Updated on September 03, 2008
U.A. asks from Arlington, TX
10 answers

I have 3.5 and 2.5 year old daughters. Alot of people ask me if they are in school yet and I say no. My husband is a teacher and I stay at home with the kids. Among the usual bills and expenses, we also give my mother-in-law $200 a month to help support her. We are trying to save every penny so sending the kids to pre-school seems like a luxury. But now I am really wondering if it would benefit the kids more if they were in pre-school instead of at home with just me all day. I have a difficult time keeping them entertained as well as teaching them. They go to playdates two times a month. My 3.5 year old always says "where are we going today?" and she seems restless. Should we go ahead and put them in pre-school? Will it help them to be around other kids and have a structured day? Is the extra cost worth it (how much is it, exactly)? What purpose is pre-school for? I'm just not sure.

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So What Happened?

thanks for the advice and suggestions. i know my kids would enjoy pre-school, so i'm going to look into it, and try to find a job to help pay if i have to.

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answers from Dallas on

I think it benefits the child and prepares them for school. My son is 3 and in Preschool and knows his alphabet, counts to 25 in spanish and english, knows all his shapes, colors and can recognize his letters and numbers.
A lot of it he knew before school but he is learning everyday which he was only going 3 days a week 1/2 days but now he is w/the school district in PPCD but I think there are some districts that offer preschool as well.
I know if my son wasn't in PPCD he would definitely be in preschool.
Good Luck and I hope this helps.

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answers from Dallas on

Hi U.,
I set up my house like a pre-school and we had a schedule and it was really great. I set up "stations"- dress up area, puzzle area, arts-n-crafts area, bead area, computer area, reading area, etc... (and my house is not that big either).

It was nice, as my son would go to each station and play for about 1/2 hour and then we would do stuff together- read a book, do a puzzle, practice writing (there are tons of work books for this type stuff), etc... We would rotate every half hour or so.
And, I also built in a little tv time with educational videos- which gave me time to do housework, pay bills, etc...
It was really nice and my son loved it. We are now officially homeschooling and it is much the same schedule.
Just some ideas,
R. B.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

if you want you can just do it at home!! especially since they are close in age & they are getting play dates, so they are getting social skills.

just start setting up a time of at least 2hrs, a day in the morning or afternoon where you turn off the tv, & radio etc. & do learning projects with the kids...they dont have to be anything big, just things like learning the letters of the alphabet, even if they know the alphabet can they recognize the letters in both upper & lower cases? teach them to wrtie the letters...even if your 2yr old isnt quite ready for it all she will enjoy getting to be like big sis. teach them numbers (start in blocks 1-10, then to 20 stc).

work with the calendar & the days of the week, months etc. & the seasons

go to the library & find books that you can read to them

have them paint pictures (use water colors)

at walmart they have books that are geared for each age group, they are workbooks that will give you guidance for things like learning opposites, or matching. they have them for preschool age too.

do shapes & colors

go outside & collect leaves, & flowers & dry them, they can glue them onto paper & make pictures

you will be amazed at how much they learn & also having some structured time will keep their minds working so that they are not left bored & restless just bc you are at home all day.

also there are some good ideas for projects & things to make on sproutonline.com & there are tons of other kid websites to give you ideas.

good luck!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

My 2.5 year old is in preschool 2 days a week even though I decided to stay home with him after teaching for years. He has learned so so much being at his school, and I think I would be doing him an injustice by keeping him home. We really can't afford it, but even when I do projects etc with him, it's just not the same. I can tell he gets much more out of that curriculum and with the friends he has there. It is well worth the money IMHO. There's so much he knows, that I know he wouldn't if he were only home with me. He knows all of his alphabet and how they sound and can recognize them when he reads them; he knows all colors and shapes (including weird ones like octagon, oval and crescent); he knows primary colors in Spanish; 1-10 in Spanish and a really whole lot of sign language; he knows a lot of info about animals (like a camel holds water in its hump crazy stuff) and just so much more. I would have never thought to teach him about a camel or even the shapes that aren't typical. I thought octagon was too much for him only to find out he already knew it just recently!

