L.M. asks from Riverton, UT on January 21, 2008
How Important Is Preschool?
My oldest is four. I had no idea the lists for preschools would be so long, and therefore, she is not enrolled in one, but will be starting school this year. I think she is extremely smart (I realize all mothers think this of their children), but I am worried about her knowing the things she needs to for the pre-K "test"? What can I teach her to have her ready? Also, will she be behind for missing preschool?
1 mom found this helpful
J.F. answers from Rochester on January 22, 2008
My son never went to preschool and he was at the top of his class in Kindergarten. The only reason I would have sent him was to be able to play with kids his own age, but he's done just fine in Kindergarten and 1st grade.
J. answers from Grand Rapids on January 22, 2008
I have two daughters one is in 2nd and the other kindergarten. They both went to pre-school, for socalization.
We live very rural and there wasn't any neighborhood kids or cousins their age. If your little one doesn't have an issue with this, then don't worry. If you are concerned, check out Bright Beginnings. As far as a kindergarten requirements, contact your school distict and ask them what they would like your child to know for kindergarten. I volunteer at the school and have found out that acedemically there is little difference between children who went to pre-school and those who didn't. I think the biggest concern should be the child's age, not what they know. They learn faster than they mature.
T.W. answers from Grand Rapids on January 27, 2008
Personally, we decided to forego preschool for my son (he's 4 and will start kindergarten next fall), but we do have him enrolled in a martial arts class, a gym class for kindergarten-age kids, and he has cousins and friends that he plays with on a regular basis. If he didn't have those social outlets, I probably would have enrolled him in preschool just for the social aspect.
We struggled with this decision greatly, because he didn't need the preschool experience adademically, but we did want to give him the oppoortunity to be around other kids and wanted him to learn to listen to other adults, follow directions, etc. Maybe if you can't do preschool, you could get her involved in a class offered by your local school district (the classes our son is in are offered by the school's recreational department). That way she can meet some kids, get used to being around others, etc.
T.M. answers from Lansing on January 22, 2008
All four of my kids were stay-at-home kids and we started each of them in preschool by the time they were 3 years old. We didn't have them go for the academic stuff, but the social stuff. I would encourage every parent to enroll their kids in preschool if they can afford it.
A.W. answers from Kalamazoo on January 22, 2008
My son is 5 and 1/2, in K and is in the top of his class. The teacher says he is almost were he needs to be by the END of K and is about at a 1st grade entry in math. He never went to preschool. I taught him at home. It's not that hard, especially if he already knows some stuff at age four. Check with a teacher but here are the basics for starting K: Colors, shapes, numbers to 20, abc's and how to write them fairly well, write name, know address and phone number. My son wasn't even solid on his address, but most of the kids weren't. I believe that my son learned way more staying home with me. We have a zoo membership and go often. We go to state parks and museums. I explain the world around him. He is very social and very kind. There is more to being smart than just knowing facts. I think my son is very happy and secure from spending so much time with me. I think that 5yrs old is plenty young enough to send him off to school. It did help that his K he started this year is only half day. Once they go to school, they are in school and work for basically the rest of their lives. I say let kids be kids while they can, and of course teach them what they need to do at the same time. You can teach him fun at home. My son praticed letter sounds at the zoo (What letter says the "K" sound like in kangaroo) We would collect rocks outside and count them and sort them by size and color. My daughter is 3 and I have no plans to send her to preschool either. I think maybe preschool is a good alternative to daycare if you have to work, but nothing can compare to another good quality year with mom!!!!!! Get some workbooks from teachers center or walmart, whatever, so he can practice "school time" curriculum and following directions on work sheets. My kids love workbook/homework time.
H.J. answers from Pocatello on January 22, 2008
L.- I own (and teach pre-k) in my own facility and I can tell you that preschool is very important these days. Preschool prepares children socially along with the necessary skills. If you can't get your child into a preschool I suggest working on these skills:
1. fine motor-playdough, lacing, block building, shoe tying,scissor skills, etc
2. Large motor-running, hopping, skipping
3. take your child to large groups of children-library reading times, play areas, play groups, etc.Be active and help her work thru any issues that arise.
Teach your child about computers, hygine, responsibility tasks, and how to print her first name. She shouls know how to count and recognize her ABC's
These days teachers expect students to walk in with the basics-colors, alphabet, counting, scissors, names...
Work on these skills with your daughter daily and she'll be fine.
Good luck-please let me know if you have any questions. I'm happy to help with lesson plans-H. J.
J.N. answers from Duluth on January 26, 2008
In my community they recommend two years of pre-school before kindergarten. It made me really nervous to have my daughter pulled away from me and such a young age. I opted to have her enter at 4 yrs old for one year. What is more important is that your child be enrolled in a program that you are comfortable with. Maybe you don't want them to push academics as much as social skills, or maybe you are more concerned with fine motor development (I was more concerned about my daughter's social skills, so I pick the one that I thought focused there the most). Most schools will teach all the basics, but you want to see what they push the most. Go to the schools and talk to the teachers, when, and if, you find one that you feel comfortable with enroll your child. If you find out you don't like what is going on - don't feel like you can't pull your child from the program and send her elsewhere or home school her. There is no law, that I know of, that forces you to place your child into any pre-school whatsoever. Take a deep breath, you know your child and what is best for her and you. :)
L.B. answers from Sioux Falls on January 22, 2008
preschool really doesnt matter, they only do that test to figure out where to place your son, so if he does need to catch up with others, he is placed in the correct place. Somethings you can help him with are letters and letter recognition, numbers up to 20, shapes, his birthday and address. These are just a few of the basic I was told my kid needed. Also in SD, I was told he should learn how to tie his own shoes and that they didnt want velcro at all. I have since found out this wasnt correct, but he had learned before he went, so it doesnt matter. Good Luck!
K.D. answers from Salt Lake City on January 22, 2008
I sent my son to preschool since I am a SAHM and I wanted him to have the benefit of the social skills gained and to be familiar with a school environment before really getting into some serious learning. However, I don't think of it as a requirement for all kids, just something I choose to do, so I don't think you need to worry at all. You're going to find some kindergarteners know how to read and do math and others that don't know their alphbet or numbers. There's such a wide variety of skill sets at this age. I'm sure your daughter will do just fine and enjoy school.