17 answers

Do You Think 3 Year Old Preschool Is Important?

My husband and I have been discussing preschools. After looking into them (mainly the cost) My husband feels it might not be necessary for our son to attend. I think he would benefit greatly from the social and academic aspects. Just trying to get a feel for what other moms think. Would you or did you send your child to 3 and 4 year old Preschool? Did you skip Preschool altogether and just wait until Kdg.?
Thanks so much for your opinions on this,

1 mom found this helpful

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Thank you all SO MUCH for your opinions on this. We will think about everything that you all said. Your advice and opinions will certianly help us make a decision on what to do. You have made some great points...both for attending and not needing to attend. I can't thank you all enough for taking the time to respond to my question...I really do appreciate it!

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I think you could skip the 3 year old program and just send him to a 4 year old program next year! To me a 3 program is just about play time and the 4 program they do more work.

It depends on the education he is going to get elsewhere. If he is going to learn at home/childcare then skip pre-school. If not, then pre-school.

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As a former pre-school teacher for a large school district, yes I think both 3 and 4 year old preschool is important. With that said though, you know your child and you have to decide what your goals are as far as the program/school you choose. If your focus is academics then yes you can probably, teach him lots of things at home as his mother you are qualified. If your goal is socialization, then an outside the home program is probably best. Also, when considering programs/schools remember that play is how children learn and socialize at this age so don't look at playtime/center time as a negative. Just make sure you feel all aspects are cohesive and the teacher is able to tell you why she is doing something. Finally, if cost is a factor, some churches and YMCA's have programs that are not that costly in comparison
to other options. Also, at 3 he doesn't need to go every day in my opinion so look for half day or 2 or 3 day programs. If you can't find a program you like with the school year approaching maybe you can take him to a music class where he can start practicing some of the social skills like sharing,turn taking and listening to directions. I think outside the home experiences are huge in how children eventually behave at school.

One more finally, you may also want to check out how "competetive"/academic the kindergarten is that you plan on sending your children too. Unfortunately, although I hugely disagree, a lot of things are being push down grades and kindergarten doesn't look quite like it use to.
Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful

It depends on the education he is going to get elsewhere. If he is going to learn at home/childcare then skip pre-school. If not, then pre-school.

You can teach your child the preschool skills on your own. It does make life more difficult. There are affordable preschools out there that are only 2 days a week 2 - 2 1/2 hrs. I do think its worth it but if you absolutely can't afford it then you can get the preschool books and do it at home. If you know other moms you can even set it up with others so they get the social part too.

So yes preschool at 3 and 4 I feel is important, however, I think you can do it with other moms if you wish. Seriously, it doesn't save much money because you spend that money or more getting all the supplies you need/want! :0)

I think it depends on your child and the cost. My husband and I looked into a 3 yr old preschool for our daughter two years ago. The first was a private school: play based, 3 days per week for 2 hours, and nearly $1000.00! Academically, our daughter didn't need, what seemed to us, a glorified daycare at that cost. I was, howvere, able to get her into the 3yr pre-k at Portage Park. We paid $50 and a few supplies. While she knew her basics, ABC's-identifying both upper and lower case, counting to 20 and also identifying, she learned alot of things I wouldn't have thought to teach. She learned about the human body, good nutrition/hygeine, animals, fish--basically alot of things you discuss and do in practice, but never formally teach. The best part though was the social aspect. She is shy around other kids, the pre-k helped her become comfortable around other children and expressing herself. She starts kindergarten in a month. =0)

My son will, unfortunately, not get to attend pre-k 3 or 4. We moved out of Chicago where all the pre schools are private and pricey. I would be concerned ,but my son is great with other children despite being out of childcare since 12 months. So, knowing the guidelines for kindergarten, I have opted to teach him at home and have him ready to excel in kindergarten in two years. Good luck with whichever route you choose. I'm sure he will go great in kindergarten either way. =0)

My daughter will be four in December and we have decided to skip preschool this year and just send her for one year. The cost was our main motivation, but I also took into account the fact that I work with her a lot at home and my husband and I didn't feel it would be completely necessary right now. I do think it is important for children to learn how to follow direction and take turns at an early age and I have had my daughter in a class at the park district since she was a year old, which helps with exactly that. As for the socialization aspect of it -as long as you have your son involved in other things and is involved with other children then he is getting the socialization he needs. I have my daughter in a Tumbling class and we are very active in our playgroup. I do know quite a few people who decide to enroll their children in "pre-K" and skip the one year of preschool so you definitely would not be alone if that is what you decide to do. :-)


What a fun age!
I'm a teacher and have taught at all levels including pre-school.

Take my thoughts for what they're worth:

#1- Three year old preschool is good for a child who is not around other children their age much, or even around other unfarmilar adults. It is great for them socially!

#2- If you do some, even just a bit, of work with your child on skills such as letters, numbers, counting, colors, calendar, cutting, singing silly songs, holding a pencil, painting, playdough, etc. your child is being exposed to the same things they would be exposed to in pre-school.

I'm having my first baby in Sept. and am not teaching this year and plan to stay at home in the future. I, personally, will not feel obligated to send my three year old to preschool. When my child turns four, I would like them to get some "school" experience. Kindergarten at most schools expects kids to know letters, numbers, counting etc, so I do recommend sending your child next year. Four year old pre-school will give your child a slight advantage over a child who didn't attend. I taught kindergarten last year and could notice an obvious difference(academically and socially) in the children who did not attend a four year old pre-school.

Any questions, let me know! I loved teaching and will really miss it. Don't forget that at this age, so much depends on your child, their personality, etc. and what they're exposed to at home and in other social settings.

Yes, I think it's important. If you can afford to send him, then try to find a 2-3 day program that is mainly play based currculum. Most park districts offer something, as well as many churches.

My daughter loved preschool at 3 years old (April birthday) and she was so ready for it. She enjoyed it socially and semi-academically...she learned a lot at home. My son at three ( and three years difference from his sister-May birthday), however, had excellent large and small motor skills and delayed communication skills (my daughter did all the talking for him!) and, because of that, I chose to have "preschool" at home - weekly field trips, structured learning for 1 or 2 days and library/park district programs so that he had the social interaction. I never wanted anyone to stifle my son's communication - it was hard to understand him. By four, he definitely had advanced in his speech. So... it depends on your son and the situation. There's so much you can do on your own and with my daughter I enjoyed the mornings that she had school. Good luck!

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