Parenting

preschool wwyd?

I have a question about preschool. DS will only be 3 when he starts preschool because his bday is in late October. I just found out that the universal pre-k in our district is full days, 5 days/week. They get on the buses with the other elementary kids and go to school the full day just like the rest of the grades. DS won't get bussed because we live 2 blocks away.

I'm very hesitant about sending my 3yo to school all day, everyday. I have 3 options. Do the free, universal pre-k at age 3. Hold him back a year. Or pay for a private preschool for less time. It seems ridiculous to pay to send him to school LESS often, but I also don't think I'll be ready for him to go full-time next year. He won't go this September, but the following year. Maybe by then I will be ready for him to go that much. The other thing I worry about is, he will be one of the youngest in his class, and if I send him to a private school for less hours, will he be behind the other kids when he starts kindergarden? WWYD?

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Re: preschool wwyd?

  • That's really young for a full week of full days.  if this were me, and it wouldnt kill us financially I'd pay for part time.

  • That's what I'm thinking. I pay for 2 days/week of daycare, so we're kind of used to the expense. I thought maybe I was just being crazy about not wanting him to go.
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  • Do they take a nap during the day? How much of the time is spent with sit down learning activities and how much time is spent with free play/centers time? Do they go outside during the day? Do they have music/movement/art time? 

    A full day seems like a lot, but there are a lot of kids who go to daycare for full days 5 days a week. DD's daycare is run very similar to a preschool, there are times during the day where they do art, music, structured centers, free play, outside play, nap, lunch, etc.

    You need to find out what happens during a day of preschool before you can make a decision. 

  • Since you said YOU didn't think YOU would be ready and expressed no concerns for him -

    I would send him. #1 it is free, #2 if it doesn't work out you can stop and send him the following year, no harm no foul.

    Pre-K is all day here 5 days a week so it is not outside of the norm to me at all. Preschool here is all day at most places.


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  • I would find a private preschool and go 3 full days or 5 1/2 days per week.  

    So he will be going to kindergarten when he's 4? Where we will be living at that age, the kid has to be 5 at the start of the school year so DD will go to a preschool part time at 3.5 then full time preschool if we like where we are at or the public pre-k full time when she is 4.5.  She'll start kindergarten when she's 5.5.  Maybe start him at 1/2 time preschool this year to ease him into it?

    I give up trying to get a ticker.  I have a DD that is 2.5 years old and is awesome.  Maybe I'll add a quote to distinguish myself.  Hmmm.  How about...

    "It is more fun to talk with someone who doesn't use long, difficult words but rather short, easy words like "What about lunch?" - A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh
  • SpookoSpooko
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    image mbenit4:

    Since you said YOU didn't think YOU would be ready and expressed no concerns for him -

    I would send him. #1 it is free, #2 if it doesn't work out you can stop and send him the following year, no harm no foul.

    Pre-K is all day here 5 days a week so it is not outside of the norm to me at all. Preschool here is all day at most places.

    This really stood out to me, too. If you think he's ready, send him. If not, hold him back. But don't make it about you. Also, does your district do readiness testing? Ours does and you'd have a better idea of if he'd be ready or not, then. 


  • image MommytheMusical:

    Do they take a nap during the day? How much of the time is spent with sit down learning activities and how much time is spent with free play/centers time? Do they go outside during the day? Do they have music/movement/art time? 

    A full day seems like a lot, but there are a lot of kids who go to daycare for full days 5 days a week. DD's daycare is run very similar to a preschool, there are times during the day where they do art, music, structured centers, free play, outside play, nap, lunch, etc.

    You need to find out what happens during a day of preschool before you can make a decision. 

    All this.  DS is in the preschool room at daycare and their day is split with curriculum stuff and play/outdoor time/crafts/etc.  I don't feel like he's being forced to be in an educational environment for 5 full days but I have no issue wiht him BEING there for 5 full days. 

    Formerly known as elmoali :)

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  • image mbenit4:

    Since you said YOU didn't think YOU would be ready and expressed no concerns for him -

    I would send him. #1 it is free, #2 if it doesn't work out you can stop and send him the following year, no harm no foul.

    Pre-K is all day here 5 days a week so it is not outside of the norm to me at all. Preschool here is all day at most places.

    All of this.

    Lilypie - (L4SA)
    Lilypie - (I4o1)
  • image Spooko:
    image mbenit4:

    Since you said YOU didn't think YOU would be ready and expressed no concerns for him -

    I would send him. #1 it is free, #2 if it doesn't work out you can stop and send him the following year, no harm no foul.

