A.C. asks from Sterling Heights, MI on March 26, 2010
Preschool to Prevent Separation Anxiety for Kindergarten?
She goes to Sunday school and gymnastics but she knows I am just in the next room there. She does o.k. with a babysitter at home, but I know she would cry for hours if I ever "left" her somewhere. It SEEMS it would be better to address this issue before kindergarten since there is a big possibility she will be in all day kindergarten next year and since attendance at kindergarten is mandatory (it's not like we can ease into kindergarten a little at a time).
But I REALLY don't like the idea of preschool for many reasons (including that I think it is a costly trend that isn't really beneficial to them [as backed up by most experts in child development] and that I don't want her in an "instutional setting" for half the day three days a week until necessary).
**Ammendment: Based on responses I have received so far regarding her not being as academically prepared as those who attend preschool... my daughter can use scissors, tie her shoes, do basic addition and subtraction, and she can read and write with no help from me (words like good-bye, Winter, lemon, pool, crash). So the academic issue is not a concern.
S.B. answers from Kansas City on March 26, 2010
My son had to start Early Childhool classes in the public school system at 3 years old. Fortunately I had him in daycare before that because he had already adapted to those things I would have never thought about teaching him at home.
He already knew how to make friends on his own, how to negotiate and manage aggressive kids (my son is very shy and has a speech delay, but he knows the daycare rules of ownership and feels confident in stating that to other kids), he knows how to take comfort from adults other than me when he skins his knee, he knows the correct social behavior when eating at the table or waiting for food, or waiting for his turn at show and tell. He was only 3 years old the first time he had to take a bus to a room full of complete strangers, be bussed back to daycare and he was amazingly OK with it.
It is probably true that kids that didn't go to preschool catch up with the educational things pretty quick, but I feel less stressed for him knowing he recongizes his letters, can read and write his name, can count to 20, do simple math and subtraction and use scissors. Sort of like starting a new job that you already have some experience in vs. one where you are completely lost... sure, you'll catch on, but those first few weeks are torture.
2 moms found this helpful
J.A. answers from Sacramento on March 26, 2010
Yes, if possible I would try to find some sort of preschool program for your daughter for next year. It could just be 2 or 3 mornings a week. It will help the transistion into kinder and give your child some confidence that she does fine on your own. The trick is to find the right preschool that shares your common goals for your daughter. There are so many great preschools that are not instutional. I too want to suggest a parent co-op school. What a great experience it has been for me and my 3 kids. It too is play-based and a very loving a caring place for me to leave my child (3 other moms are always there with the director and teacher...great knowing there are 3 other mom's there to look after my child). My kids can't wait to get there. We have also developed friendships with other families in are community that I know will be long term.
Do a little reaseach on Parent Co-op Preschools and see if there is one in your area. It is generally a bit less expensive then other preschools because parents run the school. Generally a parent needs to work in the classroom 2 times a month and have other sort of "jobs" that help run the preschool. Our preschool has a director and two part time teachers, but otherwise everything is ran by the parents. It really is a great experience.
1 mom found this helpful
D.W. answers from Indianapolis on March 26, 2010
I commend you for wanting to do preschool as a transition to help prepare your daughter for being away when Kindergarten starts.
But, I will also disagree with you on the value of preschool. Sure, some people may do it as a trend. We don't do preschool. Both my husband and I are full-time working parents (always have been). Our kids are in full-time day care, and they are so well-educated because of it.
They have different educational needs at almost 2 and almost 4 years old. Our son is writing all his letters and learning to read simple words. He's assigned jobs at school such as Botanist and Zookeeper. Our daughter has her colors down, working on letters and sign language, shapes, etc. There is a significant different between where are kids are currently vs. our friends' kids who are at home (usually with a younger sibling that needs more of the parent's time/attention). This has been our observation, personally.
I believe giving them any advance education going into the rigors of full-time school will help make the transition so much easier.
Good luck in making the right decision for your daughter and your family.
1 mom found this helpful
J.S. answers from Chicago on March 26, 2010
When I volunteered in my youngest child's Kindergarten class, I could tell the kids that hadn't gone to preschool. For some it was trouble following directions, others didn't know their letters, numbers or how to hold a scissor correctly.
Most of the kids caught up to their peers by the end of the year, but when the whole class is on the same page, they can move forward as a group.
Kindergarten now is like 1st grade when I went to school (early 70s). They don't play as much and the kids are expected to sit still, listen and follow directions. In our school district, Kindergarteners are expected to be able to read basic words/books and write phonetically by the end of the year. Kinda sucks for the kids that don't know their letters at the beginning of the year. It's a hard year for them and it doesn't have to be.
Preschool is actually the new Kindergarten. There's more play, the learning is more relaxed, they emphasize how to act and go over some basics like colors, numbers and letters.
Good luck in whatever you decide!
1 mom found this helpful
H.S. answers from Detroit on March 27, 2010
Look into Head Start; you may qualify; have her go at least a few days a week if you're worried.
B.A. answers from Saginaw on March 27, 2010
If its just about separation anxiety, then I don't think in your case preschool is necessarily needed. If your daughter is on the shy side...then yes I think preschool is important. (Speaking from a mom who has an extremely shy daughter who just started preschool this past fall)
It sounds like its just separation anxiety, if so why don't you read up on some tips to make it easier and work on that. I also just suggest you start leaving her places and letting her get used to it. There are many tips/suggestions about getting through separation anxiety.
V.W. answers from Jacksonville on March 26, 2010
We put our son in a K4 program 3 days a week (9am-11:45 a.m) for the same sort of reason. So he could learn how to "be away from mommy" basically. He needed to be comfortable going to the bathroom somewhere besides home without ME nearby. He needed to learn how to ask other adults for help with things. That kind of stuff. He was used to time in a church nursery, or occasional babysitters, or being with Nana overnight,... but those are NOT the same as being in a group setting with other kids where someone NOT related to you is in charge for several hours and Mommy isn't even on the premises.
Look around. Surely you can find a small private preschool program that is play oriented. We did. The local Methodist church had a program. We could take him 2 days a week (T,Th) or 3 days a week (M,W,F) or all 5. We chose 3 days a week... but he LOVED it because it was so much fun for him and he made great friends. He wanted to go EVERY day, not just the 3 we signed up for (and fortunately for us, there was an empty slot on T,Th so they allowed him to at no additional charge). They went on field trips (local fire station, post office, planting potatoes at one of the teachers' houses) and had monthly "parties". They did not stress "academics", although they had plenty of educational materials for play time. They were very hands on - taught the kids to write their names in shaving cream with their finger, had puzzles with the alphabet, were required to do what they were able (if they knew how to tie their shoe laces- the teacher had THEM tie them, if not then she would do it/help them). They had a library corner with a small kid sofa and they could sit with books and read (if they were able- my son was). Play kitchen... all kinds of play things. Very loosely structured with lots of activity and NO DESKS.
AND, weather permitting, they went outside EVERY DAY for 30 minutes.
It was great fun and he transitioned seamlessly to K5 the next year.
A.B. answers from Detroit on March 26, 2010
I run a small preschool/daycare in our home. My son is 5 and I have 2 other 4 year old chidlren. They learn alot and also get the benefits of learning to be around other children. Maybe a smaller home based preschool part time might help ease the transition. Here is my website if you are interested in what home based programs are like.