Preschool or Not? - Miami Beach,FL

Updated on August 30, 2009
A.T. asks from Miami Beach, FL
26 answers

Helo everyone:
my girl is almost 4 and even though she is been in daycare for the last year we have stayed at home. I am considering to get her into a preschool program but somehow I feel guilty about it. I am not planning to return to work for at least 6 mo due to a home study program I am doing. So I need your feedback on pros and cons of her going to preschool. Thanks in advance.

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I.V.

answers from Fort Myers on

Go for it, it will get her ready for kindergarden. I did it and my baby is going to kindergarden right now and it has been very smooth transition. Good luck.

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R.

answers from Tampa on

It's hard not to feel guilty, but you will get past the guilt pretty quickly and find something else to feel guilty about soon enough :).

This is a GREAT time for her to go to preschool as she can begin the adjustment to Kindergarten and it will give you the time needed to study. When you go back to work, it will not be a huge transition for either of you!

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H.P.

answers from Orlando on

A.,
My thoughts are keep her home with you. She has the rest of her life to go to school & you cannot get these years back. Enjoy your time with her now.
H.

2 moms found this helpful
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A.A.

answers from Lafayette on

My daughter has learned a TON from preschool. We started her when she had just turned 3, and she's entering her second year next week.

It's so important for kids to learn how to listen to other adult authority figures, get along in groups, survive without Mom and Dad... Not to mention all the "early academic" skills, such as pre-reading and pre-math, that they'll pick up.

Kindergarten has become so academic, too. I think that a play-centered preschool gives kids a gentle introduction to school and I think it ultimately helps them enjoy their later school experience more.

Furthermore, research supports preschool! Up to 20 hours a week of outside-of-home care is beneficial to kids over age 2.

Unfortunately, it might be too late to get enrolled, as most preschools are already starting, but I strongly encourage you to let go of the guilt and try to find a preschool for your kid. You'll be amazed at how much she grows!

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M.H.

answers from Sarasota on

Don't feel guilty, you will get more study done! She will love it and it is a positive thing, not negative. I suppose some people think you are dumping your kid off to be cared for by strangers, but not me. My son is 4.5 and nags us every moring about "what time is it?" "I'm I going to be late?", "I'm ready, let's go!". He runs into school every day and some times doesn't even say good-bye. Pre-school is wonderful and I see NO reason you shouldn't expose your child to it. It has nothing to do with pushing them to learn more and younger ages, it is social and fun! And yes, it will make kindergarten easier too!

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H.B.

answers from Tampa on

If you are questioning your options of sending her to be cared for by others daily or keeping her with you then I think your gut a d heart has answered for you. Our children are only little for such a very short time and it is only before Kindergarten that you get the chance to spend days with them playing, exploring, reading, one on one time, just daydreaming and enjoying your time together. This time can never be replaced. She has K-12 to spend all day away from you... And a lifetime therafter. Our society has somehow made it the norm to pay others (or get it free) to spend time with our young children instead of parents doing it, even when it's not out of necessity. Some parents feel pressured into conforming with other mainstream parents that are falling into this as well and justify dropping their kids off with strangers to enjoy 'time to themselves' or 'me time'. Maybe some parents don't mind missing out on these years, days, memories, but many still do and couldn't be paid enough to give away those special days memories to a complete stranger. I think the fact that you have feelings of guilt means you are one of hue moms that haven't completely fallen into the facad. Go with your gut and keep close with your little one. The benefits can not even begin to be measured at what you and she will gain for all those hours together that would have been lost. Education for a 3 and 4 year old can be handled by you, in a small amount of time each week.... Reading, socializing, building blocks, art etc....if you have questions you are welcome to email me! Best wishes to you and your little one!!!

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A.S.

answers from Boca Raton on

Do what is best for YOUR child. Your child is unique and like no other - what works for some children may or may not work best for yours.

