Even before VPK, my daughter always asked to go to school and from the first day, she loves it and has learned more than I could ever teach her. She’s only gone M/W/F for 5 hours, has lunch with her friends, listens to other adults, gets into a routine for school, has little subjects and easy little bits of homework. She does projects, paints, draws, plays house with her friends, does show-and-tell, learns about animals, colors, shapes, words, seasons, math, and so so so much more. I think it’s a great program, and the fact that it’s free and it provides that little bit of extra in her life, is really wonderful. Plus, the teachers know the Kindergarten curriculum and teach toward that (eg. in kindergarten, a child must spell their name with the correct uppercase/lowercase in order for them to have achieved “writing name” (eg. Elaine NOT ElAine).
I too was on the fence about putting her in VPK with all the years of school ahead of her, and that’s why I chose a program of 3 days, so that still gives her 2 days at home. Plus, it’s not really ‘school’ – they do learn, but the “teaching” is done in such a way (through play, painting, projects, songs and so many other fun stuff) that they don’t realize they’re learning. Before VPK, I tried so hard to get my daughter to know the days of the week and months of the year. Within the first 2 weeks, she came home reciting them.
I highly recommend the VPK program. I adore my daughter’s teachers and I am amazed at all the things she has accomplished and participated in. Plus, she loves it, has made so many new friends and she’s already familiar to what school is all about, what’s expected of her and she won’t be shocked when she goes to school for the 5 full days a week.