A.A. asks from Minneapolis, MN on May 16, 2008
This is a question from a new mom, at what age do kids typically start preschool and for how many days? I am home with my son (not even 2 yet) and it's hard for me to gauge what is the typical age-range for beginning this. I think I only did preschool for a year before kindergarten. Do kids usually go for 2 years now before kindergarten?
Oh and also, what is pre-kindergarten? Is this different than preschool?
I am so confused. College I can help him with :)
M.F. answers from Bismarck on May 19, 2008
None of my 4 children attended Preschool. None of them had difficulty starting Kindergarten, & were not behind their peers at all. They received all the socialization that they needed from their siblings & friends, & had learned their colors, numbers, & could recognize letters & small words from the reading & play that we did together at home. Why go the cost & concerns of preschool when it's not really necessary?
B.J. answers from Rochester on May 19, 2008
Yes some do start them at 2 and 3 years old. You should call around though and find out more information. I took my child to preschool when he was 3 thinking I was helping him out! What a joke. I paid tons of money for them to take my child out to the park and have him play. I can do that! I found though trial and error that the best preschool for him is in everyday life. We go shoping and I say look at that cool truck, do you know what color that is, how many are there. I also give him an allowance and he is now learning about numbers and money!
J.R. answers from Minneapolis on May 17, 2008
I don't know. I wasn't so impressed with preschool. My oldest daughter went for 2 years at 2 different preschools and still wasn't prepared for Kindergarten because they taught differently. My second child went 3/4 of the year and I pulled him out because the only thing he was learning was bad behavior from his "best friend".
Now I'm homeschooling them both and they are learning like crazy.
I won't be sending any more of my kids to preschool and for now am planning on homeschooling them all.
Not that I'm saying you should avoid public school and homeschool but I just don't feel that preschool was worth the bother or money. Kids that young are so impressionable and model the behaviors they see around them. I would rather that be MY behaviors than those of whoever they are in preschool with.
Mom to 4, soon one more through another adoption and hopefully more :o)
H.F. answers from Pocatello on May 18, 2008
There is no one size fits all answer when it comes to prescool, some kids go for 3 years and others go for one it just depends on your situation and your child's needs. My first daughter went to preschool for 3 years, when she was 2 I wanted to go back to school, I sent her to a preschool that was a lab school for the college of education, her regular teacher had a Master's degree and the student teachers were all working on education degrees. I went to classes while she was in school 2 days a week. When she was 3 we did preschool 4 days a week, and when she was 4 it was also 4 days a week. But with my second daughter I have decided to wait until she turns 3 to start preschool. There are a variety of reasons why, my oldest had no other children to play with at home and seemed to need the socialization more, while my youngest had a big sister and we had more playdates with other children. I also was concerned that my younger daughter was not emotionally ready to be left at school, and she did not have the speak skills that I felt she would need to communicate her needs to her teacher. I also started taking all my college classes in the evenings so I did not need anyone else to care for her during the day. But just because we did not do a formal prescool this year does not mean that we did nothing, I found a wonderful playgroup that I took my daughter to once a week, and I took her to the library story time each week as well, my library has a storytime that is just for 2 year olds so that was great. We also did a music and movement class and a swiming class for a few weeks. Preschool is a wonderful enriching experience for young children and I really reccomend it for every child to have at least one year. My younger daughter is going to start preschool next school year and the year after as well so she will have 2 years of preschool. Just make sure that you tour the school before hand and make sure that you really like the teacher and the program. If you find out that the school is not what you want for your child don't be afriad to find a different school. Good luck!
K.C. answers from Minneapolis on May 17, 2008
My son who had an October birthday did 3 years of preschool, starting the month before he turned 3. He did 2 days a week the first year, 3 the second, and 4 the third. My daughter who has a June birthday will do 2 years of preschool before she goes to kindergarten. 3 days a week both years (she goes to a different preschool).
Some school districts have 4 year old kindergarten or pre-kindergarten. This is just another name for preschool! Some of these programs are targeted at high risk populations.
Anyway - there is nothing mandating preschool and your child can do no preschool and do really well. But I think if you are planning on sending your child to a typical classroom environment at kindergarten, preschool is a great way to ease into that kind of environment. And for each of my kids the length of time they are going seems great. Every child is a little different. Good luck! You may want to talk to some local folks about what they do for preschool - the choices are endless depending on where you live!