My child was in pre-school too early - has ALWAYS hated school (and I think it goes back to those first days in a school setting before he was really ready).

The decisions you make today can have an impact 10 years down the road. It's not easy, so give it alot of thought and prayer (if religious).

Good luck.

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H.G.

answers from Tampa on

If you do it, don't feel guilty about it. Most children seem to love it.

That said, my son is 3y8m old and does not and never has gone to preschool/daycare. He will be starting VPK next school year. He gets plenty of socialization and we do activities regularly.

I would go with what you feel is the best situation for your family. But don't feel guilty either way. :)

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S.S.

answers from Daytona Beach on

i felt guilty about putting my daughter into the vpk program when she turned 4, but once i did it, it was wonderful for her. they teach her so many things that even being a SAHM you can't do. (or maybe could but don't have the time) and my husbands' ex-girlfriends mother is a teacher and i talked it over with her and she sd tht she would put her in bc they do teach so much. my daugther attended ECDC (early childhood development center) in DeLand, and by the time she was done she was reading a lot of words already!! and the kindergarden teachers alwasy say that they can tell who has been to vpk and not bc they are ahead of the game. i would especially recommend it if your child has a hard time letting go. my son is 3 and i put him in ECDC 3 days a week this year to make sure he gets VPK there and he cried the first 2 days but the last day he walked right in and today he had a DRs appt and didn't go but he got mad bc he wanted to. so i would say put her in. if she doesn't like it, give it a few weeks (like 3) bc it might take a while to get used to and if she still doesn't do well, pull her out. doesn't hurt to try. there's no obligation to it.

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T.B.

answers from Orlando on

Hi A., I know you've gotten alot of responses but I just wanted to add one more idea. I have my son signed up for preschool, it starts next week. It's a co-op preschool which means the parents or the moms volunteer one day a week. The parents basically run the show. There are two teachers there and they make their rounds but the moms perform all the general duties. We just moved to FL reccently and I wasn't comfortable putting my son into a school that I knew nothing about... the area or the people. This way I get to be involved and know and see exactly what he's learning and being exposed to. I can give you more info if you'd like. Good luck to you and your daugher!

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K.D.

answers from Tampa on

hi! there are so many pros and cons of preschool. i for one am all for it. i just wanted to let you know, incase you didn't already know, that florida has free vpk (voluntary pre-k) program for all children the age of 4. the hours vary,depending on which school you go to, but most are for about 3 hours of the day. something to consider, if you feel bad about sending all day (plus it's free)

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J.M.

answers from Gainesville on

It will only benefit her putting her in. It will get her use to a school type setting and have a structured learning environment. It prepares them for kindergarden, and the parents as well. I think its a good idea and a great opportunity for her.

K.G.

answers from Boca Raton on

Don't feel guilty! Its going to be a great thing for her and you! She will learn so much more, her socialization skills will most definitely improve, and it will be easier for you studying.. I put my son in a preschool program at 2 for 2days per week and it's been great. It will be beneficial for your daughter to bond with other kids/teachers rather then her just being with you always.
Good luck :0)

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K.E.

answers from Sarasota on

My 2 1/2 yr old did not start pre-school til after he turned 2. It helped socialize him, he enjoys his teachers and friends and it helped him pick up a different language than spoken at home. They have alot of spanish-speaking children at his school that only speak spanish at home so they didn't understand anything else. Being in that particular class w/ those kids helped him assimilate some spanish. It was pretty cool.

Preschool is sort of important for small children in order to learn social behaviors and interaction with other children. If you are not following a home-schooling plan then preschool will also introduce concepts to your child that you might not think of. Wether you choose to send her to regular school or not you still need to make sure she is meeting the standard of social, and cognative skills and ready her for kindergarten. Most places offer free pre-K programs that will help ready her for regular school. And lots of places offer half days to ease the transition.
Preschool would not be a detriment to her. It may open up opportunities and interests to her not offered at home.
Just a thought and good luck!

