Does anyone else not care much about preschool? — The Bump
Pre-School

Does anyone else not care much about preschool?

I feel like the only mom who's kind of "meh" about preschool.  I feel like it's kind of a big hype.  All my sons' friends have been going since they were 2-3.  I never went as a kid.  If my kids go at all, I don't really care if they go until the year before kindergarten.  I taught kindergarten for several years and feel like I can easily "homeschool" preschool myself.  My 3 year old already knows more than a lot of the kindergarteners I used to have starting the year.  I feel like I'm the only one who's not all gung ho about it.  We also go to church every week, where are kids are in classes from 9-12, so that kind of teaches some of the routines of school.  Really, that's only one less day per week than the typical 3 yr preschool program.  Around here, you have to basically camp out at the preschool to get in line for a spot, or you have to pay over $100 just to be entered into a lottery for a chance to get in.  Is anyone else considering skipping preschool? 
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Re: Does anyone else not care much about preschool?

  • We are only doing one year for each of the girls. I would skip it entirely, but since I'm a SAHM I want them to have that year to transition into school before starting kindergarten, especially since they way it looks now kdg. will be full day by the time my girls go. I'm not concerned about getting them in, as they'll be going to the parochial school where my DH teaches, so for us that's not a reason to start early, either.

    I have my BS in Education and feel the same way you do about "homeschooling" preschool. DD1 has learned so much just through play and encouraging what she's interested in that I don't feel she's missing anything academically. I also don't believe in pushing kids academically at a young age, and from my limited experience with the preschools in our area they are too focused on work and not enough on learning through play for my taste.

     

    Mama to two sweet girls
    DD1 Feb 2010
    DD2 Sept 2011


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  • I always thought most of the benefits of preschool were learning school behaviors/etiquette - not academics - like how to stand in line, how to work in a group, take turns, how to learn to solve your own problems (put on your coat, clear your plate, etc.) and basically how to separate from your mother/home and assume more responsiblity for yourself and self care - not necessarily knowing colors, shapes, etc. 
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  • I think there are a lot of factors to consider and it is dependent on the child. If the child is very delayed in certain aspects like socialization, then kindergarten can be very traumatic and difficult. Given that you taught puts you at an advantage. from the school, you can get a list of "need to knows" before kindergarten to make sure your child is covered.

    Preschool isn't just about learning, it is about fun too and time away from Mommy and Daddy to gain independence. Also, they learn from the other kids the good and the bad.

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  • DS would've went for the first time at age 4 years and 7 months but I went back to work, so he'll have two years of preschool before kindergarten this year.

    I too homeschooled him for early preschool.  It was a lot of work and I defintely see the benefits of what he learned when he did attend preschool at age 3.

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  • I think preschool is very important.

    I never went to preschool. I started kindergarten being advanced academically, but I was way behind socially. I was also super shy as a child. I did not talk to one other kid the whole first year of kindergarten. I had to work at not being "shy" my whole school career.

    DD1 has a very similar personality to mine. She was in daycare since she was a baby, and I think that really helped her open up sooner. At 3 yo I was worried about her starting 4K and being in a classroom with a huge group of kids she didn't know. (Here 4K is public and free - 5 days/week for half days.) When she turned 4, it was like a light bulb. She did awesome, which I think in large part was due to her being in a daycare/preschool setting for years prior. She's still not the most outgoing kid in class, but she talks to everyone. She participates in classroom discussions, and most importantly, she doesn't have to deal with everyone labeling her as "shy."

    DD2 started a 2 yo preschool program through the YMCA this fall. She was super excited to go because she wanted to go to school like her big sister. She goes twice a week for 1.5 hours. She loves her school and does great there. As a bonus for me, I am forced to work out for 1.5 hours at least 2 days/week. I'm not worried about her academic progress in preschool. I just want her to get used to a more structured school setting and have fun doing it. I haven't decided what we'll do next year. The Y's 3 yo program is 2 days/week for 2 hours, and I'm not sure that's enough to prepare DD to go to a 5 day/week program at 4 yrs.

    Annalise Marie 05.29.06
    Charlotte Ella 07.16.10
    Emmeline Grace 03.27.13
  • imageKathrynMD:
    I always thought most of the benefits of preschool were learning school behaviors/etiquette - not academics - like how to stand in line, how to work in a group, take turns, how to learn to solve your own problems (put on your coat, clear your plate, etc.) and basically how to separate from your mother/home and assume more responsiblity for yourself and self care - not necessarily knowing colors, shapes, etc. 

    Yes 

    Annalise Marie 05.29.06
    Charlotte Ella 07.16.10
    Emmeline Grace 03.27.13
  • imageAngela814:

    I think preschool is very important.

    I never went to preschool. I started kindergarten being advanced academically, but I was way behind socially. I was also super shy as a child. I did not talk to one other kid the whole first year of kindergarten. I had to work at not being "shy" my whole school career.

