I'm Lost About Preschool

Updated on October 17, 2007
E.T. asks from Cincinnati, OH
26 answers

I work full time, and my long time boyfriend stays home with our daughter since we could never seem to afford daycare with what I make. My daughter just turned 3 and I feel like I'm being bombarded by other people saying, "Is she starting Preschool yet?". I really don't even know where to start to get her in or how I would afford it. My mom was a single mom while I was a child, so I was in daycare from a very young age. I just wonder is it necessary, if we work with her at home, and are there websites that show you what they should know when it's time for Kindergarten, if we in fact don't send her to preschool. Like I said I'm lost and really don't know where to start. Does anyone have any wisdom for me????

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So What Happened?

Well things are still a little up in the air, however, I was pleased at how many of you told me not to stress and if she doesn't go it's not that big of a deal. Thank you sooooo much all of you for your advice, it means the world to me!!!!

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J.R.

answers from Dayton on

I've been staying home with my 3-year-old since she was born, and have been "schooling" her since day one. She is so advanced now, there's no sense in her even going to pre-school. Some of the best FREE schooling sites are:
www.starfall.com
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cbeebies/
http://www.little-g.com/shockwave/games.html
http://www.britishcouncil.org/kids.htm
http://www.kindersite.org/Directory/DirectoryFrame.htm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/snapdragon/yesflash/menu.shtml
http://www.tvokids.com/bigbackyard/
http://www.bemboszoo.com/Bembo.swf
http://www.little-g.com/shockwave/beginning.html
http://www.funbrain.com/vocab/index.html
http://www.create-a-reader.com/basic/_english.html
http://www.readinglesson.com/
http://www.letteroftheweek.com/index.html

These are a fraction of the sites that I've used to homeschool my daughter. She not only has a ton of fun learning, but requests her daily lessons.

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S.F.

answers from Columbus on

I think the good thing about preschool, is that it gives the child a chance to getting use to being around other kids their age, and getting use to that "classroom" setting. Breaking them into being away from mommy and daddy. I can also give you a little thought to think about....If you call up hopewell school, the one over by the jvs..they take "typical" kids I had both of my kids there, and they are the most wonderful people to work with children of all ages. I think that would be the best place to start.

Good luck

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B.B.

answers from Columbus on

E.,
I personally think preschool in not necessary. I have two children, a 7 year old daughter and a 4 year old son. Neither have went to preschool. My daughter has never had any trouble at school at all and is on the honor roll. I did work with her at home before she went to kindergarten with those early learning books you can get at Wal-Mart and she was more advanced then the children who went to preschool.

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T.

answers from Columbus on

There are options besides full time pre-school / daycare. My kids attend a church pre-school. $95 a month for 2 days a week, 2 1/2 hours on those days. This is very reasonable. I think 3 year old pre-school is not necessary, unless you want it. I think 4 year pre-school is very beneficial. The big things they learn at pre-school in my opinion are social interaction, following directions and class room rules. But if you can not afford it, there are good websites. Her are a few I found on a quick search
http://www.askthepreschoolteacher.com/
http://www.preschooleducation.com/

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A.K.

answers from Dayton on

Our church holds a "Tuesday School" for preschoolers from 9-11:30. As long as she's potty-trained and there's room, it's a free program and the kids seem to really enjoy it.

For more information, feel free to send me a message or call our church at ###-###-####. You can ask for Diane or just reference the Tuesday School program. The church's website is http://www.crossviewchristian.org.

Good luck!

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K.B.

answers from Cincinnati on

I think if your working on things at home a year of preschool, if none at all could be fine. I worry because kindergarten moves soooo much faster than it did when we were younger. I know there is a list somewhere online what the state requires children to know by the time they are done with preschool, and kindergarten. I send my son to preschool mostly for the solization with other children and getting use to the school enviornment. He was ready for kindergarten but just too young with his birthday not til March. They are really not that expensive if you look and it's a great place! It's $38/week for 9a-noon for 3 days a week. They offer a discount for families that make less than $50,000 a year. I started by calling all the preschools in the area I was looking for and called about 25 different places. Limited down by price and center information. Visited 3 and went from there. Good Luck.

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K.Y.

answers from Cincinnati on

E.,

As a Kindergarten teacher, I can tell you that preschool does NOT make a child Kindergarten ready all on it's own. Please do NOT buy all kinds of workbooks and things thinking that your daughter will be behind if you don't force all that stuff on her. She should be able to identify colors, most shapes, and 10 or more letters. It's helpful if she can write her name. Practice stringing beads, jumping, skipping, and lots of playing. And, please read to her EVERY single day. Preschool is not a requirement and you can get her just as ready if you work with her. But, I do suggest that you skip any and all workbooks. Those aren't something she is even close to ready for at her age. Please don't stress about this. If you can make it work...great. If you can't make it work...great. Either way, she will be getting what she needs if you just interact with her and let her interact with other kids.