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C.A.

answers from Miami on

I think preschool is a great idea at 4 both of my daugthers did it.And my youngest who is 11 now ,came out reading,she also was introduce to drama which she has carried on through the years.We are not from here and only moved here 3yrs ago.My problem with some preschools especially here in S.Florida is that if they don't have the right attitude and teaching ,it could damage your kid's idea fo what school is like.I feel there are so many schools here you would have to really know how they are treating your child and should be nurturing so they can build their self confidence.They should also be learning in a fun way.If they are going to regular school when they hit 5 this will give them a jump start.I have a son who is 3,so i looked at some of the preschools out here.Anyway that is my thoughts, you should sit in on some of the classes before u decide what school.Good luck

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A.G.

answers from Punta Gorda on

So glad to see everyone is being so encouraging. Don't feel guilty. Use this time to get done your work, shop for birthdays and Christmas. Use this time to get things done that you would have to ignore her to get done. Then when she is with you after preschool you can devote more quality time to her.

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R.C.

answers from Boca Raton on

I think it's a good idea for her to go to preschool.I used to work in child care and the 3-5 year olds seemed to enjoy school the most. I'm sure the first few weeks will be a bit tough but after she settles in i'm sure she will love it. I would just check out some schools first and meet the teachers she would have, let her check out the classroom as well.

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A.G.

answers from Mayaguez on

Kids grow so fast the time you spend together is precious. Taking her to day care a few hours a day is great because you can catch up with other things, running errands or studying. If you feel guilty about the preschool program, don't send her yet. She can wait another year.

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S.O.

answers from Jacksonville on

I have a daughter who is also almost four. I was recently laid off work and she misses her "school" and friends. I am looking into a part time place/program to put her in. She is so smart and thrives in a learning environment.

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C.I.

answers from Fort Myers on

How about an answer from a grandma that retired early to care for her only grandson. It was the best decision I ever made. The bond between us is unbelievable! But, when he was 3 1/2, I realized that he needed more. I found a new pre-school that was about to open. We all went to the open house & were very impressed. My grandson loved it & so did my daughter & myself. They have part time programs (2 or 3) days, or full time. they also have PREK for when he turns 4. He is learning in a group setting & making friends. I live in Cape Coral, so that doesn't help you. But, you may have something that good close to you. We still have our special times together & he has his school days. I will tell you that when he first started going (3 days a wk) he cried in the mornings & said "I need you". It broke my daughters heart in the mornings, and sometimes he still wants to go to Grandma's house. But it would have been worse if he had to start going 5 days a week after being home all this time. good luck

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L.C.

answers from Tampa on

A.,

don't feel guilty about putting your daughter in pre-school. If you are studying at home, it will give you quiet time to do it, or clean the house, take a nap whatever.

My daughter 2 1/2 has been in pre-school since June & LOVES IT!!! She looks forward to seeing her teacher every day. This semester she has a new teacher, but still says she is going to see the teacher she had over the summer.

It makes them more social. We have learned that we have a budding musician. We have learned about her personality, and she differs from the other kids.

We just could not keep her stimulated or challenged enough at home. Both of us have college degrees.

She is only going 1/2 days. I think she needs to go full days but dad disagrees. I have found it to be nothing but a good experience for my child. but she is also in a REALLY good school.

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K.B.

answers from Tampa on

Our daughter attended pre 3K and 4Pre K VPK and she just started kindergarten and she is totally prepared. It was one of the best decisions that we have ever made - I too work from home so it was a difficult decision but it really is the best idea for her. Not sure were you live but my daughter attended St Paul's Child Enrichment in Carrollwood on Dale Mabry and Stall. Amazing teachers & staff and I cannot wait until our son is old enough to attend. I checked out 12 schools previous to St Paul and as soon as I walked in I just knew it would be perfect and it was. I registered right there!
Good Luck!

