Pre-K Or No Pre-K?

Updated on January 06, 2012
T.M. asks from Tampa, FL
17 answers

What is everyone's opinion of doing a year of Pre-K before starting kindergarten? Given my daycare situation (see my other post), I am considering having my daughter start in Pre-K at the same center that does my son's after school program in the Fall. My son did NOT do Pre-K. He was with the same babysitter from the time he was 6 weeks old until he started school last August. Frankly, he just would not have been developmentally ready to do Pre-K. I had assumed that I would do the same with my daughter, but I am rethinking this now. My daughter is VERY bright and thrives on learning new things. She constantly wants to help and do my son's homework with him. She is very social and would likely get along well with everyone. I think that she would be receptive to learning the Pre-K curriculum.

I am planning to check again, but since the Pre-K portion of daycare is automatically subsidized by the State, we could likely send her to this school for not much more than what we are paying for her daycare now. Given the recent daycare situation, she will be spending a portion of 2 weeks at this center anyway. I am planning to use this as a test to see how she does there.

Any advice or things that I have not thought of with this? I am very sad to have to consider this change....

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answers from Los Angeles on

Personally, I think preschool is important. Kids learn important social aspects of school, such as sitting still and listening, following a set routine and participating in tasks and activities that they might not necessarily choose otherwise.

The academic aspect of preschool is not important. Kids thrive in a play-based preschool where they get to learn through play. But most importantly, they learn how to be students and that is what is most important for kindergarten.

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answers from Washington DC on

I'd send her. As long as she's ready (so it doesn't feel like pushing her) I don't see the harm. Plus having both kids at one place will be a huge convenience.

The nice thing about a center is that the schedule/days off are set way ahead of time so you never have to scramble if the sitter has an emergency or something, and with both kids in one place, you'll be able to plan family stuff around one schedule.


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answers from Seattle on

Send her.
Pre-K is much more about learning to function in a structured setting with other kids than learning ABC's. Of course, she'll do both. But it will only help her in Kindergarten.

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answers from Detroit on

pre K is very beneficial.. I would highly recommend doing pre K for all children.

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answers from Los Angeles on

One of my business school classmates did a research/presentation about how important pre-school is to today's children. Kindergarten just isn't what it used to be - it's much more academic and if you look at the research, children who went to pre-school are actually much more likely to excel in academics and life. Obviously, that's not the case for all kids but basically, the study was saying if you can do pre-k, do it. And in the case of your daughter, I'm sure she would really benefit for it since she is so bright.

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answers from Omaha on

Absolutely! Do it!!! I am a teacher so I will always be pro-education. I do a lot with my kids at home. (They are 4 and 2.5). Both of my kids went to a Mom's Day Out program for about a year or so. While my daughter's room was mostly free play, she did enjoy interacting with the other kids, listening to songs and stories and having snacks. My son loved being in the 2 year old room. He learned valuable listening skills, how to sit quietly in a group, walk in a line and social skills too. He really enjoyed the art projects, stories, free play and gross-motor activities indoor and out.
This year I put both of my kids in preschool and they love it even more. They have music, cook, art, play time and learn certain concepts. It has been such an invaluable experience for both of them. There are just some skills kids can only pick up by being with a group of their peers IMO. Kindergarten has changed so much. Of course a big piece of what kindergarten teachers must teach are social skills, but you would be surprised at how academic it is too. The technology piece alone blows me away! I recently subbed in a kindergarten classroom that had a smartboard, laptops, and 4 ipads. The kids came in and did their entire morning routine on that smartboard from making their lunch choices to calendar work, songs of the week and so forth. They did all of it pretty much on their own as I watched. It was incredible. Prepare your kids as much as you can by sending them to Pre-k. It sounds like your daughter would love it and develop a love of life-long learning.

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answers from Tampa on

As a former VPK 4 teacher and director of a preschool, I 'd highly recommend that you enroll your daughter into a reputable VPK. The children have a lot of fun and learn much, of course depending on the center they attend. You can also look up the ratings on your county VPK website , to see where the center rates.



answers from Beaumont on

Sounds like you should send her. In my opinion, most children would be better prepared for school if they've had preschool. I think your son was an exception to the rule....



answers from Detroit on

Preschool does start to introduce some academics and in general they have goals in mind when it comes to teaching and what they want to kids to learn. My daughter's preschool does periodic assessments to see how on track they are. And it's more structured than a typical day care setting. My experience is that most day cares are there to take care of your child and supervise them, but not necessarily work toward teaching them anything or preparing them for kindergarten. Given your daughter's personality, she will probably enjoy it and will hopefully thrive in a preschool setting. I know my daughter has. I don't really see anything to be sad about.

