March 08, 2013,
M.A. asks from Somerdale, NJ on February 16, 2010
Will My Daughter Be Behind in Kindergarten If She Doesn't Go to VPK?
I'm thinking of not sending my daughter to Pre-K next year. I figure she has a lifetime of school and all that goes with it. It also seems to me they have an awful lot of lessons in Pre-K and I'm not even sure if it's developmentally appropriate. I worry that the kids will be burned out by 3rd grade with all the work they have these days. But we don't want her to feel or be behind when she starts K.
Did you opt to not send your child to Pre-K? or know someone who did that? Are there any teachers who have an opinion on this?
I have already looked at several schools and the ones I really like cost extra and/or have waiting lists. This is just adding to my ambivalence. It's such a headache to even get into one, and I certainly don't want to pay extra.
" In addition, kids that do not do VPK that enter the school system never having done any kind of schooling, really hold back the class because the teachers have to focus on them. And then there is the negative side of that as well - what if they don't focus on your child to help them catch up?" If this is true, then why is it voluntary?
And the comment about the "good" schools being like kindergarten just reinforces what I was saying about it being developmentally inappropriate. Pre-K should NOT be like K.
So What Happened?™
I decided to sign her up for 1/2 day pre-k. I can tell she is really ready for it.
J.M. answers from Gainesville on February 17, 2010
It is such a good thing the VPK. Look into schools NOW because you will have to file the paperwork and pick a school to enroll her in. My daughter is in VPK right now, and she attends a school in gainesville, dont know if you are in town or not. But its great, it will get her acclimated to the school environment and stuff. If you are in gainesville, let me know because I highly recommend my daughters school for VPK. Good luck, it is totally worth it.
R.S. answers from Tampa on February 17, 2010
I personally did not send my children to preschool. I was thinking along the same lines as you with school for a long time. So I taught them a little at home and just enjoyed their company as vice versa. They did just fine, and were not overwhelmed when they went to school. I hope this helps.
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K.S. answers from Kansas City on February 16, 2010
This is all stuff you can teach her at home. I'm not big on the idea either. Pretty soon there will be newborn school. :)
V.S. answers from Los Angeles on February 16, 2010
I asked a similar question a couple of weeks ago and got a lot of great answers. However, I just wanted to share that my now 12 y/o did NOT go to preschool and went straight to kindergarten at age 4 yrs, 10 months. She has never had a problem in school, was always social, adhered to kindergarten format from day 1 (following directions, circle time, Etc) and believe it or not was always at the top of her class. Her teachers always commented on how impressed they were with her. She is a GATE student with a 4.0 GPA. I really listened to my instincts when I didn’t send her. Do what you think is best for your child. Only you can make that decision but just wanted you to know that there are children that DO succeed that do not go to preschool. Although I am sending my son who is 4 ½ . Honestly it was the answers I got when I asked this question that was a defining moment in my decision because I had been struggling with it. My son is very opposite from my daughter in that he is very shy and very clingy, doesn’t easily make friends. I believe everyone that said I should send him at least 2 days a week, ½ days, will lay a foundation for him for when he does start going 5 days a week, which could be very traumatic for him if I didn’t prepare him. It’s true that he will do well in learning to take directions from someone other than me and start to socialize with someone other than me! Best of luck with your decision!! All the moms on this site really helped me and I’m sure they will help you too!
1 mom found this helpful
M.H. answers from Fort Walton Beach on February 17, 2010
Will your child be behind? No. Are there benefits? Yes. Are there negatives as well? Yes. I did not send my children to pre-K nor did I send them to public school. Then we get into the homeschool thing :)
Kindergarten came along in the 60s. Before that, the first milestone was First Grade...because it came first. If you look at statistics, the generations past had high higher academic scores and achievements and a high school graduate in 1935 would be equivalent to a Master's degree graduate now. Everything is perspective. If you don't feel compelled to send your daughter then I would not send her. There is a common thought within the education community that most kids really don't start learning in a classroom setting until they are 7 (for girls) and 9 (for boys). This doesn't mean they don't learn. It just means that the formal structure is not the most conducive for education.
I'm a college educated homeschooling mom and this is also the opinion of my sister who has her masters in Education as well as Social Work. She developed and ran a school for teenage boys that were somewhere between 2nd and 5th grade level work. She was able to catch them ALL up to grade level by the end of the first school year. Kids can learn when they are taught.
Hope this helped!
