D.N. asks from Clay, NY on April 08, 2008
Is It Necessary to Do Preschool?
My son is three now and it seems like times are a changing. There's such a big hubbub about kids needing to go to preschool and what not. I enrolled my son for preschool come September, mainly because I'm a stay at home mom and I feel he could use the help to socialize and learn manners and how to act with others. It's hard for me to sit down and do toddler activities since my baby son whose one tends to make a mess of stuff since he doesn't know any better. Other than that I don't really feel he has to go. Of course, my husband is no help, first he says send him and then today tells me he doesn't have to go and it's not necessary. So I'm second guessing myself now. It's almost as if I'm trying to get rid of my son or something. I'm also wondering if the money spent for him to go to preschool (three days a week for 2.5 hours) can be saved towards other things. I could wait until he's four I suppose. Granted I paid already but I'm assuming I can change my mind if I want to since it's not even September yet.
So What Happened?™
I just wanted to thank everyone for their wonderful input and advice. Since we've already paid the deposit, I doubt I will change my mind about sending him. Money isn't an issue because it's really affordable where we live...from reading and speaking with other moms, the $100 a month we spend to send him to a 3 day a week program is pocket change and maybe if it was more money then may it be better spent elsewhere.
One thing I realized after reading all your posts is that my son doesn't get to socialize all that much. We don't have a huge pile of playmates for our boys, we have our cousin's son, who we see once a week and our friends down the road that we see every two to three weeks. So really other than each other they don't socialize much. Winters in the Northeast are tough and getting out to the playgrounds aren't an option. Story time with him is tough with a bobbling one year old. So we are limited with things we can do.
My main concern was the whole is it too soon and feeling like I was letting him go. My husband knows it will be good for him and a break for me and he's just one of those guys that says all he thinks and I'm the one that worries. But I know my boys the best and my oldest will do great in school I think. Learning to socialize, manners (not that we don't teach him but he doesn't get it since he thinks he owns the place), and all those things are going to help enforce what we have been trying to teach him. Maybe after he starts school will all the Preschool workbooks I got him will make better sense since right now he just wants to color them all up like his other coloring books.
So overall I hope he does like school...days for a few hours. Thank you all for your input, advice and ideas.
T.P. answers from New York on April 11, 2008
It is good for social things-he will have enough friends to invite to his birthday parties. However, if you are teaching him at home, he will be adequately prepared for Kindergarten. You can start giving him site words to read-just one word for a week or every two weeks or even a month. Once he recognizes that, then give him another site word. Teach him his alphabets-to recognize them and his numbers. He is now ready for kindergarten.
J.C. answers from New York on April 09, 2008
It's great for social skills, and learning to share and some other skills you may overlook at home. My son didn't go to daycare/preschool until he was 2 1/2 and I'm glad I sent him..... Go for it!
N.M. answers from New York on April 09, 2008
I put my daughter in daycare at 2 yrs old and took her out of the grandmothers home. She was watching her for the whole 2 yrs but I felt she was not getting enough. I know that I or anyone can play, help feed, change diapers and what not, but what they get at school is totally different and I highly recommend it to anyone. she brings home projects that she makes, shares at school, has friends, etc. It is the best thing ever! Plus, it gives you some spare time to get those errands done if you are a stay at home mom. Good luck!
C.S. answers from Syracuse on April 09, 2008
I'm an educator, and what I have to say might shock you. :o)
I don't believe preschool is necessary from the socialization aspect if the child has other siblings. Hopefully, you're already teaching him about taking turns and empathy, things that are picked up in group settings. Even if your DS has other children (doesn't even have to be his own age - the broader the range of ages, the more learning a child does on how to interact with others) to visit and play with occasionally, I think he'll be just fine.
From my point of view, yeah, it's great if a 3 yo knows the alphabet (mine did at that age) and how to spell his/her name (again, mine were able to orally spell their names by 3), but it's not necessary. If you as a parent are interacting with your child and teaching on a daily basis (it's really easy - for instance, when you're helping him get dressed, you can say, "This is a green shirt. Let's put your right arm in the sleeve. Ok, now the left arm goes in. Great! Pick up your brown pants. Hey, don't the legs look like rectangles? Can you put your right leg into your pants? How about your left leg?"), then there's really no need for preschool.
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W.H. answers from New York on April 09, 2008
I don't think preschool is necessary unless you see some issue w/ your child that you feel preschool will help. My daughter is 4 and she will start Kindergarten in Sept. (I also have a 2yr old son) She has never gone to preschool and I have no worries about her next year. We go to the library all the time and participate in their many programs. She gets plenty of socialization there or even just going to the park, getting together w/ friends etc.
If you feel that your son needs more stimulation than you can provide then by all means send him to preschool but if you're doing it because "everyone else is doing it" then I say don't.
I am a stay at home mom and feel that since I am home then it is my job to teach my daughter. I enjoy all the time we have together and this is the only time that she won't be in school. (until she is an adult)
Good luck w/ your decision.
