Preschool or Not? - Rapid City,SD

Updated on August 08, 2010
J.B. asks from Rapid City, SD
19 answers

My daughter is 3 years old and I'm debating sending her to preschool. I stay home with her, so it would be primarily for the socialization. We do educational activities at home, and I am not concerned about her learning more. She loves to read, count, science, anything! But she won't talk to kids her age. I babysit 2 children that she is friends with, and she is comfortable speaking and playing with them. But, when we are at church, another friends house or have other friends over, or at the park, she won't talk to other kids. She tells me she is too shy. What do you think? My biggest concern is that next year she will be bored in preschool for 4 year olds. I know she'll pick up quickly on the academics, andI just don't want her bored next year. But, I'd love for her to learn how to make friends. I want her to be able to, even after observing for a few minutes, walk up to another child her age and say hi. Or know how to respond to another child when they talk to her.

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answers from New York on

If you are doing it for socialization - there are other options besides pre-school. You should look into local Gymnastics or Dance Classes, Gymboree etc. Most places have clases with Mommy and without and she would be with other kids her age playing and socilaizing.

My daughter will only have one year of pre-school, and that is only because it is required to get into the Kindergarden we want for her without being on the wait list.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Omaha on

I would send her. I am also a stay at home mom, but started sending my son to a Mom's Day Out class one morning a week since he was 18 months old. He is very outgoing and I did it for his social skills as well, but more to learn how to work within a group. I am a former teacher and firmly believe there are some things a classroom community has that you just can't recreate at home. He has learned so much and loves it. He is very bright too, but I am not worried that he will get bored. There is just so much to discover at this age that everything is interesting!
I just started my daughter in the class this summer. She is 15 months old. She is a little more reserved and has more separation anxiety from me, so this has helped in that regard as well.
Hope this helps!

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answers from Boston on

I was in the same boat with my son last year. He was 3 years old and was very comfortable with our playdate pals, but never, ever would speak to someone else on his own. After 1 year of preschool, I now wouldn't even describe him as shy. He has really come out of his shell and I totally credit the school for that. I thought that the socialization piece was important, but also I wanted him to learn to take direction from someone other than mom. I am very happy with my decision. He only went to preschool two days a week for 2.5 hrs each day and we saw these great results. I once encountered another stay-at-home mom who asked me how I dealt with the guilt of sending him when I could teach him the same skills at home. I was completely dumbfounded because I would have felt guilty by keeping him at home, for these lessons were ones that I could not teach!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Colorado Springs on

I don't recommend preschool for children. I think they are best right with their mommies! We are the ones who are supposed to teach them socialization. I wonder if she has heard someone say that she is shy. I used to do that with my oldest. When someone would try to talk to him, he would act shy. I mentioned to an older (wiser!) lady who had said hi to him and he hid in my skirt, that he was shy. She said, "Honey, don't you ever say that in his hearing. He will be who you say he is. If he hears that, he will believe it and become it. Choose your words carefully. He is listening." And I never said that again about any of my children. Yes, some are more shy and reserved around strangers. That is normal! It is okay! Everyone will not be the belle of the ball! Why should we expect them to be? Love your daughter and enjoy her at home. Teach her proper social skills in the safety of your loving care. From preschool, you get more of the "survival of the fittest" mentality. I wouldn't want that for my children.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

Please don't base your decision on our opinions. You'll find there is really no gray area on this subject in the responses you get. Many moms believe preschool is completely unnecessary. I happen to disagree.

My kids are in full-time day care. We spend a lot of time with them on our own working on letters, colors, etc (they're 2 and 4), but there's something about learning from another authority figure, outside of a family member, that is really helpful to kids that age. It's not to say you're not capable, but your message already recognizes that she's not truly comfortable in situations where you're not with her. That would be my first sign that I needed to get her acclimated quickly.

All preschools are different. Don't assume she'll get bored because she's picking-up on things quickly now. Our day care has a set curriculum, and it's as much an educational as social curriculum. Last week, they learned all about baseball. This week, it's geography. They assign jobs to the kids such as "Botanist", "Zookeeper", etc.

The conflict resolution, dealing with different personalities, following directions are things that are difficult for us to teach as parents when we can't immerse our kids in that environment without being present.

I've seen a lot of posts insinuating that I'm not as good of a parent because my kids are in day care and don't have me there to teach these things full time. In our case, this is the best decision, and I don't have regrets. I hope you're able to find make a decision that works for your family as well and don't have regrets.

Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Indianapolis on

eh...there's little evidence that a child can't do just fine without preschool. Really, kids don't need school at all if you're willing to put in the time to teach them. Home schooled children turn out great if their parents put them in various activities and play groups and such. You can teach her at home and them have her participate in church activities, museum trips, play groups, Gymboree, the list is endless. You just need to get her involved. If you can't do that because you are watching other children, then yes, put her in preschool.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

I'm a huge believer in the benefits of preschool and our daughter just completed two years of it and will now be in Kindergarten next month. Besides the academics, some of the benefits I saw were:
1. Learning to get a long with others and being able to navigate various social situations
2. Learning to navigate easily from one activity to another: transitioning
3. Understanding that there are authority figures other than one's parents
4. Independence: how to be away from one's parents for a set amt. of time
5. How to pay attention

I feel that our daughter now enters kindergarten with these things pretty much mastered. Good luck in your decision!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

This is exactly my son! He is super smart and interested in all academic things, but is very shy. He has his friends that he is comfortable with and otherwise takes awhile to warm up to other kids. And forget an adult talking to him! He puts his head down and flat out ignores you!