1 mom found this helpful
J.T. answers from Tampa on February 17, 2010
Even before VPK, my daughter always asked to go to school and from the first day, she loves it and has learned more than I could ever teach her. She’s only gone M/W/F for 5 hours, has lunch with her friends, listens to other adults, gets into a routine for school, has little subjects and easy little bits of homework. She does projects, paints, draws, plays house with her friends, does show-and-tell, learns about animals, colors, shapes, words, seasons, math, and so so so much more. I think it’s a great program, and the fact that it’s free and it provides that little bit of extra in her life, is really wonderful. Plus, the teachers know the Kindergarten curriculum and teach toward that (eg. in kindergarten, a child must spell their name with the correct uppercase/lowercase in order for them to have achieved “writing name” (eg. Elaine NOT ElAine).
I too was on the fence about putting her in VPK with all the years of school ahead of her, and that’s why I chose a program of 3 days, so that still gives her 2 days at home. Plus, it’s not really ‘school’ – they do learn, but the “teaching” is done in such a way (through play, painting, projects, songs and so many other fun stuff) that they don’t realize they’re learning. Before VPK, I tried so hard to get my daughter to know the days of the week and months of the year. Within the first 2 weeks, she came home reciting them.
I highly recommend the VPK program. I adore my daughter’s teachers and I am amazed at all the things she has accomplished and participated in. Plus, she loves it, has made so many new friends and she’s already familiar to what school is all about, what’s expected of her and she won’t be shocked when she goes to school for the 5 full days a week.
D.S. answers from New York on February 16, 2010
As a preschool owner I agree with you that children will be going to school for a very long time, however there is so much more to preschool then academics. Social skills are so much more important then anything academic she will learn at that level. You do have options and do not have to send her everyday, but I would consider it for social time with her peers. I would be more concerned with her having to adjust to school and separation in kindergarten verses pre-k. If she has difficulty leaving you and adjusting that could be an issue for her. I think it is wonderful that you want to hold on to your little girl as long as you can, but it may not be the best decision for her. On the flip side if she is social with other activities and is okay when she is not with you then I wouldn't worry about her academically. Good luck in whatever you decide.
B.B. answers from Jacksonville on February 17, 2010
I'm the Director of a child care learning center. I agree that Pre-K focuses too much on "school work" instead of creative learning, but in the long run it would be the most beneficial to have your child in Pre-K. I actually recommend parents to enroll their children in daycare at atleast the age of 2 years old. These are crucial years in learning. Even if it's not full-time care, part-time is better than nothing at all. However, VPK and Georgia Pre-K has strict rules and they have to maintain a great attendance record. Definitely try Pre-K out. If you don't like her you can disenroll at any time.
A.G. answers from Punta Gorda on February 17, 2010
I have 2 girls, 12 & 14. One went the Pre-k One did not. My oldest is an August birthday, therefore started Kindergarden very young. I did not want to send her to pre-school. I did however do a lot at home. They need to know letter recognition, and be able to write there name before Kindergarten. They should know basic things like colors and shapes, books read left to right, top to bottom, numbers. If you are working on all this at home I would not be to concerned. My younger daughter is a very social person, and needed some away from mommy. I sent her to a private pre-k, before VPK. She learned way more than I taught my older daughter at home, and had a very hard time in public school Kindergarten, because she already knew what they were teaching. It is important that they learn what they need to for kindergarten. How they learn it is up to you. Trust yourself and do what you think is best for your family. If I am correct in what I have heard about VPK though, it is only a part time thing. It may be a good time for you to make appointments, and run errands. It is always something worht looking into.
R.H. answers from Chicago on February 16, 2010
I did not send any of my 4 children (25,22,14,11) to pre-k or my 6 year old grandson. They all have been excellent students, have been in honors, graduated hs early and now my 1st grade grandson has been reading above level since Feb of kindergarten and now they started putting him 1 day a week into second grade math.
I believe it is an individuals choice on pre k, unless there is a disability as mentioned before. I did not believe in it as there were always children around to have the social aspect and I worked with them on the academic side. Good luck with your decision.
L.O. answers from Detroit on February 16, 2010
she will not be "burned out " because she goes to preschool..
our preschool has 2 relatively structured periods of 20 minutes each.and the rest is play.. which is exactly what a 4 year old should do.
preschool has done wonders for my shy child.. I dont know what she has learned academically but she can go potty independently now without fear...(in the beginning she would poop at schol) she talks toall the teachers easily.. she plays with some kids... she is comfortable and confident in her classroom without mom nearby.
find a 2 day a week 1/2 day program and send her.. it will be good for her..