26 answers

Is Preschool Necessary?

My daughter is 4 years old, turning 5 in Oct. In our area, she cannot attend kindergarten until next year. We have been looking at preschools all summer and cannot decide on one. It is difficult to find something that works with my and my husband's schedules. Also, the cost! They are running between $1500 and $2000 for 2 or 3 days per week, from Sept. until May. My daughter is also taking gymnastics and dance. She has been attending a wonderful in-home daycare since she was a year old. My question, is do you think preschool is really necessary? I know she would love it, because she did go to a summer preschool last year at a church, but the schedule and cost.....She is a bright child and socially well-adjusted, and gets along well with her peers. My husband feels that she does not need to go. My mom feels that it does give children a head-start, but that Mya doesn't NEED to go. I am feeling like I just want to let her take the activites she enjoys and forego the preschool. Can anyone help/tell your experiences?

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I would HIGHLY recommend preschool for a 4yr old. I was in my daughters classroom for Kgarden weekly and you can def. tell the children that have not been in preschool. It gives them such a start for "real" school and gets them ready for the "real" thing. Daycare/babysitting is just NOT the same. My second child is only 16 months and we already started talking about putting money aside for his preschool because we think it is SO important. No I would not recommend going to preschool when they are 2 or 3 that is just glorified play time. The 4yr old class really gets them ready for k-garden.

It is not just the academics, it is the social aspect also. Kids are expected to sit and pay attention for long periods of time without interruption. This might be a bit harder for boys then girls. Depends on the child.

It is not a must, but it will help her next year if you work with her on writing her own name, and tying her shoes.

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Hi, L.:
No, the child does not need preschool.

We have been conditioned to believe that sending the child off from home early helps them, Indeed it does not! The best place to learn is at home.

You can teach your child everything she needs to know right at home.
Good luck. D.

4 moms found this helpful

I think your mom nailed it. Some kids NEED it, and some don't.

My son was one who did, for various reasons. He absolutely blossomed/rocketed upwards. And then when he started getting crushed in K and we pulled him out. We now homeschool and it took six months, but he started blossoming again. (Aargh... that one year did soooo much damage). We've been HS'ing for 3 years now and it's been phenomenal. But if I ever won the lottery his preschool teacher would get 2 chunks... one for her and one for a scholarship fund for other students to attend. Sending him to preschool was the BEST thing we could have done for him AT THE TIME. Just as pulling him out of public school a few years later was the best thing that we could do at the time.

In each case we looked at what HE needed, and what was best for our family.

IMHO that's one of the cool things about being a parent... you're the one who knows your child the best... so you get/it's your responsibility to do what's best for them.

Sometimes that means doing what's "normal" and sometimes it's what's off the beaten path. Neither is inherently better than the other. If your gut is saying : She's doing phenomenal NOW, with what we're already doing... why change that for something that even just *looking* at it is stressful?

Don't fix what isn't broken.

2 moms found this helpful

Educational, emotional and social success are more to do with the home environment than they are to do with school. Study after study has proven this. I would say that she can skip preschool and be just fine.

The only problem I can foresee if is she gets bored at daycare if she hits the wanting to learn stage. If you have been doing this daycare since she was one then surely they would be able to read her needs?

2 moms found this helpful

I don't think that it is absolutely necessary for children to go to preschool. It is a personal choice. Many kids do just fine in school without the benefits of having attended a preschool.

I did send my oldest to preschool at a church which cost me $80 a month. She loved it, particularly the field trips. My middle child was having problems with potty training so I couldn't send him to the same preschool that his older sister attended. However, I did find out that the local high school runs a preschool for their child development class. It only cost me $70 for the four month program. This program helped him with his temper tantrums, his sharing issues and his potty training. My youngest is not yet ready for preschool but I will send her to the high school one when she is ready.

In my school district, the kindergarten went from being a half-day program to a full-day program a couple of years ago. This would be a big adjustment to go from being at home all day to being away from home for 6 hours literally overnight. It was important to me for my son to get a little taste of being away from home for half that time and to have the benefits of working on his socialization skills before entering kindergarten, which he will do in a month.

Good luck with your decision.

1 mom found this helpful

Preschool not necessary. How about Nature School? Got a nature center near you? Any activity outside the home, like her dance and gymnastics, is teaching the socialization skills she will use in Kindergarten. Sometimes, if you teach them all the letters and numbers and how to read really well before they get to school, you set them up for extreme boredom and frustration at school.

Once I overheard a teacher say, "IT ALL EVENS OUT BY THE 3RD GRADE. JUST TEACH TO THE MIDDLE." Well, yeah, 3rd grade - - but up until then, the kids who enrolled in Kindergarten with advanced reading skills have been sitting, bored, twiddling their thumbs, while classmates "in the middle" learn HOW to read.

1 mom found this helpful

I was in the same boat. Here are a few questions I would ask yourself :
Can your daughther recognize and write her own name??
Name at least 10 parts of her body and point to each one?
Count to ten and say the entire alphabet unassisted?
Recognize at least 8 different colors?
Use scissors?
Does she take turns easily and share with other kids?
Can she sit for an extended time (more then 15 minutes straight) quietly to hear a book being read or to do a project.
Can she work with other kids on a project (building a tower or finishing a puzzle)?
Can she follow a 2 step oral direction (please take your coat over to the coat area AND hang it up)?
If she can do all these things and has had social interactions with other kids (which it looks like she has with gymnastics and daycare, then I would say NO it's NOT neccessary for her to go to preschool. The above things are basic things that are expected from a child when they enter Kindergarten and as long as she knows those things, she is right on course "academically" and even if she doesn't know all those things now - YOU can work on them with her at home over the next year. That being said, if your daughter goes to a preschool near where you live, your daughther will most likely meet kids that she will be going to Kindergaten with next year and that alone may make that transition easier for her come next Fall.
T. C.

1 mom found this helpful

I think that preschool is a great stepping stone into kindergarten. It's more about age appropriate peer interaction and socialization than it is academics. It can really help them to better adjust o the expectations of kindergarten, like having to be within a more structured environment, dealing with transitions, trusting and respecting other adults and their teaching style, getting used to sitting and being focussed for about 20 minutes at a time... If your daughter is a child who has trouble adjusting to new situations, socialization with larger groups of her same aged peers or separation, preschool can be really helpful.

Ultimately you have to decide what you can afford and what's best for your family though. Your daughter will adjust to kinder without attending preschool, but she would definitely benefit from going.

Good luck~

1 mom found this helpful

We did pre-k for both of our older kids for their 3 and 4 year old years. They LOVED it. The 3 year old class was way more of a social hour, but the four year old class they focused more on letters and counting and patterns, etc. So I think it is worth it and a great stepping stone into full-day school. Our youngest won't go for his 3 year old year, beause with my husband out of work we simply cannot afford to pay $160/mont for two mornings a week on top of his day care bill. So he will get the educaiton stuff at day care where there are two other 3 year olds. It is not a must - a lot of kids don't go, but I think it's a great thing!! Don't feel bad though if you cant :o)

1 mom found this helpful

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