Edited to say - someone mentioned curriculum. Neither preschool we went to had a true curriculum as you think of writing and pre reading skill. They are both very fun, play based, and open ended for high achieving kids. For my kids, it's good to have something that wasn't so lockstep (my son is a very high achiever and is actually a very poor fit at public school right now due to this). But still was great for social skills.
G.J. answers from Minneapolis on May 17, 2008
They typically want them potty trained first.
the program we went to began at 3yrs.
my 1st son went for 3yrs. of PreK (however, he was a late summer bday, so our PreK program had a 5yr.old class that we put him in - all those kids were the summer bday kids) it was awesome!
my middle went 2 yrs. because his bday fell in the middle of schoolyear and we didn't have to make that decision.
and now my third is going this coming schoolyear.
my first 2 went to Zion in Anoka (a Lutheran church, however, our Catholic school wasn't offering a PreK program then; and I know they are considering it for the near future)
I think we are sending #3 to Mt. Olive in Anoka (simply because we moved to that side of town and it works better for our current schedules) it's also a great program.
Start contacting some of the pre-k programs in your area so you can decide what is right for you child.
You will know when he is ready.
S.S. answers from Dubuque on May 17, 2008
My daughter began going two days a week when she was 2 1/2 for half days. I mainly signed her up to give me a little break with my newborn and she is very social & active thus needing an outlet I couldn't provide at the time. She is now in her last year of preschool of which she is still attending two days a week, but now full days from 9am -3:30pm to prepare for kindergarten.
My son began his first year of preschool in January at 2 1/2 and goes two half days a week. I think I will continue with him as I did with my daughter and have him attend two full days just the year prior to kindergarten. But every child is different so I will have to wait and see.
Their preschool is also a daycare which provide services for newborns as well, so potty training is not a requirement. They have a Nido room(babies), Garden (1-2yr), Treehouse (2-3yr), and then three preschool rooms for 3-5years.
V. answers from Minneapolis on May 16, 2008
Yes. Generally 3 years of age. Most preschools require that the child be potty trained. Tiny Tots and Little Tykes in West St. Paul is great, ###-###-####. My older daughter has been there for 2 years and she loves it.
T.F. answers from Rochester on May 17, 2008
I too wondered the same thing for my first son. I read a book by John Rosemond (author of "Making the Terrible Twos, Terrific" and other books) that said that children are going into preschool at too young of an age these days. Like the other mom said.....they need to play!!!! There is plenty of time for curriculum and school. I worked with my son at home through books, Starfall.com and other things but not on a regular basis. For socialization I do play groups, MOPS and things like that. He is now 5, has never been to preschool and excels at all of the things that 5 year olds need to know.
As always, you need to do what you think is best, as it is your child.
A.R. answers from Minneapolis on May 17, 2008
Entry into preschool is really about the child rather than what society dictates.
The City of Lakes Waldorf School (24th & Nicollet) has a toddler program that you and your son can attend to see if he is ready for pre-school. It is called "Little Sprouts". The purpose of it is to determine the readiness of your child - and it is also fun and engaging.
The question will ultimately be, "when will he feel safe and happy being left at pre-school?" The length of time each day and number of days each week he feels safe and happy are the things to watch for.
Look for a school with flexibility - 2 days, 2 half-days, 3 days... etc. Healthy children need a balance between home and school.
Then again, he will be in school for 13 years + college A.. One more year at home is never a bad thing.
A.P. answers from Minneapolis on May 16, 2008
Preschool starts when children are three and they usually go two days a week and only go half days, and its usually for children ages 3 to early 4 year olds. Now my daughter will finish her preschool next week and only goes tues/thurs. Now next year since her birthday is in late october she will go again to preschool which in my town is Pre Kindergarten class for children in the older 4 year olds to five year olds, but will go mon wednes and friday and will only go half days and then go into kindergarten the next year.
Some times you can call a school and get them in when they do turn three if its in the middle of the year and you want them to go, thats if the center has an opening.
It can be very confusing, but if you want something now Try signing up for ECFE Early Childhood Family Education Classes and they start those for very small children I think at one years old. At leaset here in my town they do. That is also a fun time and both of mine still go, even when my oldest goes to preschool.