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L.H.

answers from Boca Raton on

I sent my children to preschool and it was the best thing for them and for me. The school I sent them too was a 3 hour program three times a week. Then for Pre-K, they went full time. And don't feel guilty, we always put to much pressure on ourselves.

A little about me:
Working mom of 3 children: 19 year old; 17 year old and 13 year old.

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T.F.

answers from Orlando on

Ultimately, you need to do what's best for your own family, but I am a huge advocate for preschool! I think it's wonderful for both the mom and the child. They learn a lot, but I'm not talking about shapes and colors and the alphabet and things that you can teach them at home-- I'm talking about sharing and waiting your turn and being kind to others and figuring out what to do if someone steals your toy and mommy isn't there to help you. It's quite a long day at school at kindergarten so preschool is a great way to get them ready. I feel so bad for kids whose first school experience is kindergarten because it's going from mom 24/7 to a very long day at school. Look for a part time preschool option so you can still spend a bunch of time with her, and while she's at school having a great time, you can get things done that you need to do... then pick her up and feel a weight lifted that you can actually focus on her rather than thinking about all of the things you need to be doing

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M.A.

answers from Tampa on

If your daughter is 4 yrs old, maybe you can apply for a VPK program and she can attend only half a day. It will be like an introduction to school. Also, most of the kids love going to daycare or school because they get to spend time with kids their own age.

I took my son this summer out of the PLACE before/After school program so that he can spend more time with his sister and cousins... At times I regretted the decision because he was bored. The kids were either too old or too young, so they didn't understand the games he wanted to play...He missed all of his friends... He was so excited for school to start, so that he could go back to PLACE...

Don't Feel Guilty... She will most likely love going to pre-k.

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C.F.

answers from Tampa on

I don't understand why you would feel guilty. We don't put our children in school because we work, we do it to educate them. As a person that has worked with pre-k and younger children, as well as having just lost my Kindergarten Para job thanks to Hillsborough County cutbacks, I see the difference between the kids with no prior educational setting vs. having attended pre-k.

First, one thing that parents of non-school age children need to know is that K today is like 1st grade was when we were kids. They expect these children to be able to read, do adding and subtracting, and write at least 2-3 sentences with proper capitalization at the beginning and a period at the end that makes SENSE by the end of kindergarten. If your child goes in there not having any sense of numbers or letters, how to count at least to 10 or 12, what their name looks like, or even how to hold a pencil, then it is hard for them.

Children in today's primary grades are also not given a chance for any social time. Again, cutbacks as well as the "No Child Left Behind" to blame. Some schools don't have daily PE, and now without the K paras in the classroom, the teachers this year will be even more stretched thin trying to acclimatize these school newbies to following rules, learning procedures, and the academics. With one Asst. K teacher allowed per school now, no matter HOW many K classes there are (Summerfield has 8, for example, with only one Asst. K teacher. The para that had been there for many years lost her job position to the cutbacks, as well.), there isn't someone to pull those kids that need help.

To put your child in a great pre-k can really help them blossom. They will learn how to make and be friends with other children. They will learn basic procedures so it isn't a huge shock when they hit Kindergarten. They will have confidence because they will be able say, "Hey I know ALL my letters! I can count, too!" It also gives your child a chance to learn a teaching style that may different from yours. It also eases them away from home just enough so they aren't the poor Kindergartener that spends the day crying for mommy to come back because they've never been away from her, or around 18 other kids. And for yourself, since you are in a study program, a few hours of quiet to really focus on your own education would benefit the family and yourself as well. There are varying pre-k programs. My niece went to a 4-day a week one. My son's was 5 days a week, 3 hours a day when he was 4, but he attended a 3-day, 3 hour one at the age of 3. I also didn't work at that time, but I definitely appreciated that 3 hours to get things done. I was much easier going and less stressed from the break throughout the rest of the day.

But ultimately, good luck in whatever you decide.