Toddlers: 24 Months+

Question About Preschool

So DH and I have been tossing around the idea of only sending DD to one year of preschool.  If we don't send her we will put the money we would have spent on that first year into her college account, probably 5-6 thousand dollars.  Looking ahead, we will probably not have enough money to fully pay our children's college expenses, just help out significantly.  But our guess is they will still have to take out loans to cover some of it.  

I should also add that DD just missed the cut-off for school by 6 days, so she will be the oldest in her class.  Basically 6 when she starts Kindergarten, 7 when she starts First Grade, etc.

How important is two years of preschool do you think?  Is it better put toward college?  Thoughts? 

   

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Re: Question About Preschool

  • My opinion is one year of a quality 5 day per week half day preK with maybe an activity the prior year or occasional MDO is fine.

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  • I am a Kindergarten teacher and I think it depends on what your child does now. Do they go to daycare? Is it a structured environment with circle time/learning time? Preschool is not only about what they learn curriculum-wise but also the social learning that takes place.

     I would ask myself these questions:

    Does your child interact/play well with other children? Does your child know to how to sit and listen to a story? Do they raise their hands when they have a question? Can they be separated from mom for a period of time? Do they look to other adults as authority figures? Have they learned to walk in a line as a group? Do they know that there are times for play, time for reading, and times for other activities? Do they transition between activities well? Do they know how to count to 10 and recognize those numbers? Can they sing their ABC's, write their name and recognize letters?

    If they aren't doing several of those things I would consider a formal preschool to help get them ready for Kindergarten.



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  • image Bonnesetter27:

    I am a Kindergarten teacher and I think it depends on what your child does now. Do they go to daycare? Is it a structured environment with circle time/learning time? Preschool is not only about what they learn curriculum-wise but also the social learning that takes place.

     I would ask myself these questions:

    Does your child interact/play well with other children? Does your child know to how to sit and listen to a story? Do they raise their hands when they have a question? Can they be separated from mom for a period of time? Do they look to other adults as authority figures? Have they learned to walk in a line as a group? Do they know that there are times for play, time for reading, and times for other activities? Do they transition between activities well? Do they know how to count to 10 and recognize those numbers? Can they sing their ABC's, write their name and recognize letters?

    If they aren't doing several of those things I would consider a formal preschool to help get them ready for Kindergarten.

    I plan to send her to one year of preschool for sure.  My question is, how necessary is it to do two years of preschool? 

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  • My girls will each do one year of preschool before kdg. DD1 will be 4.5 when she starts, DD2 will be almost 5 (misses cut off by 16 days). I don't feel more than that is necessary. I do want them to have that year as a transition year, especially since I'm a SAHM, but we feel a year is plenty. DD1 already goes to Sunday School an hour a week, we do activities at the library when we can, so she's getting and introduction to classroom settings already, getting the chance to play with other children, and separating from us. I have no concerns about only sending her for one year of preschool, and I don't expect to have any about her sister, either.

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    DD1 Feb 2010
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  • I think 1 year is fine. Do you already do story time at library, swim lessons, music, Gymboree or any other structured activity? That could help prepare child for preschool.
  • I am a teacher as well, and think one year of pre-school is sufficient. In my area where there are many families with 2 parents working outside the home full time and kids are in day care which seems to transition to "pre school" at age 3.  My daughter will be 3 in June, and I am not sending her to preschool in the fall. She is at an in-home day care, and I am very happy with the amount of educational activities and learning that goes on there, and I don't feel the need to organize transportation to and pay for an extra year of preschool.  I will send her to something the following year, but I haven't decided if it will be part time in addition to her day care, or a full time preschool to replace day care. 

     If you aren't worried about social development, or don't think your child needs an extra year of preschool, I think there are other things you could use that money for.

  • I think it vastly depends in the kid. We were planning on doing one year of preschool until my son presented with speech/sensory issues. We wanted him to have as much school preparation as possible due to that.

    if my child were developing typically, I had no concerns socially, my child listened to other adults and followed routines well, etc i would go for one year. For a kid that's shy, a bit behind the curve in an area of development, etc I'd do the second year. 

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  • There was an article (on Slate, I think) about how preschool is nice but not necessary for anyone but poor children whose parents are unable to provide a stimulating environment at home. If you think your money would be better put towards college expenses, do not give 2nd year of preschool another thought.
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  • image KC_13:

    I think it vastly depends in the kid. We were planning on doing one year of preschool until my son presented with speech/sensory issues. We wanted him to have as much school preparation as possible due to that.

    if my child were developing typically, I had no concerns socially, my child listened to other adults and followed routines well, etc i would go for one year. For a kid that's shy, a bit behind the curve in an area of development, etc I'd do the second year. 

    This is where we are, too. He's starting a 2 day/week pre-preschool in the fall (at 2.5) because I want him to have as much preparation as possible. Our tentative plan is 1 year of pre-preschool at 2.5 (2 days/week, 1.5 hours/day), 1 year of preschool at 3.5 (3 days/week, 2.5 hours/day), and 1 year of pre-kindergarten at 4.5 (5 days/week, 4 hours/day). But that's only because my child has trouble functioning in a structured environment and I want him to prepare for it in a low key way.

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  • I used to teach K before becoming a SAHM.  I agree with PPs that it depends on your child.  If your child has a hard time behaviorally or socially in any way I would do an extra year.  
    DD #1 Eva- born April 10, 2011

    DD #2 Violet- born October 4, 2013
  • image KC_13:

    I think it vastly depends in the kid. We were planning on doing one year of preschool until my son presented with speech/sensory issues. We wanted him to have as much school preparation as possible due to that.

    if my child were developing typically, I had no concerns socially, my child listened to other adults and followed routines well, etc i would go for one year. For a kid that's shy, a bit behind the curve in an area of development, etc I'd do the second year. 

    I totally agree with this

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  • Another Kinder teacher and I agree that 1 year minimum is good.  Although, if you do choose to not put her through preschool than you need to make sure she's Kinder-ready. Since she's missing the cutoff does your staff have any transitional level that she can enroll in?  Here in California the goal is to move the cutoff date to Sept. 1st by 2014.  For the kids who miss that cutoff the state is offering Transitional Kindergarten on various school sites throughout all the districts.  TK will, in a way, be what Kinder used to be.  There will be less testing and more focus on the social aspects and getting them Kinder-ready.
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