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K.M.

answers from Columbus on

We had a lot of difficulties finding transportation and money to send our daughters to preschool. In the end, we opted to work with them at home using books bought at Holcomb's and major grocery stores (Walmart, Meijer, etc.). It wasn't an easy decision, especially when folks tend to give you that puzzled "why--aren't-you-sending-her-to-preschool?" look. In the end, it worked out well. We spent an hour a day (4, 15-minute sessions) sitting down with each of them to work on a type of lesson plan. Then, we'd reinforce the lesson throughout the day (i.e. counting steps in English as we walked up the stairs and counting steps in Spanish as we walked down the stairs). My daughters have started kindergarten and are at or ahead of most their peers. It can be done, done well, and with a very reasonable amount of cost to you and yoru family. Good luck!

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K.C.

answers from Dayton on

Hi E.,

Preschools are great for the fundamentals of learning. Using there words to get what they need or want, learning colors letters and numbers and interaction with other children helps once they start elementary school. If she is getting all this at home, feel what is in your gut what is best for your own child. My son needed the structured setting and it was a great opportunity to get the socialization since he is an only child.

Some area churches will offer free scholarships for families that are in need of the help. Your local county education service center has an office that can direct you towards state run preschools. Some children with learning disabilities that are caught early are enrolled but their teachers are trained for both types of children. Usually there is 50/50 enrollment of "normal" children. My son learned sign language in preschool in this type of school because of having hearing problems. They brought the speech pathologist to the classroom for all to share in the teaching. It helped me from having to drive back and forth from speech therapy appointments. They actually had two everyday teachers and three that came in normally for therapy etc. Sometimes they are in the public elementary schools that your child might already attend. They even get to go 1/2 day and in our case we were able to ride the school bus to and from school.

Good luck.

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S.P.

answers from Dayton on

Hi E.!
I have found that Google search engine (www.google.com) is a really great resource. I read your post and just typed in "what do kids need to know before kindergarten?" And google came up with a whole bunch of sites. One that sounded good to me was called "How kids develop" the website is www.howkidsdevelop.com/developKindergarten.html. Here is the link;
http://www.howkidsdevelop.com/developKindergarten.html
just copy and paste this to the address window.

Your pediatrician is another really valuable resource that you could use.
As far as preschool goes, I feel like it's a personal preference when to enroll them and of course whether you can afford them or not. You may want to seek out county assistance and talk to some preschools about fee assistance, to see what your options are. I hope this information helps!
p.s. I never knew that one could ask google a question until someone told me you could!
good luck,
S. Pence
[email protected]____.com

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M.F.

answers from Cincinnati on

If you feel what you are doing with your daughter is right, then you are doing the right thing. However, if you feel she may benefit from being in a preschool setting there are a lot of them out there that you can send your daughter to a couple times a week for just a few hours. There are also some out there that are a parent co-op...where the parent works in the classroom a couple times a month. That is the option we chose with my son. I currently stay home and do child care, but I felt that some time inside a classroom setting with other children his age would help prepare him for kindergarten...from a more social aspect. (I have all the academics covered!) Hope this helps.

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K.M.

answers from Columbus on

Preschool isn't a requirement and many, many children do not attend one. They do prefectly fine in Kindergarten without it. The other thing is, if your daughter just turned 3 she will more than likely have to be in Preschool for two years. So, you really have any extra year to find the funds, etc if you need it.

As long as you are working with her at home on the basic skills, she will be just fine. I wouldn't sweat it. As someone else mentioned, preschool is typically only a couple days/week and just a few hours each time anyway.

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H.B.

answers from Cincinnati on

hi E., its a personal decision whether to send your child to preschool or not. we didn't send either of our daughters to preschool and both my husband and i worked, but we had very capable people to babysit for us. we've had people ask us if our daughters were in preschool and we would say no, we've decided against it. then i'd give my reasons for it. individaulized attention that they received at home. and not all the sicknesses being passed around at such an early age. and both of my children were bit by another child and didn't want to put them in a whole group of 3 and 4 years old for some of these same reasons. plus, they've got years and years of school ahead of them. i didnt want to start them any earlier than they had to. i called the school that i intended on sending my daughter to, to find out what was required of a new enrollee and they gave me all the information that i needed. we even went to the orientation day that they offered and spent several hours in-class with the students and teacher. then before kindergarten started we just taught them what was required, alphabet, counting, phone number,address, tying shoes etc. i cant remember if she mastered tying shoes or not. it seems like we used velcro haha. anyway, good luck to you! and God bless you and those you love. H. B.