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T.W. answers from Buffalo on April 08, 2008
I am a SAHM of 3 kids and I have NEVER EVER sent them to pre-K. Its a waste of time and money for SAHM's, I think. There isnt anything they do there that you arent capable of doing yourself. You can do crafts and learning, "field trips" etc... as far as socialization? Join some local groups. A playgroup, or storytime at the library. Get him involved with karate or some other organized group. He can be around other kids and other adults that have a leading role. I just find it pointless and the emphasis put on all kids to succeed, succeed, succeed is just ridiculous, in my opinion. They are just kids and they learn the most by play, so get out there and play Mom! Save your money for a trip to the zoo and talk about the animals! Make a project about elephants...talk about what they like to eat and do. Take him to the aquarium and learn about fish. Then go for ice cream! I hope that helps. I know I will probably be the minority, but I stand by my decision to not send them and they have thrived. Good luck in your decision!
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M.W. answers from Jamestown on April 09, 2008
Good Morning,I am a 60 yr old "mom" of two, my "babies" are now 31 & 29....I was a stay at home mom too. They had a Joint Vocational school about 10 miles from home, They had a daycare class, for 3 & 4 yr olds for girls who were taking child care classes, (Juniors & seniors) The seniors had the 3 yr olds & the Juniors had the 4 yr olds, It was hard to get your child in there because they would only have one child for each student. You sign the long list and wait.
Anyways... the class was full so my daughter didn't get to start at the beginning of the school year, but in Jan, they called me and told me a child had moved and they had an opening, so my daughter got to go for 4 months, like you said every other day...the 4 yr olds went from 9-11am , if I would NOT have sent her, I would have had a bad time getting her on the bus when it was time for kindergarten, because she was a "mommies" girl! she Loved It!
They told me to sign my son up because he would have prioty over others because his sister went,I didn't want to send him...being that young, BUT...they told me that boys need more diseplene than girls, so I sent him...when he was 3 & 4, It was the best thing I could have ever done! Both were Honor students and my son graudated high school when he was a junior! That was 26 yrs ago when my daughter went to day care!
My Advice from an "OLD" Mom... send him...you will Never regret it!
A.F. answers from New York on April 09, 2008
D., i'm sure you got a mixed bag of replies to this. I am not sending my 3 year old to preschool, mostly for financial reasons, we just don't have the extra money. i keep going back and forth too, i want to make sure i do the right thing for my child. i keep focusing on the fact that he is only 3 for crying out loud! does he really need to be in a structured environment. isn't kindergarten about preparing kids for school? so why are we now sending them to preschool to prepare for kindergarten?? if you are doing playgroups etc or have multiple kids then i don't think the socialization argument holds up. with multiple kids at home your kids will learn how to share and interact etc. if you only have 1 child then maybe preschool is for you. there is a lot of pressure out there from other moms etc to send kids at 3, but i'm not. my kids are also not in any other "programs" like music or tumbling etc. we do music at home and we have lots of playtime. anyway, that is my 2 cents! good luck with your decision and i am kind of on board with you, i'll reevaluate when he is 4 and see. A.
L.H. answers from New York on April 09, 2008
No, preschool is not neccessary. I know people say about it helping social skills, but don't forget that children also learn bad behaviors in daycare centers and preschools. You can get your child ready for school on your own by simpley calling your local school district for advice on preparing your child for kindergarten. School districts are more than happy to help you out. The best things you can do is to sit down with your child every day and have have him concentrate on a quite activity just like they do in schools. It could be reading to your child, drawing, coloring, or following directions. You can start teaching your child the alphabet, numbers, how to print his name, reading simple words, learning poems or nursery rhyms or songs. You can teach your child manners by acting polite and how to play games together and share. For social skils, let your child join a sports type activity or art classes. (Swimming classes, martial art classes, etc.) Nursery school is becoming over rated and it is very important for children to spend more time with their families.
B.A. answers from New York on April 08, 2008
Yes money is an issue.I'm pretty sure that is why hubby has flipped flopped. I can't really blame him. Both of my boys went to nursery school mainly for the reasons you stated.
"I feel he could use the help to socialize and learn manners and how to act with others." They really do need that if they want to make an easy transition to regular school. If you want to put it off for another year, I don't feel it would hurt, that is if he plays nice with others. If he has difficulty doing so, I would send him.
As to you pushing him off as you put it, I don't think that is true. Yes you have your hands full with the baby. But by sending the older child to pre school, he will be having fun, doing and seeing new things and expericencing life outside of home on his own so to speak. Your younger child will benifit by the fact that he will have the special bonding time with Mommy that your first was able to enjoy.
I say send him if you can afford it, but if it is going to put too much pressure on the family funds, try and hold off for a year. Maybe trade off with another mom with a child the same age for a couple hours a week. Alternate so you both get a break and the kids learn how to act with others in another home.
A.C. answers from New York on April 09, 2008
I ahve 4 children ranging from 5-20 yrs. I have sent all 4 of them to preschool. It is a wonderful experience for both Mom and preschooler. Mom's have the opportunity to meet other Mom's and make new friends. The preschooler gets used to a routine and structure of the class emvironment. I substitute teach and there are some little ones that you can definitely tell did not have any preschool and they do struggle when starting elementary school. I had no doubt that my kids were going to preschool. You are not "getting rid" of your son. You are preparing him for school as well as socialization with other children.