    Pre-K is all day here 5 days a week so it is not outside of the norm to me at all. Preschool here is all day at most places.

    This really stood out to me, too. If you think he's ready, send him. If not, hold him back. But don't make it about you. Also, does your district do readiness testing? Ours does and you'd have a better idea of if he'd be ready or not, then. 

    You know what though - even if this is all about OP's feelings right now, and not necessarily her LO's I think thats reason enough to do what she feels ok with. He will be no father in life for going to full pre-k at 3. And if makes the days easier for OP when she's working, why not wait?

  • So, when he starts kindergarten, how old will he be?  4 years old and turning 5 in October?  Is it unusual for kids to be that young in your area?  In my state the deadline for starting kindergarten is September 15, so a child with an October birthday would start kindergarten at 5 going on 6.  That makes 4 and turning 5 in October seem very young to me. 

    Will there be others his age in the preschool class?  If this is the norm then I might not be as worried because they will probably have plenty of breaks and appropriate activities.  I would base the decision on that and whether I thought my child was personally ready for the full day. 

    ETA:  Word order.

     Lilypie - (F3i3)
     
     

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  • Also - if I'm understanding this correctly - if he goes to Pre-K now, he'll be 4 in K.  I think thats too young for any kid, and given the fact that he's a boy I think it's way too young.  I'd wait, for both milestones. 

    My DD will be 5 entering K, and will turn 6 a week later.  Our state cut off is Sept 1 however.  Can you imagine though if he were with kids who are turning 6 in K, and he's only 4?


  • SpookoSpooko
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    image uconnhuskie007:

    Also - if I'm understanding this correctly - if he goes to Pre-K now, he'll be 4 in K.  I think thats too young for any kid, and given the fact that he's a boy I think it's way too young.  I'd wait, for both milestones. 

    My DD will be 5 entering K, and will turn 6 a week later.  Our state cut off is Sept 1 however.  Can you imagine though if he were with kids who are turning 6 in K, and he's only 4?

    He'll only be 3 for a month in preK, which means that he'll only be 4 for a month in K. Then he'll be 5 for the whole rest of the year.



  • image mbenit4:

    Since you said YOU didn't think YOU would be ready and expressed no concerns for him -

    I would send him. #1 it is free, #2 if it doesn't work out you can stop and send him the following year, no harm no foul.

    Pre-K is all day here 5 days a week so it is not outside of the norm to me at all. Preschool here is all day at most places.

    I really wish it was like that here.  DD1 went 5 days a week last year, but afternoons only.  She was so ready for a whole day, but that just doesn't exist.  She was almost 4.5 when she started prek last year, so she'll be almost 5.5 starting kindergarten this year.  Kindergarten is a full day, thank goodness.

     Lilypie - (F3i3)
     
     

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  • Ds just turned 3 in May. We did a PDO (Parents day out) program one day a week at a local church last school year. This fall we decided to do PDO 2 days a week from 9-1pm, so I can get him home for nap time. In the Fall 2014, we will enroll him in 3 day preschool, either normal or extended day depending if he still naps. And then in the fall of 2015, he will begin all day K too.

    Most moms in my area are doing 2 years of preschool, so I feel a little self conscience about our choice, but I think it'll be a good gradual transition for Ds. And I don't think he'll have trouble being "behind" when he gets into K.  

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  • The 5 full days a week wouldn't phase me.  DS is in daycare now and it is also an accredited pre school program.  Starting next month, he is in the pre-pre-K class and then starting next August (so he will be a little more than 2.5) he will be in the actual pre-K class.  He will also go to "kingergarten" at this daycare because he misses the cut-off for kindergarten here.  So for me, the full-day schedule wouldn't bother me at all.

    The whole... putting a 3-year old on a bus with older kids would make me skittish.  I would rather drop off and pick up.  But maybe I am over thinking it.

    FWIW, I think the fact that it's free would weigh very heavily into my decision to send him.  We pay effing $20,000 for daycare/pre-K/kindergarten and I may as well have a ticker counting down to the days that we put him in public school for actual kindergarten.

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  • image MommytheMusical:

    Do they take a nap during the day? How much of the time is spent with sit down learning activities and how much time is spent with free play/centers time? Do they go outside during the day? Do they have music/movement/art time? 

