Pre-school question — The Bump
Pre-School

Pre-school question

Not trying to be snarky, just curious. I see that a lot of you send your child to school for 2 or 2.5 hours.  Is it really worth it? Do they learn anything in that short time?  

For me it would not be worth it.  I know it takes A's class at least 20 min for everyone to settle in and get ready for "class." Then 20 min to get ready to leave. Then the teacher has to fill out forms to send home which could take a good bit of time depending on the amount of students. What could she possibly learn in that short time?  The cost is kind of high for those schools too.  

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Re: Pre-school question

  • They have such a good schedule and really stick to it!  At least @ my DS preschool we do not get paperwork from the teachers on a daily basis, maybe weekly if needed.  They also don't take time to get ready to leave.  They have rainbow carpet time, which consists of story/dance time and then it is time to pick up and they are dismissed from the carpet, they retrieve their belongings from their cubby's one at a time while the parent/ caregiver is standing right there.

    My Son had learned so much from being in preschool.  This is his 3rd year, he is in Pre-K this year.  He can read & write and had great social skills.  He will be so ready for Kindergarten by the end of the year!

    Sorry you feel that way about pre-school!  Maybe your kid should have gone so you could appreciate it!

  • I guess I can't speak for anyone else who does a traditional preschool, but at ours, there is no dorking around for twenty minutes at either end. We are expected to be there on time, and at the end of the day, the kids are brought outside to parents' cars so that there is no disruption of class time.

    As far as what they could possibly be learning, they're three. My son learned what the word "camouflage" means in about two minutes with me at the park the other day, so I can't imagine how much he's going to learn this year with five hours a week of structured curriculum. Maybe a better question for you would be, what could you possibly be expecting them to learn at this age that's going to take five full days a week? Long division? (Not knocking full-day preschools at all, just trying to put it in perspective.)


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  • It's worth it for us.  DD goes 3 times a week for 2 hours a day.  Of course every pre-school is different but the one DD goes to doesn't have a lot of wasted time.  I'd say the only wasted time is in the morning ... they have about 10 minutes of free play waiting for everyone to arrive.  I know she learns things, she's starting to write letters which we have never worked on at home.  Her teachers don't fill out any forms.  There is also no preparation to leave.  They end class with circle time on the rug (a song or two) and then they wait there for mom, etc to come into the room to get them.

    Another thing is that my DD's preschool doesn't do snack time since it's such a short class (that cuts out about 10-15 min) and she only does recess about once or twice a month.  I have a friend whose DD does recess every day, even in winter.  I can only imagine how much time that takes to get 10-15 kids in and out of snow gear.  That has to be almost 1/2 of their 2 hour class time.

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  • There's a lot of learning that isn't from books.  They are learning to be respectful of new teachers.  They are learning to make friends, wait their turn, sit patiently.  They are learning that their parents aren't the only authority figures.  I think the social interaction is so much more important than learning letters and numbers.

     

  • imageApril37:

    It's worth it for us.  DD goes 3 times a week for 2 hours a day.  Of course every pre-school is different but the one DD goes to doesn't have a lot of wasted time.  I'd say the only wasted time is in the morning ... they have about 10 minutes of free play waiting for everyone to arrive.  I know she learns things, she's starting to write letters which we have never worked on at home.  Her teachers don't fill out any forms.  There is also no preparation to leave.  They end class with circle time on the rug (a song or two) and then they wait there for mom, etc to come into the room to get them.

    Another thing is that my DD's preschool doesn't do snack time since it's such a short class (that cuts out about 10-15 min) and she only does recess about once or twice a month.  I have a friend whose DD does recess every day, even in winter.  I can only imagine how much time that takes to get 10-15 kids in and out of snow gear.  That has to be almost 1/2 of their 2 hour class time.

    Right, and then you factor in lunch, and nap time, and everything else that goes along with a full-day, and really, you probably aren't gaining too much structured time. Finn's school does do snack time, but it's an awesome learning tool for them. It's served family-style. All the kids pour their own water from pitchers at the table and pass the food around to each other and work on table manners and social skills. It's very cute.


