July 22, 2010,
M.S. asks from San Rafael, CA on April 07, 2010
Preschool Good for Our 3 Year-old?
Our daughter just turned 3 years of age. She's been in a part-time preschool (~2.5 hours three times a week), since last November. Of all the preschools we looked at, we thought the one she's in was the best one. She's in a 2's class with 9 other kids and two teachers. The school is very organized and they always stay on a consistent schedule. The school has a new theme and change their activity table toys/projects every week. It's a play-based school (not Montessori). Our daughter loves to do imaginative and creative play, to sing and to dance. The other kids in her class do not do as much role-playing as her. My husband is now questioning whether the school is good for Kiana because she's too advanced? for the other kids, and also because she went through a difficult at-home to preschool transition. It took about two months for her to stop crying when brought to school. She doesn't cry anymore when dropped off at school and her teachers say she seems to be having a good time at school. However, in the mornings while getting ready for school, she still says she doesn't want to go. My husband is the stay-at-home parent and has been the one who has had to field her crying and resistance. I think as an only child who doesn't have regular play dates, part-time preschool is a great opportunity for her to develop her social skills, outside of her parents, and to eventually make some firends, develop her confidence, etc... However, my husband is questioning whether any 3-year old who has a parent at home needs to go to preschool. He says that he didn't go to preschool until he was 4 years old and is worried that she is too young for it. Is there an early childhood education expert out there who could give us some advice?
P.W. answers from San Francisco on April 07, 2010
I'm not an ECE, if you don't count 20 years of real life experience, but in my opinion your husband is right. The best education at that age comes from actively involved parents. She doesn't "need" to go to preschool. If she really doesn't want to go, and your husband is happy to have her stay with him, then why not keep her home? She'll be in school soon enough.
Kudos to your husband for being willing to keep her home. I know when my kids were that age I was sure dying to have a break from them.
And by the way, there is a big difference between 3 and 4. She will probably be much happier to go to pre-k in another year.
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D.S. answers from New York on April 07, 2010
As a preschool owner I can say you can have it both ways. You can be a very involved parent and also have a happy socialized child. Your daughter has the best of both worlds. She is not in daycare all day, she is playing with her friends (which is very important in her development) and has a parent at home to spend times with her when she is at home. Before I owned a preschool I was a stay at home mom and both of my children craved outdoor stimulation with their peers. They became very bored at home so they both went three mornings a week to preschool and loved it!!! I see nothing wrong with your daughter going to preschool if she is happy and enjoys going.
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D.W. answers from Indianapolis on April 07, 2010
I'd strongly encourage you to keep her in the program or to perhaps look for another one if you collectively feel this one isn't the best.
We've always been working parents, both my husband and me, so some kind of day care was always something we had to do, but we have several friends who have SAHP and have their kids in preschool.
I know it doesn't appear to make sense if you have a parent at home why you would want to send them off a few hours/day a few days/week. But, I honestly think our kids are as advances as they are because of being in the environment they are. Even our SAH friends say they wish their kids had more structure because they're (parents) distracted during the day with other things that need to be done.
Even though our son's been in day care at the same facility almost 2 years, it took about 6 weeks for him to be able to like his new class. He has one of the best teachers and is in with other kids who he's known for years, he still freaked out because it was "different" than what he was accustomed to. Our daughter (2) had no problem leaving her old class behind. Different kids, different comfort levels.
Hope you figure out what's best. I think you're doing the right thing and would encourage you to stick with it.
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C.J. answers from Harrisburg on April 07, 2010
Hi. Great question as I posted the same back in Oct I think. It is very important for your daughter to go to Prek. My daughter is the oldest in her class(she is 4 1/2), and most of her classmates are 3 1/2 turning 4, and she will be 5 in Sept. It was more important for me to make her feel like the oldest and mature while learning. My daughter LOVES school, although she hates getting up and getting ready....she still tells me she does not want to go, but it was not about the school....
It was about the little things like she did not want to clean up, she did not want the other kids mess to clean up, etc...
I think you should talk with the teachers, and just find out if she is playing with the kids, etc....
They will tell you if she is ready to move up.
Also, you can still do play dates...picnics, etc with children.
As for your hubby, back then, we did not have 2 and 3 year old programs, we do now.....education, socialization, confidence(all that you stated) is very important, cause kids are alot meaner these days.....Keep her up with the programs.