    DD1 has a very similar personality to mine. She was in daycare since she was a baby, and I think that really helped her open up sooner. At 3 yo I was worried about her starting 4K and being in a classroom with a huge group of kids she didn't know. (Here 4K is public and free - 5 days/week for half days.) When she turned 4, it was like a light bulb. She did awesome, which I think in large part was due to her being in a daycare/preschool setting for years prior. She's still not the most outgoing kid in class, but she talks to everyone. She participates in classroom discussions, and most importantly, she doesn't have to deal with everyone labeling her as "shy."

    I could have written this exact same post!  I was a kid from a SAHM and I struggled with being shy as a child.  My DD went to daycare & then PreK and has done awesome!  She has such a bigger personality than I have.  

    Preschool is very big now, when we were kids it wasn't as popular. I  do think there would be a social disadvantage to a child that didn't attend.   Some of DD best friendships were meet in PreK and have continued to now (2nd grade).  


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  • imagecmeon_the_water:

    imagefredalina:
    imageKathrynMD:
    I always thought most of the benefits of preschool were learning school behaviors/etiquette not academics like how to stand in line, how to work in a group, take turns, how to learn to solve your own problems put on your coat, clear your plate, etc. and basically how to separate from your mother/home and assume more responsiblity for yourself and self care not necessarily knowing colors, shapes, etc.nbsp;
    Yeah, I agree. And also to give the child a new setting and to give mommy a break if she wants one.

    That's where I fall on it. My kids are very bright and learned their alphabets, numbers, colors, shapes through every day life and had them down by 2. I'm a SAHM and all the playdates, storytimes, and music classes couldn't do what preschool does for them socially. And I appreciate that they won't have to start full day kindergarten without any day to day classroom experience- that would be such a big shock to their systems.

    Is it absolutely necessary that all children attend preschool? No, of course not- but, I do think that they ALL can benefit from it.

    This. Well said, ladies!

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  • I am in agreement with the majority here. Preschool is not just about academics.  I also think it is weird to "homeschool" for preschool.  I guess I just assumed that people worked on the basics regardless of whether or not their child goes to preschool.  My DS was a beginning reader when he started preschool last year (based on his own interest) as he was turning 3.  He was skip counting and doing a daily calendar at home.  His teachers hardly talked about letters, numbers,et c.  They did science, practiced taking turns, did yoga, had library, followed rules, etc.  He spent time away from us and learned things that I probably would not have thought to teach him.
    O 10.08 & MJ 6.10
  • How did you feel as a Kindrrgarten teacher? I do not know any Kindergarden teachers that do not think it is important.
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
  • imageKathrynMD:
    I always thought most of the benefits of preschool were learning school behaviors/etiquette - not academics - like how to stand in line, how to work in a group, take turns, how to learn to solve your own problems (put on your coat, clear your plate, etc.) and basically how to separate from your mother/home and assume more responsiblity for yourself and self care - not necessarily knowing colors, shapes, etc. 
    This. I may have taught DS all of his "academic" stuff but I still find preschool invaluable.
  • We're not doing preschool.  Our DCP does a fantastic job with helping the kids learn the same things they would at a preschool.  Plus, logistically, DH and I would have to either change around our work schedules to drop off and pick the kids up from preschool and take them to DC, or find a wrap-around program that does daycare outside of the preschool-time hours.  We just love our DCP so much that it's not worth the headache or additional cost to do preschool.  However, if I was a SAHM, I would probably send my LOs to preschool.
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  • DS1 went to preschool when he was 1 (almost 2, we wanted him around other kids so he got to go even though he was too young), repeated the same class when he was 2 (since he was of appropriate age), went 3 days per week when he was 3 and hasn't gone since.  His last day of preschool was 2/29/2012, we're doing preschool at home.  I have actual preschool and K4 curriculum that we work on daily.  We go to church every Sunday morning and Wednesday night, IMO I think that's enough structure if we do send him to school (we're debating between private and homeschool).

    GSx1 - 05/13/2013
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  • imagehocus:

    It depends on what you're hoping to get out of preschool. I think most parents can teach the core material -- shapes, letters, prereadings etc. I'm mostly excited about the other stuff. Kids 3 and over benefit a lot from spending time with peers and I can never be a peer to my kid. Our preschool also does a lot of just run stuff (music, gym, yoga etc) that my kid enjoys doing.


  • imagehocus:

    It depends on what you're hoping to get out of preschool. I think most parents can teach the core material -- shapes, letters, prereadings etc. I'm mostly excited about the other stuff. Kids 3 and over benefit a lot from spending time with peers and I can never be a peer to my kid. Our preschool also does a lot of just run stuff (music, gym, yoga etc) that my kid enjoys doing.


  • imageKL777:

    DS would've went for the first time at age 4 years and 7 months but I went back to work, so he'll have two years of preschool before kindergarten this year.

    I too homeschooled him for early preschool.  It was a lot of work and I defintely see the benefits of what he learned when he did attend preschool at age 3.

    I agree with this, I only put DD's in for 1 year before Kinder started.