    A full day seems like a lot, but there are a lot of kids who go to daycare for full days 5 days a week. DD's daycare is run very similar to a preschool, there are times during the day where they do art, music, structured centers, free play, outside play, nap, lunch, etc.

    You need to find out what happens during a day of preschool before you can make a decision. 

    This.  SD went to a daycare/preschool like this starting at age 2.  The "school work" got more focused the year before kindergarten, but it was great for her.  She's still the youngest in her class, but having that experience was priceless.

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  • image MommytheMusical:

    Do they take a nap during the day? How much of the time is spent with sit down learning activities and how much time is spent with free play/centers time? Do they go outside during the day? Do they have music/movement/art time? 

    A full day seems like a lot, but there are a lot of kids who go to daycare for full days 5 days a week. DD's daycare is run very similar to a preschool, there are times during the day where they do art, music, structured centers, free play, outside play, nap, lunch, etc.

    You need to find out what happens during a day of preschool before you can make a decision. 

    I agree with this.  DD is 4.5 (5 in november) and has been in daycare that runs like a preschool 5 days a week 40-41 hours since she was 3.  She has done fine.  I definitely wouldn't make a decision until I found out what a full day of preschool consisted of, it might be good for him.  

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  • image MommytheMusical:

    Do they take a nap during the day? How much of the time is spent with sit down learning activities and how much time is spent with free play/centers time? Do they go outside during the day? Do they have music/movement/art time? 

    A full day seems like a lot, but there are a lot of kids who go to daycare for full days 5 days a week. DD's daycare is run very similar to a preschool, there are times during the day where they do art, music, structured centers, free play, outside play, nap, lunch, etc.

    You need to find out what happens during a day of preschool before you can make a decision. 

    I agree with this.  DD is 4.5 (5 in november) and has been in daycare that runs like a preschool 5 days a week 40-41 hours since she was 3.  She has done fine.  I definitely wouldn't make a decision until I found out what a full day of preschool consisted of, it might be good for him.  

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  • Wait, he'll be ALMOST 4 when he starts preschool, right?

    DD has an October birthday- she starts full days next year (5 days a week- Montessori thing). She's more than ready. Her big brother started full days (along with most kids at our school) at barely 4yo (he has a later July birthday). Absolutely fine.

    I wouldn't worry about it right now, unless you have to sign up that early.

    ETA: Do you know the cut-offs for K? DD misses the cut-off by a month here (and there are zero exceptions made), so she started preschool last January, mornings only. She moves to full days next year, then has "VPK"- our state's pre-K program- at 4, turning 5 (which is only offered to full day kids at our school), and then K at 5 turning 6. We can't do our state's preschool program unless the kids make the cut-off (which is the same as K- 4/5 by Sept 1st). 

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  • image uconnhuskie007:

    Also - if I'm understanding this correctly - if he goes to Pre-K now, he'll be 4 in K.  I think thats too young for any kid, and given the fact that he's a boy I think it's way too young.  I'd wait, for both milestones. 

    I think this is a little stereotypical.

    Anyway, screw the age thing. Someone will always be the youngest and someone the oldest. It would depend on how he does and you can't predict that. I would send him and if is not adjusting well take him out. No big deal. It is free as well.


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  • I'd probably pay for him to go a couple days a week to a private preschool at 3 and then send him to the universal pre-k at 4. My nephew was in a private pre-k program this year (at age 4) that was 8 - 3 every day and he loved it.

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  • image mbenit4:
    image uconnhuskie007:

    Also - if I'm understanding this correctly - if he goes to Pre-K now, he'll be 4 in K.  I think thats too young for any kid, and given the fact that he's a boy I think it's way too young.  I'd wait, for both milestones. 

    I think this is a little stereotypical.

    Anyway, screw the age thing. Someone will always be the youngest and someone the oldest. It would depend on how he does and you can't predict that. I would send him and if is not adjusting well take him out. No big deal. It is free as well.

    I agree. My boy was the youngest in his class. He went to school right after he turned 4 (like a few days later). He thrived and did a great job--I wouldn't hold back a child just for being a certain gender.For us-we had to pay tuition to the public school for him to go (some perk to working there, lol). I'd do just that-put him in and see how it goes.  

  • Well, I have a birthday in late November, and was always one of the youngest in my class. And I have 2 DDs in daycare 5 days a week, so I'm biased.  That said...

