Should I give 3yo preschool a second thought? Wasn't planning on it. — The Bump
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Should I give 3yo preschool a second thought? Wasn't planning on it.

The post below about writing got me thinking. My DD turned 3 two weeks ago, so misses the cut-off by a month in our area and will be the oldest in her class. I wasn't planning to send her to school until she's almost 5 for two reasons. First, I want to push off the difficulty of figuring out childcare for another year, since we have three different babysitters for each week and second, I'm cheap. These seem to be selfish reasons, but it seemed to be the best choice for our family as a whole.

Is this abnormal? Should I think again about starting her next year?

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Re: Should I give 3yo preschool a second thought? Wasn't planning on it.

  • If you can afford it, best for two years
    Jen - Mom to two December 12 babies Nathaniel 12/12/06 and Addison 12/12/08
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    I think that research suggests that kids who do a do one year of preschool do better in school in general. I don't think it *has* to be done but it certainly can help many kids make the transition into kindergarten which is much more academic that it was when I went many years ago. We have a full time nanny and do a morning preschool. It is NOT cost effective but I love preschool. Even in the short period of time she's been there I've seen huge changes. Next year my kid would eligible for free daycare from the public school. Does you school district do this? I think it is often lottery based.

    How is your kid doing in general? I knew we had to do something more enriching for my kid so it was an easy decision. Some kids need the social experience of preschool more than others.

    She would be going to preschool, but she'll be almost six by the time she's old enough for kindergarten, so almost five for preschool. I think she's fine socially and intellectually, but I guess I wouldn't know until we tried it, right? She goes to Sunday School at church with 15 other kids and does just fine there. I just don't know if I'm hurting her by not doing 3yo preschool. 

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  • imagechristinak22:
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    I think that research suggests that kids who do a do one year of preschool do better in school in general. I don't think it *has* to be done but it certainly can help many kids make the transition into kindergarten which is much more academic that it was when I went many years ago. We have a full time nanny and do a morning preschool. It is NOT cost effective but I love preschool. Even in the short period of time she's been there I've seen huge changes. Next year my kid would eligible for free daycare from the public school. Does you school district do this? I think it is often lottery based.

    How is your kid doing in general? I knew we had to do something more enriching for my kid so it was an easy decision. Some kids need the social experience of preschool more than others.

    She would be going to preschool, but she'll be almost six by the time she's old enough for kindergarten, so almost five for preschool. I think she's fine socially and intellectually, but I guess I wouldn't know until we tried it, right? She goes to Sunday School at church with 15 other kids and does just fine there. I just don't know if I'm hurting her by not doing 3yo preschool. 

    We have public 4K here, which is 2.5 hours every day. I absolutely plan to have DD2 go to at least a 3 day/week preschool the year before 4K, so I guess you would call that 3 yo preschool.

    DD1 was in daycare full time, and it was still a big adjustment to go to 4K. Since I'm home now, I want DD2 to have at least some structured school time the year before.

    If your DD is already in a daycare, then I wouldn't worry about it. If not, my personal preference would be to do a 3 yo preschool program.

    Annalise Marie 05.29.06
    Charlotte Ella 07.16.10
    Emmeline Grace 03.27.13
  • Thanks for the insight, ladies!
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  • DS just turned 3 a month ago and I kept him out of school this year.  Next year he will start preschool and go for 2 years.  He will turn 6 right after he starts Kindergarden.  I don't mind him being the oldest in his class.
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  • I think you need to do what is best for your child and your family. I do think one year of preschool is beneficial to children and helps them transition to K easier. I don't think 2 years is necessary though.

    DS only had one year of preschool and is doing really well in K this year. 

    DD meets the cut-off in our state by 4 days. She is in K4 this year and we are waiting to see how she does and if her teachers think she is ready for K next year. If not she will attend the K5 program for kids who meet the cut off but are waiting a year. Right now we are leaning towards sending her to K so she will have only had one year of preschool as well.

    FWIW, I SAH so they are not in daycare either. 

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  • If it were me in your situation, I would wait one more year. Since she is on the older side she gets that extra time anyway. My kids are July kids and are the youngest in their class, so they don't get that extra 9 months before starting school at 5. The only reason I put my girls in a 3 year old program is because I am a SAHM of twin girls and my husband was only home 3 days a month. So my girls were always with me. They needed an opportunity to have some away time from me and from each other. They are in the same class together, but it gave them a chance to interact with other children and adults (the teachers) without me being there. It was wonderful for us all. This year they are in the 4 year old room and are excelling. Even though they are younger than the other 16 kids in the class they are learning at the same level as the other kids (6 of the kids in the class have already turned 5, 4 of them within the first 3 weeks of school starting). The put them in class last year is because it was the only year I had to pay for. This year in Pre-K it is free. It is free for evey child in our state. So I only had to pay for one year, if Pre-K was not free, I would have kept them home until 4 before putting them in school.

    I think you have to find a balance between what is best for the child, your family and what works in your budget. So for that reason I don't see any problem with her staying put for one more year.

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  • We skipped 3yo PS for all of the same reasons. DS is a little behind in social skills, so I occasionally second-guess myself, but then I remind myself that he'll have all of 4yo PS for that.
  • My older son turned three in late September and started preschool right after that.  He has a speech delay and qualified for the school districts program. He goes half days and seems to love it.  Our other option was to do drop in speech therapy three days a week. He won't be allowed to start Kindergarten until he's about to turn six so he will have three years of preschool.  That third year we may consider having him go to a more intense science (STEM) based preschool that's all day and very expensive.  

    His brother is technically in the same class, but almost a year younger.  We will wait to see how he is when the time comes as to whether he will start K as the youngest kid (his birthday is the cutoff) or hold him back.  

  • My boys are in 3y/o preschool; they actually started in the 2's class last January, right after they turned 3. It's been wonderful for them. We wouldn't have started till the 4's class but one of our boys had some developmental needs where we knew he would benefit from being in preschool earlier and we've been really happy with that decision, even though financially it's a sacrifice.
    fraternal twin boys born january 2009
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