  • I do think it is very important.  DD learns to take directions from other people (her teachers).  She gets to spend time with a lot of other kids, not just me.  Even if it is negative - like she was telling me a boy took a toy from her, and I told her how to tell other kids they can't just take stuff from her.  I think just the interaction and getting out of the house, otherwise it would always be me watching her (even on playdates).  Plus the teachers have a curriculum, and there is consistency in what they do and teach, which helps prepare them for going to Kindergarten.
  • it more of a social thing for my DD then a learning thing.  I want her to be able to sit and listen to another person, other than myself.  I also want her to start making friends and be able to play wit others.  and it also gives me 3 hrs to go food shopping, do the laundry, dishes, etc. so yes it is WORTH it.
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  • My boys go to a play based pre-school versus one heavily driven by curriculum.  They are learning about social norms, how to share and wait their turn, how to make friends, the fact that school is a non-negotiable (in that we don't skip if we simply don't feel like going), experiencing independence from their familiar surroundings and caregivers and getting to experience different people and activities, etc.  These are all important skills for three year olds.  I don't think keeping them longer during the day or going every single day would necessarily provide a huge benefit at this point.  My guys are exhausted when they get home from preschool so  three hours is obviously enough for them at this point.
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    My twins are 5! My baby is 3!

    DS#2 - Allergic to Cashew, Pistachio, Kiwi

    DS#3 - Allergic to Milk, Egg, Peanut, Tree Nuts and Sesame

  • It is totally worth it for DD.  She an only child, I am a SAHM, and we live in the country where there aren't many outlets for children to learn socialization (unless they are in daycare).  She has already learned to take turns, her speech has improved from watching the older kids in her class, she has learned to do things on her own (like bathrooms routines), and she has learned that in a classroom there are rules and routines.  She's only 3, so I don't expect her to learn physics, but it has been really enjoyable for her, so it is more than worth it.  Next year we will look into full day preschool, just to get her used to longer day (kindergarten around here is full day), but it won't be the end of the world if we stick to half days.
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  • My kids are in FT because my DH and I both work FT but I can totally see the benefits of going PT if that is what works for you.  Kids learn to be social and how to intereact with kids, with teachers, as a group on top of any other traditional educational stuff.  In my older DD's preK class, they have 2 hours of nap/quiet time, they eat both breakfast and lunch and have 2 snacks a day plus go outside or into the big motor room 2x a day.  I think the actual "work" time is about the same as you see in a part time program when it comes down to it.  The school system has a part time preschool that is run by the same group that does my DD's full tiem PreK and they both use the Regglio philopshy on teaching.  My DD's teachers sit with them at meals and use that as learning time.  Same as others have said, at this age, we don't get a written daily report (I do from my younger DD's preschool), there is no drop off or pick up prep time - the parents do that when they drop off and pick up.  They have a schedule for the day that they follow and after the 1st few weeks, the kids really know what is expected of them and it doesn't take much time to go from one thing to the next.  I think in a well run program, the kids benefit if you are there for a few hours 2-3 times a week or 5 days a week, 40 some hours.  Either way, the kids are learning about being in the school environment.
    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • imageprincess_shelly:

    Sorry you feel that way about pre-school!  Maybe your kid should have gone so you could appreciate it! 

    My child does go to pre-school.  Two times a week actually.  I was curious on how the schedule worked and what goes on in those two or so hours. I wasn't flaming or snarking anyone for sending their child.

    April(I think) you do bring valid points.  DD does have a snack and lunch, so overall I guess she probably only gets 3 or 4 hours out of her 5 hour day.

    Thanks for the input ladies.  

    image
  • It was absolutely worth it for my kids, especially because I was pretty committed to the whole SAHM concept.  My primary reason for sending them to preschool was for socialization.  I had the academic stuff under control.

    In 2.5 hours, they were able to begin to learn about the school routine, develop some independence, and grow more confident with their peers.  But I was still able to spend a lot of one-on-one time with both my kids during their toddler and preschool years.

    High School English teacher and mom of 2 kids:

    DD, born 9/06/00 -- 12th grade
    DS, born 8/25/04 -- 7th grade
  • My DD goes 3 days a week for 2.5 hours. Her school does both recess every day (even in winter) and snack time.  I think she has learned a lot.  She's learned the structure of school, her letters, how to write her name, how to interact with other kids/adults, shapes, numbers, she's currently learning Spanish, animal life cycles, etc. 

    I honestly think it's the perfect amount of school time for her.  I don't want her to spend all day, every day in school at age 4.  Next year she will start Kindergarten and still only go 2.5 hours, 5 days a week.

    DD1 - 12.25.05
    (m/c 1.17.07, m/c 5.15.07)
    DS - 03.15.08
    DD2 - 12.03.09
    DD3 - 3.28.11
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