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P.B.

answers from Dayton on

When I was not working and could not afford preschool - I just worked on the skills needed for kindergarten at home. You can find resources online for that - but there are certain things they need to know like name address and phone number. Colors, numbers and letters. Skills like writing, coloring, and cutting. For the social needs - take advantage of story time at the library, mother's morning out groups, MOPS, playgroups and vacation bible school.

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C.

answers from Cincinnati on

My daughter just entered Kindergarten this year and I am definitely glad we did preschool first. But I do agree, do not confuse preschool with daycare. Some daycares will have "preschool" for the first couple hours a day, but a preschool is just a few hours a day and the kids go home. I think the preschools in churches are the least expensive. My daughter went two years before Kindergarten, but I think she would have been fine with only one year of preschool. My biggest concern was that my daughter was going to a full day Kindergarten, five days a week, so I wanted to somewhat work her up to that. I think, two, maybe three days a week is perfect for preschool. Even with working with my daughter, I can't imagine she would have learned as much with me as she learned in preschool. I was always amazed at what she knew. Not to mention the socialization, understanding rules, and getting used to being away from Mom and Dad for awhile. And we have already found that kindergarten is a lot more than I remember as a child ;-) I would check out the preschools at local churches. Sometimes, they aren't even in the phone book, the best way is word of mouth. Ask around.....also enrollments usually start in the spring for the following fall. And I think your daughter has plenty of time. At 3, I don't think it is necessary to have preschool. My daughter didn't go until she was 4 and we will do the same for our second. Hope that helps. Good luck with whatever you decide!
~C.

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C.F.

answers from Cincinnati on

You've already received lots of great advice and opinions, but I just wanted to share a couple of thoughts from my experience. I had the same repeated question asked of me, and I would just say I'm homeschooling my daughter. My oldest just started Kindergarten reading at a second-grade level and she is doing great. (My neighbor loaned me a reading curriculum called Sing, Spell, Read and Write which worked great.) We have always had pretty regular playdates with other kids, gone to Sunday School and are involved with MOPS(Mothers of Preschoolers), so she had plenty of social interaction. This past year I tried to get her into some more group settings to prepare her for the classroom environment. We went to the library storytime weekly and she was in a class at the zoo once a month(check out: www.cincyzoo.org for information on their classes). I hope this helps and gives you more ideas.

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C.H.

answers from Dayton on

E.,

i so feel for you! i have had 5 kids ages 7 yrs to 27 yrs. i too, got asked a million times about the preschool thing. let me tell you, only one of mine was in preschool, and that wasn't for anything but getting him to inter-react(sp??) more with kids due to him having a severe speech problem. all my kids did fine in school, and i know many others who have done the same.

you can call a nearby school and ask them the requirements for kindergarten. they's be happy to tell you. you and the daddy are as qualifies to teach her her basics as anyone else. alot of people put their kids into preschool just for the socializing part, interreacting with other kids. taking yours to the park, letting her get together with neighbor kids, or other kids in other ways, does the same thing. never second-guess yourself on your ability to teach her what she is going to need to know. and yep, not everyone can afford daycare, and shouldn't be pressured into it by anyone! these days i feel families are lucky just to afford a roof over their families heads, food, and gas for the car! LOL ! seriously!

take care, and it seems to me you and her daddy are doing, and will continue to do just fine!

hugs,

C.

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B.K.

answers from Dayton on

I have started 4 of my five kids in preschool at age 3... I felt like the earlier they got used to the structure and being away from home during the day, the less traumatic kindergarden would be. But really, it's a personal choice. My sister did send her daughter to preschool and she's a great student. If you live in the Dayton area, there are all kinds of preschool options, from mornings or afternoons to all-day programs. Some even have transportation. If not, check with your local school board. There are a lot of head start programs out there, as well as district preschools. If you elect not to send her to preschool, check out the Ohio Dept. of Education website. They should have some good resources as far as what she should know going into kindergarden.

Lastly, don't let anyone pressure you into sending her to school if you really feel like she's not ready. It's just one more thing other people give you grief over, just like "Isn't s/he waling yet?" "When are you going to get her off the bottle?" Just ignore it. She's your daughter, and you know what's best. Good luck!

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D.Q.

answers from Dayton on

Hi E.,
Don't get confused between daycare and preschool. Most preschools around here are only for a couple of hours and, at her age, 2 days a week. I think it is completely up to you if you want to send her or not. However, take it from a mom that was shocked when my daughter went into kindergarten. They have to know so much before starting school. What the preschool teachers are teaching them is what we were learning in kindergarten and first grade. As long as you work with her at home she should be alright but you need to work with her. Many places (target, meijer, walmart, sams) have preschool workbooks that you can buy to help her. Also, check into preschools in your area that might have tuition help. They may have some schools that tuition is based on your salary. I know the one my daughter went to, at full price, was $50.00 a month. Hope this helps.

