD loves line time and circle time and the learning environment. My guess is that some day cares would offer this and others don't...
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:19 PM   #10
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Even the other child that leaving...his mother said, oooh your boy will be fine without Pre school when I started sort of questioning out loud if maybe we needed to make the P-S switch.
THIS would make my blood boil

In our case, DW was a SAHM for the first 3 years (now, we are talking 35 years ago). Then, when she went back to work, he went to a YMCA day care program. Plenty of other kids for socialization.

We did the normal home studies (reading, math, etc) as DW was a teacher.

I have read of, and scanned some, studies that basically said that after grade 2 or 3, there was no difference between pre-school students and "others" (SAHM, day care, etc). I am not inclined to find these again (no grand kids, no skin in the game), but I am sure you can search on the internet.

Bottom-line: Love and nurture your kids, and ignore the morons that back-handedly put you down for not doing as they do.
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:23 PM   #11
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THIS would make my blood boil

In our case, DW was a SAHM for the first 3 years (now, we are talking 35 years ago). Then, when she went back to work, he went to a YMCA day care program. Plenty of other kids for socialization.

We did the normal home studies (reading, math, etc) as DW was a teacher.

I have read of, and scanned some, studies that basically said that after grade 2 or 3, there was no difference between pre-school students and "others" (SAHM, day care, etc). I am not inclined to find these again (no grand kids, no skin in the game), but I am sure you can search on the internet.

Bottom-line: Love and nurture your kids, and ignore the morons that back-handedly put you down for not doing as they do.

I don't understand why that would be taken as an insult? I would just see it as them thinking the OPs child is already far enough ahead they don't need extra prep?
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:23 PM   #12
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NO! What do you recall learning about before you were near 5 yrs old?

Me too.... very little....hot burn

Keeping up with or bettering the jones is another consideration.
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:24 PM   #13
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I shared your post with my DW who retired 3 years ago from a teaching career that spanned several decades working pre-K and kindergarten age kids. Early childhood education was her major in college. The following is her take.

In answer to your question "should my son go to preschool", she gave a resounding YES. It's great that he knows letters, numbers, and is starting to read, however, preschool is about getting your child socially and emotionally ready for kindergarten. The article below is one that DW has often shared with parents of preschool age children and explains what you should expect from a high quality, pre-K program. Once your child starts kindergarten, he will be in a class with 15-20 other children his age, all with different abilities and needs. Preschool will help better prepare him for that experience.

https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/famil...school-program

Edit to add: YMMV - one size does not fit all!

DW, the Pediatrician, university professor and mother of 4, strongly agrees with this. My understanding is even moreso for boys and children with few or no siblings. Arguably, investments in early learning and socialization are some of the most important.
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:26 PM   #14
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I don't understand why that would be taken as an insult? I would just see it as them thinking the OPs child is already far enough ahead they don't need extra prep?
Well, clearly OP took as a reason to re-consider.

Do you really think they were saying "well, your son is smarter than ours, so he doesn't need pre-school"?
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:45 PM   #15
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Once your child starts kindergarten, he will be in a class with 15-20 other children his age, all with different abilities and needs. Preschool will help better prepare him for that experience.
Meh. That will be the case no matter when a kid enters group education. Couldn't this be a case for schooling them even earlier- say, at 2 or 3 years old? How early can we get them into the system?

I was born in 1953 and my youngest brother (5th kid) in 1960. The school run by our parish didn't have kindergarten so we started school in Grade 1. End of story. Somehow we managed to get 2 advanced degrees and 3 highly-respected professional designations, anyway- and all of us knew how to read before first grade. My grandchildren will be home-schooled and the 5-year old is already reading well and her 2.5-year old sister is imitating her- a good start. (Youngest is a newborn.) They get plenty of socialization at their church, where there's a lot of support for home-schooling, and DS has a Math degree so that area won't be neglected.

I have no exalted educational credentials but I think institutionalized education at an early age is overrated for kids who come from a background with plenty of learning opportunities and who are progressing well. Let them be kids.
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:49 PM   #16
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I have no exalted educational credentials but I think institutionalized education at an early age is overrated for kids who come from a background with plenty of learning opportunities and who are progressing well. Let them be kids.
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:53 PM   #17
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I shared your post with my DW who retired 3 years ago from a teaching career that spanned several decades working pre-K and kindergarten age kids. Early childhood education was her major in college. The following is her take.

In answer to your question "should my son go to preschool", she gave a resounding YES. It's great that he knows letters, numbers, and is starting to read, however, preschool is about getting your child socially and emotionally ready for kindergarten. The article below is one that DW has often shared with parents of preschool age children and explains what you should expect from a high quality, pre-K program. Once your child starts kindergarten, he will be in a class with 15-20 other children his age, all with different abilities and needs. Preschool will help better prepare him for that experience.

https://www.naeyc.org/our-work/famil...school-program

Edit to add: YMMV - one size does not fit all!
This was a helpful read! Thank you!
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:53 PM   #18
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OP it sounds like your kidlet would be shuttled back and forth from an in-home daycare (not your home right? a daycare with other kids I think you describe), to a pre-school, a couple of days a week? with a bus trip?

Nah I'd pass, that sounds disruptive to your kid, more than the other 4 y/o being off in pre-school a couple days a week. If anything, your kid might enjoy being the sole "big kid" for a while. I wouldn't worry either way about the social development.

If he was home-daycared like in your home as an only kid, then I'd say go for it, but he's already got a place he likes and no issues? There's really no upside to moving him now, kg is a year away.

All I remember from preschool is I got to ride the big white rocking horse and didn't let anyone else near it lol.
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Old 08-26-2019, 03:59 PM   #19
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OP it sounds like your kidlet would be shuttled back and forth from an in-home daycare (not your home right? a daycare with other kids I think you describe), to a pre-school, a couple of days a week? with a bus trip?

Nah I'd pass, that sounds disruptive to your kid, more than the other 4 y/o being off in pre-school a couple days a week. If anything, your kid might enjoy being the sole "big kid" for a while. I wouldn't worry either way about the social development.

If he was home-daycared like in your home as an only kid, then I'd say go for it, but he's already got a place he likes and no issues? There's really no upside to moving him now, kg is a year away.

All I remember from preschool is I got to ride the big white rocking horse and didn't let anyone else near it lol.
Lol, I want a turn on the Silverado! DS goes to an in-home daycare, she is very passionate about the pre school part of her services. He does have 7 other children he attends with including little sis. They all seem to have fun, I get good progress notes and am able to consult with daycare provider when she or I feel we need to work on specific things. He thrives pretty well in his current setting.
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Old 08-26-2019, 04:30 PM   #20
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I was a SAHM when they were little so I sent them to a nursery school that was 3 hours a day twice a week. I did it for socialization and to get used to taking your turn, etc in a large group. They all loved it.
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