I just signed him up for nursery school. Its Tues and Thurs from 9-11:30. They do lots of activities, circle time, sing songs, paint etc. But its not too academically based, so he won't be bored next year- especially since he knows alot of what the teach in preschool already. And MOST importantly, he will be interacting with kids his age, without me there and hopefully become more social.
It sounds like something like this would be good for your daughter too. Plus it gets them ready for next year. Then they will have the socialization and academic knowledge under their belt. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Kansas City on

I don't believe that preschool is needed in your situation. Your daughter isn't comfortable yet and doesn't need to be. In fact, I'm not sure why she needs it next year at age 4. My oldest daughter was hopelessly shy at a young age. Her birthday is in December. So she was closer to 6 than 5 when starting school. By then she did just beautifully and never had a problem. But no matter what we would have and did try before that didn't work well at all. She just needs time. I am saying this mostly because it sounds like you work with her on school work and with her friends at home, she's getting enough.



answers from San Diego on

Pre school was great, my daughter went 3 days a week and she loved the interaction with other kids her age. She never had a problem with playing or talking to other kids, it's just a really good preperation for kindergarten. J.



answers from Minneapolis on

3 yr old preschool is mostly about socialization. I would say send her. I had my 5 yr old go to both 3 and 4 yr old preschool and she loved it... and I loved the little break!



answers from Minneapolis on

I sent my son to preschool at 3 for the social reasons only. It completely backfired on me. He spent outside time hiding under the slide afraid of the other boys who were much more rowdy. In the classroom, he simply found his own activities to do and pretty much ignored the other kids. I wish I had waited. As time went on he became more and more social and comfortable around other children. He now has many friends and is well like by his classmates. I have no worries about him socially. Time simply took care of his anxiety around other children and he is a happy and highly social boy now - even new situations. Hope this helps.



answers from Minneapolis on

Have you looked into a Montessori type program? There, she could get the socialization you want for her while putting her into an academic situation where they teach to her at her level. My son and daughter were in a program like this in downtown Minneapolis and by the time they got through with their Preschool and Kindergarten program they were - academically - they had learned so much more than a normal kindergarten program would have taught them (they were reading at 3rd and 4th grade levels, adding and subtracting proficiently, working on multiplying and dividing numbers, knew a good deal of geography and science, etc). Some of the things they learned were things that I would never have thought to have introduced at their age even though we were very focused on educational play and learning at home. Given their initial academic aptitude, they really thrived in the program and the confidence they gained in the academic realm helped them to feel more secure in the social realm.



answers from Los Angeles on

I have a 11 month old son and I think I will send him to preschool when he turns 3. I am a SAHM so I can also teach him academics at home so I am sending him to preschool more for socialization and learn to play and share with other kids his age. We are also planning baby #2 so sending my firstborn to preschool will allow me to have more time with my new baby. I read that kids don't really learn too much in preschool. They go there more for socialization and learn rules.

If your daughter is shy, it might be better to send her now than when she turns 4 because she might be even more shy then and harder for her to break from her shell.



answers from Seattle on

That's actually why I sent my son to preschool... because he was terrified of other kids (bad experience with cousins). He was already reading at 3 (we sent him at 3.5), so I sent him purely for the social aspect.

I only had 3 requirements for preschool "safe, fun, interesting". It's amazing how many schools did NOT hit all 3 requirements.

The added benefit of the one we chose was that in addition to kiddo reverting to Mr. Social Butterfly (which he had been before he got scared of kids), was that the Montessori School was a.m.a.z.i.n.g. He learned soooooo much while he was there. It was a KILLER experience. ((And this is coming from a homeschooling mum)).

Safe. Fun. Interesting.



answers from Minneapolis on

Any preschool worth its salt is going to focus on socialization, not on academics - even for 4 or 5 year old programs. Learning to work as a group, problem solving with peers (we both want the same toy, how can we figure this out?), important pre-K fine motor skills like cutting and holding a crayon or pencil or handling all sorts of other art materials - these are not extras, these are the skills upon which writing will be based. Learning to express yourself (opinions, thoughts, needs, wants) to other adults (who are not your family) and to your peers. Your daughter may well be tempermentally shy, and that's fine, but as an adult who was a painfully shy child, I can also tell you that being social is a skill that takes practice, and that's exactly what she's going to get in preschool. Just be sure you look for a place that will work with your daughter's reserved temperment lovingly and patiently, a place that makes social skills and exploration of the world around us its priorities (no worksheets!) This could be a specialty place like a montessori, or it could be run out of a church basement. Talk to local moms, get some recommendations, GO VISIT by yourself so you can spend some time, talk to teachers, observe kids, etc. You'll find the place that feels like the right fit. Good luck!



answers from Tulsa on

Socialization is the primary objective of the 3 year old program. I say go for it.



answers from Minneapolis on

Socialization is the main purpose of any good 3 year old preschool program. My first daughter sounds very similar to yours in personality and she went through some rough days in 3 year old preschool but she came out more confident and her ability to cope with various situations was improved. In four year old preschool, teachers amp up the academic aspect of the program to help prepare the children for kindergarten. I doubt that your daughter would be bored as good programs and teachers vary their curriculum and work toward stretching the abilities and skills of individual children (as much as time allows). My daughter absolutely LOVED kindergarten and I credit much of that to the experience she had learning the ropes of socialization and how to function in school groups early on. I too stay-at-home with my kids but feel that preschool has been such an important part of their emotional/behavioral/academic development that I would definitely recommend you consider sending your daughter. Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

Preschool is great for socialization. You could just do 3 days a week or afternoons or something, but it sounds like it would help her adjust for next year. Expect some nervousness and crying at first, but just take it slow and I bet she will love it!

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