  • imageKathrynMD:
    I always thought most of the benefits of preschool were learning school behaviors/etiquette - not academics - like how to stand in line, how to work in a group, take turns, how to learn to solve your own problems (put on your coat, clear your plate, etc.) and basically how to separate from your mother/home and assume more responsiblity for yourself and self care - not necessarily knowing colors, shapes, etc. 

    This - I think some sort of preschool is really important for kids.  My kids were in daycare FT since infants since DH and I both work FT but even if I had stayed at home, I would have still sent my kids to preschool at least part time.  I saw with my niece what a huge difference it can make.  She is a pretty shy kid (still is at almost 12) and was very attached to her mom.  She started going to preschool 2 days a week (full days) at around 2 1/2 or 3 and her personality just really came out after that and she opened up a ton.

    Jenni Mom to DD#1 - 6-16-06 DD#2 - 3-13-08 
  • Academic wise I don't think it is important (unless a kid has loser parents who don't bother reading with them or teaching them anything). Socially I think it is very important, DD is very shy and a total momma's girl still at 2.5. I work 3 mornings a week and have done so since she was 6 months old. She does really well at daycare and loves it. She has been in the preschool room since September. She knows most of the stuff they are teaching her there but that's ok. Kids will do better sometimes taking "instruction" from another person so she is learning stuff like how to put her coat on. If I would try and teach her how to do it she would just get attitude -and tell me she wants to do it herself. 

    I think if a kid is in a good daycare  I don't think there is any reason to put them in preschool instead however. DD could go to her future school this next fall but it won't work well with my work schedule so I am keeping her in daycare instead. 

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  • Yeah, we'll probably end up doing the year before kindergarten.  Our sons with both be almost 6 when they start K, so they are eligible for some special 5 year old PreK class, or so I've been told.  It's a class for kids who miss the cut off date.  We'll probably do that.  I agree with you guys- we'll be doing it mostly for the social aspects.  I can also understand people doing it simply to get a break and for their kids to learn to be away from their mom/dad.   It's just crazy here- maybe everywhere, how competitive, difficult, and stressful it is to get into a preschool.  A friend of mine is paying $150 just to be entered into a lottery for a CHANCE to go a particular preschool.  Another friend was told that the preschool she wanted was first come first serve and on sign up day, parents start lining up at 3 AM!  I wonder if it's like this everyone.  These aren't state of the art preschool centers or anything.  Just the local churches who have preschools.  It's kind of bizarre.

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  • We would've held off till age 4, but one of my boys has some developmental delays and was really not interacting with peers at all (other than his twin) by the time he turned 3. That's even with us going to church on Sundays, them being in childcare while I was at a Bible study group Wednesday mornings, plus regular play dates and Y childcare. So we enrolled both boys in preschool right after they turned 3. It's been very good for both of them, especially our child with delays.
    fraternal twin boys born january 2009
  • imagecmeon_the_water:

    imagefredalina:
    imageKathrynMD:
    I always thought most of the benefits of preschool were learning school behaviors/etiquette not academics like how to stand in line, how to work in a group, take turns, how to learn to solve your own problems put on your coat, clear your plate, etc. and basically how to separate from your mother/home and assume more responsiblity for yourself and self care not necessarily knowing colors, shapes, etc.nbsp;
    Yeah, I agree. And also to give the child a new setting and to give mommy a break if she wants one.

    That's where I fall on it. My kids are very bright and learned their alphabets, numbers, colors, shapes through every day life and had them down by 2. I'm a SAHM and all the playdates, storytimes, and music classes couldn't do what preschool does for them socially. And I appreciate that they won't have to start full day kindergarten without any day to day classroom experience- that would be such a big shock to their systems.

    Is it absolutely necessary that all children attend preschool? No, of course not- but, I do think that they ALL can benefit from it.

    And now having read the other responses, I agree with all this too. I am a fan of home-schooling in general and think it can be done well, but if you are planning to send your child to K, especially if it's full-day in your district, I think doing at the least a mother's day out program two mornings a week, if not preschool, is good preparation.

    fraternal twin boys born january 2009
  • DS has some sensory issues which prevent him from participating in new class activities as a child would who doesn't have the delay.  We pulled him out of the preschool setting and have spent the last 7mo focusing on bringing him developmentally up-to-date with his peers.  I'm grateful for this, because I have been able to see how he works in a class setting by enrolling him in small 1hr classes.

    Now that I am armed with information about DS, I know what I am looking for within a school/class setting, and I plan on talking to them about DSs difficulties and find someone who is willing to work with him.  I'm not sure how long it takes for a child to typically learn the ropes of a preschool schedule, for DS to be fully acclimated it has taken a total of 4mo in his current (1hr) class to listen to direction.  However I am not sure if its maturity though, but something clicked for him within the past month.  :o

    I sounded like you almost a year ago and I understand how you feel, but its important to keep up socialization.  Whether its in a church group or a small class which you can observe, you will be able to see where he is at developmentally & socially.  Plus it gives mommy a break :)

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