Right now my daughter is 4 and they are focusing on handwriting letters, which will eventually lead to reading. They are also teaching them days of the week and months of the year, how to cut with scissors, and many other things that will be useful in kindergarten next year. There is a lot of free-play time too.



answers from Fort Walton Beach on

Early introduction to school and educational type situations is always a good thing. I have been reading your other posts about your babysitter too. Sometime situation that were good at one time or with one child, might not be good for another. I know you've been with this babysitter awhile, but the terms of your agreement in the beginning is no longer valid. She doesn't have back up for when "thing/situations" happen in her life.

In my personal opinion I would start your daughter into a pre-k program. It can only help her learn, and will help socialize her with other kids her age. I hope all your situations get better. HUGS!




answers from Tulsa on

i would do preK because some daycares do nothing academic. if she is bright, she will be more challenged.



answers from Tampa on

I'm not sure why you wouldn't jump at the chance to have your daughter in a state-subsidized program (saving you money) where she will be learning more than she probably would be daycare. And your daughter would be at the same place where your son is in afterschool, saving you a pickup. I assume that it's a full day program.



answers from Honolulu on

Yes, do it.
It will be subsidized. That is lucky for you.
Just send her.



answers from Tampa on

If it is a VPK program then they have a certain curriculum and standards to follow in order to keep receiving the $ from the govt to subsidize. It usually consists of a theme of the week along with letters/colors/numbers. There are lots of pre-reading skills included - songs, poems, etc. All of this can sound very academic and it is but with playing and socializing also involved. Most of the kids don't even realize they are learning!
FYI - the standards for elementary schools are going to be changing here in FL. The bar is being raised. Kindergarten will actually be more academic than socially minded as in the past. This being the case - PRE-K is great for all the social aspects that may be getting pushed aside in K.
At this age, kids are sponges and love to learn new things - why not take advantage of it and give them a chance to be as well prepared as possible ?
Also, I can tell you really do like your previous sitter. Day care centers are not perfect but can be helpful as they have more staff and follow the school calendar. If someone is sick or needs time off, the parents are not interrupted and scrambling to find child care. VPK follows the school calendar but if like most centers - they are still open on the days there is no school so working parents have childcare - you just may have to pay more for the time that was VPK. Make sense ?
If life is stressful right now, this may help. My son is in K and he attends the school I teach at so I don't use afterschool care. However, when there is no school for students but there is for teachers, my daughter's center is willing to take my son on an as needed basis - no questions. This was really helpful to me during 2011 when I was dealing with a terminally ill parent. My mom usually watched my kids when there was no school for them but was not able to as she was caring for my dad. At the last minute I realized there was a day when I had to stay at school and had no one to watch my son. Literally the center took him that day with just a phone call. They knew our situation and were willing to help all that they could. That was very helpful to me.
There can be a little adjustment to a new place but if you make it sound really FUN and how your daughter is a BIG girl now, she may adjust really quickly. Take her ahead of time to see the room she'll be in and talk about all the fun activities she will be doing.
Change can be hard - I myself have a hard time with it - but it is ok and we all seem to get through somehow. If the rest of life is stressful right now - don't add to it, make the changes you can to make it easier for yourself. Best of Luck to you! I think your daughter will love VPK! :>)


answers from Phoenix on

We liked pre-k. did not learn a whole lot but it was fun for them and kept them active and meeting new friends. Got us out of the house.



answers from Orlando on

Do it!! She will be ahead of the students that didn't go to VPK.



answers from Jacksonville on

YES YES! Now days the kids are expected to know more before kindergarden. It also helps them greatly get used to going to school. I loved our VPK. My oldest really came out of her shell and impresses me soo much with how much she can do. Definitly gonna do my other one too.

Bonus it gave me some quieter time and special time with my other one.

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