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C.H. answers from Dallas on April 07, 2010
From experience, reading, and learning from my grown daughter (who has worked years as a YMCA kids counselor, little kids gym coach, pre-school teacher, and is a mother of a 4 year old(, I think that part time socializing with other kids in a good school with good teachers is a great experience for the child. Perhaps when families were bigger and they had brothers and sisters and were around their friends too, those things kind of took care of themselves. It can help a babyish child develop and learn how to "negotiate" with people and their peers who aren't mommie and daddie. They get friends to be invited to birthday parties and vice versa. They learn to respect authority, follow rules, stand in line and be orderly when needed, and overall, they will progress further because they mimic kids and are braver because of it. Your child gets exposed to coughs and colds and things which can strengthen their immune system now while daily attendance at school isn't going to be sacrifieed as much. You get to find out if your child is too shy, too violent, too anything that your parenting style could help correct now. And please, to all parents out there, learn a bit about good parenting. You have no idea how much overspoiling them hurts them, and lack of quality time, how to raise self esteem, and good parenting skills. Read some books. You can't know what you don't know. All you know is how your parents raised you andd yet the studies and experts have learned so much since then. Keep in mind what kind of adult and spouse you hope your child will be and raise them with that in mind.
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J.L. answers from Sacramento on April 08, 2010
I'm not a professional expert...but my oldest had some major social anxiety...and is a smart cookie as well...before I got her into pre-K.....I started my own playgroup on meetup.com...so that she could experience playing with children, with me being there....by the time preschool started...we only had to deal with a month of the crying and throwing fits...and throughout the year we sometimes had to deal with the "I don't want to go to school"....but she's in Kindergarten now and loves it, loves school and loves learning.....She's not the social butterfly at school, but doese have friends....hope that helps.
maybe your hubby can help add more activities by joining a playgroup....most will except stay at home dads.
W.E. answers from San Francisco on April 08, 2010
I am a retired life long teacher and a parent of two girls who are now grown. Both of my children had to go to pre-school when they were younger than 3 yrs. because my husband and I both worked just to make ends meet. I wish I had the luxury of staying at home with them more when they were that age and I felt guilty about it for a long time. My girls are both well adjusted and extremely successful in their careers and happy healthy well adjusted adults. I do think it is important to transition children at a young age into a school environment as long as they can just have quality play time and the sessions are limited. Sounds like a good schedule. You could have transitioned her easier if you had stayed with her in the pre-school volunteering until she felt more secure in her new environment but she has adjusted somewhat. Have you asked her why she does not want to go? Why do YOU think she may not want to go? Have you observed her in her school? Is she happy? You might want to back this truck up a bit and ask her if she would like you or your husband to go and be with her and work in the classroom for part of her time there helping the teacher. Kids love it when their parents are involved. She obviously wants more attention at home from you both and this may be the reason she is not wanting to go all the time. It is a way for her to tell you that its a bit too much, and you can shorten her time she spends there and spend it with her one on one. Children are all different and have different needs to feel safe and secure and she may be trying to tell you that but is too young to verbalize what she is feeling. Tell your husband that he may not have needed to go to pre school until later but its a new day and times have changed. Children need a leg up when entering Kindergarten. Studies have shown that there is a significant advantage for kids who have gone to pre school than those who have not. Most kids these days go into Kindergarten and know there ABC's and counting and even how to spell and write their name. The kids that stayed home did not do as well and fell behind. It's not a reflection of the intelligence of the child but rather the teachers who have upped the ante on what kids should be learning because of the children who have come into Kindergarten with lots of knowledge from attending pre-school. They have changed the curriculum to meet the needs of the population. They now teach what used to be 1st grade curriculum in Kindergarten and the State Standards have changed to reflect this as well. I hope this was helpful to you. W.
H.C. answers from Sacramento on April 08, 2010
My son will be 3 in June and I am currently looking for a preschool for him. He craves the opportunity to play with other kids. I also think it is very important for him to understand that all adults are authority figures, not just Mom and Dad. I have a nephew who never went to preschool and he had a hard time adjusting to the fact that he had to listen to anyone other than Mom and Dad. I do think that part time is also a good idea at this age. Maybe the compromise is to only do 2 mornings a week instead of 3. That way she gets more time with Daddy but also some time with other authority figures and kids. Good luck!