    I think you should base your decision on your LO's readiness.  Generally, preschool and pre-K programs have a list of behaviors they expect upon entering and ones they'll develop through the year; would it be possible to get such information and use it to evaluate your LO ahead of time?  I would also ask about the curriculum. Preschool is often much more about learning how to work in a group (with things like circle time, group play, etc), and is usually learning disguised as fun, with lots of fun mixed in.  And studies show kids who've gone to preschool and pre-K do significantly better in K, in part because they're just more used to the setting and routine.  If you do decide to delay preschool, you may want to continue the delay (ie start in K as 5 turning 6).

    For my DD, she thrived in her preschool daycare, and we moved her to a formal pre-K school program at 4, but every child is different.  Learn as much as you can about the daily routine, and the expectations of the program, and assess your LO.  


  • Sorry about the post and run, I ran to the store. Thanks everyone for their responses. He will be 3 for a month and a half of pre-k, and 4 for a month and a half of kindergarden. The cut off here is nov 1, so he will be pretty much the youngest in his class, which is fine. I think he will be ready, he goes to daycare 2 mornings a week now, and he does well. I know it's not about me, and I need to do what's best for him, but I feel like he's still so little! Maybe a year will change a lot. They do testing, it will be done next May, if we want him to go, so we will have an idea of where he's at.

    The program does have a nap time, lunch, snack, outdoor play when nice, they have access to the gym, pool and art class. It seems like a very structured, and overall good program. I think I'm going to look at the other programs in the area and see how we feel come May.

    My heart says keep him home the extra year, do part-time pre-k then send him to kindergarden. But given he will be the youngest in his class, I don't want him to be behind. My head says send him to the free, all day program.

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  • I very much wish we had public full day preschool here that included bussing . An extra year with no daycare fees! All preschool is private, 2 half days a week. Though most daycares run preschool program at that age.

    It's even hard to find full day K 'round these parts.
    SQUIRREL!!!

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  • I think it all depends on at what age kids start kindy in your area.  Where I live, its a 5 by 9-1 cut off for kindy.  The PreK program at the school has a 4 by 9-1 cut off and the program is 5 full days.  The program is open from 6:45am until 6pm so the same as daycare hours but the main program follows the school schedule of 9:30am-4pm but if needed, kids can be dropped off early/picked up later.  My kids went from around 7am until 4pm.  No busing.  My girls both loved the program and did great.  Going full time is an adjustment but it will be an adjustment if they do it for the 1st time in PreK or K.  Plus if these are the kids your child will go to kindy and up with, that is worth so much.  Both of my kids have started (or will this fall) kindy knowing the school building, the principal, older kids plus a lot of the kids in their grade.  In my now 1st graders class of 27 kids, she know about 13 kids from PreK.  Made the transistion to kindy so easy.  Oh and in the PreK my kids went to, they still had quiet time and group time, time outside and at stations but they also moved towards learning like that would in kindy so it really was an amazing transistion.  Both of my kids did/will do full day kindy and starting in 2014, full day kindy will be the norm in my state as it was just passed that full day kindy will be offered and free for all.
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • We are in an almost identical situation. My kids bdays are Sept.,Oct. and Oct. Their school is at the end of our block. DD is doing half day this year in a public Montessori. I jut think full day is too long. They are already going to be in school an extra year, she won't start kindy until she is six.
    Everyone I know says their kids have done much better at always being the oldest than the youngest. I like free too, but the church preschools around her a relatively inexpensive.
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  • You raise some very valid concerns.

    Anytime you make an educational decision for a child so young, it's important to do so in the context of the community in which you live.

    What does a full day Pre-K look like? Is it academics at a desk all day? Or is there a considerable amount of free play, specials and nap?

    What is the usual and expected level of skills mastery at the end of pre-K? Will your son be able to arrive at that level in a part-time program?

    Do most parents send their kids to the universal Pre-K at the earliest opportunity or is red-shirting common where you live? 

  • I hear you re: stereotypical. Basing that on my pedis recommendation because we were in a similar boat w/ dd. he made the argument with case studies that was compelling enough for me to see clearly where he was coming from. That, and my best friends experience as a kinde teacher, none the less I hear ya, sorry to offend

  • My mom taught kindergarten for many years, and always encouraged parents of kids with borderline birthdays to wait. There is a big difference between a four year old and a five year old developmentally. That being said, as others have mentioned I think you have to look at what the norm is for your schools are most people waiting till they are 5 going on 6, or are there lots of kids starting that just barely make the cutoff? This isn't just about how much younger or older others are, but about what age group the teachers are used to dealing with and have curriculum for.
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