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H.M.

answers from Cincinnati on

It wouldn't be a bad idea to get her into something - she doesn't need the education but the social setting is great. I stay at home with my children and felt that my son was at a disadvantage when he started preschool at age 4 because so many kids are in daycare from birth they are much more used to the social expectations in the group setting and stay-at-homers are at somewhat of a disadvantage because the expectations are higher. My daughter and niece are 2 1/2 and go 1 morning a week to a church preschool (I wouldn't send them to a Preschool and Childcare place - kindercare, goddard, LaPetite Academy for examples) look at churches in your community that run accredited Preschools. I don't know if you're in the Anderson area but Mt. Washington Presbyterian is where my kids go and they have a great program that gradually increases in days as the kids get older. Some other ideas are to take her to Story time at the library, this has been an amazing experience for my second child who started going at 18 months and couldn't sit still and now loves to sit and listen to the stories and sing the songs and fingerplays. Maybe see about signing her up for a class like dancing and gymnastics. Something that will give her socialization and make her work with the group I think are some of the most important things that prepare them for school. Yeah knowing the abcs and 123s is great but that's what school is supposed to be for. I hope this helps.

H.

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M.F.

answers from Cincinnati on

E.,
All my kids went to preschool, my boys went when they were 4 and my daughter went when she was 3. My kids are now 19,11 & 9 and they did great in preschool. It gives them time to learn how to be away from home for a little while, they make friends and learn what they need to know by the time they get to kindergarten. My kids went to preschool through the school district. I don't know where you are, but you can check with the school district in your area, I think they do some testing to see if your child qualifies. My kids needed speech classes and that is how I got my kids in preschool. Preschool is only 1/2 days and 4 days per week, since your boyfriend is home he will be able to get her on and off the bus. Plus, going through the school system you don't have to pay a daycare/prechool fees which are expensive. They only thing you will have to pay I think is for supplies, school fee, lunch etc. You may even qualify for free lunch!

Good Luck!

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R.B.

answers from Dayton on

Hi!
I think the reason that people put their children in preschool isn't as much for the education (you're right, you can definitely to all that at home and be in GREAT shape for Kindergarten)as it is for the socialization. Once kids hit 3 or 4, they enjoy socializing with other children, cultivating friendships, learning to listen to authority other than their parents, etc.

If you can't afford it right now, don't sweat it. Just make sure that she is having regular playgroups, library story hours, whatever to work on her social/ behavioral skills.

Just my opinion :)

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K.M.

answers from Columbus on

I'm a mom of a 6year old.I thought it was good for her because she the only child it gave her time to play with other kids her age. Also it helped when she started school: with leaving her and her not crying and she learned to play with others,I think it made her learn better.She's in the 1st grade and she can read ,write sentences.Some kids in her class can't even write their full name.She learned that in preschool.My mom watched my daughter from birth to 1st grade.They have preschool any where from 2-5 days a week she only went 2days a week.I think it's good for kids to go. they have some that are free.

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E.C.

answers from Columbus on

You've received a wide variety of advice, so I hope you can make an informed decision. I just wanted to add that preschool is often most helpful in teaching a child social skills and how to interact with his/her peers. Many parents think it's only for teaching the basic items such as counting, letters, colors, shapes, etc, but the main purpose of it is to set the stage for success later on in school because your child will have the background to know how to be around peers and how to be part of a classroom group. These are not things that can be taught at home and are best learned in a preschool/daycare-type environment. If you cannot afford it though, please do not beat yourself up and shut other people up by simply stating: "We'd love for her to attend a preschool, but are currently unable to send her to one. Do you have any ideas?" Good luck!

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K.B.

answers from Cincinnati on

I am a stay at home mom and I have a four year old. She attended a daycare for about 6 months and they didnt teach her anything I couldnt teach her at home. I took her out of the daycare and went to Barnes and Noble and bought some work books. They have all types from pre-k to kindergarten and up. They are awesome and I have her do them once a day for about a half hour. Also I just found this great website called mynoggin.com, it is nickjr related, and teaches them with the characters from the shows. You can log on and get progress reports as well, it does cost 5.95 a month for 12 months but it is so worth it. My edaughter has started to add from this sight! So all in all I say skip the pre school if you cant really afford it, you can do the same with the kids at home. oh yea, and for the whole child on child interaction, I just take her to the park and other play places to get the experience with other kids.

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T.B.

answers from Columbus on

I run a daycare from home which I have done for 18 years. You and your boyfriend can teach your daughter skills at home. Work books, cooking, art lessons. The only thing you would struggle with is social and interaction skills. Set up play dates with other children. I do preschool lessons at home for my children. Alot of my daycare kids are above what normal preschools are tested at. So yes many will push you yet as long as you teach and stay on a routine you are doing fine. Just don't forget social that is what gets alot of kids. Seperation anxiety. Good Luck. Keep the faith.

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