Please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying that it's the one and only thing to do with a child of this age, but it definitely is for us.



answers from Dallas on

Your situation is different than mine, in that you have siblings close to the same age. I wanted my son in preschool with children his age because I was really starting to feel limited in what I was able to do for him---he really wanted friends, and he's such a social little boy, but when we'd go to the playground it was always "big kids" that were like 4 or 5, and we go to a small church with only 1 little girl his age, that kind of stuff. I would play with him and love on him, but could tell he really wanted friends, not just mom. Your children can play with each other, if you decide to really work at doing some creative things with them. I was also concerned that I wouldn't know how to teach him (not by myself) as well as he needed before school later on. I couldn't afford the place I had chosen for him, so I got a job there instead! I work part time and he comes along and attends "school" during the hours I'm there, and he gets a scholarship. We're not going to get rich by any means, but the part time job is helping to meet some real needs where my son is concerned, it's not a burden on the already stretched family budget, and I like it too. I'm learning, as well! And they're teaching my son communication skills with the sign language, he has a ball playing with the other boys in his class, and he pops up with something new he's learned almost daily. He's also surprisingly independent, which I wouldn't have really known without putting him in that environment. I think we've got the best of both worlds: the first half of the day is for me to do some cleaning, easy cooking (or prep), and then playing and loving on my son. Then there's naptime and we go to school after that for him to gain the benefits of preschool while I get out of the house and work. We're able to get off work, swing by the playground a few minutes (or to Sonic to share an icecream) and then we go home where I finish up dinner and then it's family time with "dad". I think it's awesome and works for everyone. The only thing is learning to plan and budget your time so that the house doesn't get neglected. :)


answers from Dallas on

Have you thought about mother's day out instead? They usually have it twice a week and it costs far less than preschool and is usually Christian based. Just a suggestion. I don't think kids of that age need too much structure. They learn through play. Preschool is mainly for 4 year olds about to start kindergarden. I wouldn't worry about it, but do try to get them out to the park more and check out the MDO programs in your area.



answers from Dallas on

In some cases, preschool is just a fancy way of saying daycare but I do think it is beneficial for children. My son goes 3 days a week since June and has learned so many new things. It was one of the best decisions I made. However, if I didn't have to work I would have just put him into a MDO 2 days a week. They are less expensive and they still get the social interaction. It's up to you. I don't think it will damage your child to go to a preschool or for them to stay home with you. It's a personal and a financial choice.



answers from Dallas on

Try the local Rec center. I just found a program in my area thats pretty reasonable and exactly what I'm looking for ! Its 2 days a week and 2 1/2 hours each day. $70 a month. There is a waiting list but I'm thinking we should get in by the time my daughter turns 3!



answers from Dallas on

My son who is in 2nd grade never went to preschool. He was at home full time with me. We stayed pretty busy with a moms club and we were around a lot of other kids at the time. He did fine without preschool and has always done wonderful in school. My daughter who will go to kindergarten next year will be starting preschool next week. I think it totally depends on the child. My daughter is very smart for her age so I don't think it will benefit her in that way. I am sending her because I can't keep up with her. She has to be constantly doing something. Plus since she is a second child she was used to playing with her brother's friends. I want her to be able to socialize and interact with kids more her age. I want her to get used to being on a schedule. I think if she didn't go to pre-k before kindergarten she might have a hard time getting into the routine. My daughter will be going Tues., Wed., & Thurs. from 9-2:30pm. Cost is $205.00 a month.
Good Luck!



answers from Dallas on

When a preschool child plays, they are learning. Fine motor skills, creative thinking, cause and effect...lots of stuff... so there are lots of things that a mom can do at home to encourage learning (Parenting Magazine and such have good ideas sometimes - stuff I wouldn't think of on my own.)

I believe a pre-school that promotes hands-on learning, will help prepare them for school and offer more (different "stations" as one mother explained) than I can offer or think of at home. -- Also, I am not very disciplined and find it difficult to split my time between my 4 year old and 1 year old and I do feel that my 4 yr old needs more challenges and social interaction (than just MOPS twice a month)

I guess I want to encourage you, if you don't send your child/ren to preschool. I also wanted to explain why I want my child to go.

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