I don't WANT to send him to preschool!!

kim_BJanuary 4, 2002

My son will be 4 in March. I am finally at a point financially where I can work from home, and will be doing so starting Feb 1. My decision was based on the fact that he will start kindergarten in Aug 2003, and I want to have what little time is left before then at home with him. Well, now everyone is asking me "aren't you going to send him to preschool?" I'm getting a lot of advice about how great it is for kids. That would just defeat my purpose. I don't worry about his social skills - we call him "Mr. Personality". He is very adaptable, and knows a lot of things some kids in kindergarten don't. He can say and recognizes the alphabet- upper and lower case, can count and recognize up to 30, knows colors, and knows the sounds that most of the letters in the alphabet make. We have been working on basic reading - like sounding out small words, ie: pig, dog, mom - etc. He knows phone numbers, and recognizes many complete words.

So, am I doing some terrible harm to him by not sending him?

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It depends on his needs. I worked from home when DD was 18 months. When she was a little over 2, she was napping less, wanting to do a lot more hands-on activities than I could spare time to do, because my work-from-home was full-time, and I was on a lot of conference calls.

So --- she started preschool at a little over 27 months, and she loved it so much. My working-from-home status allowed me to pick her up early if I felt like it. Also, some days when I knew my work would be slow, I kept her home.
In addition, on those days when - technically - she wasn't too sick to go to school but just felt a little bad (you know, sniffles but no fever, etc), I kept her home and took care of her.

It also depends on the quality of the preschool, activities-wise. I have friends whose preschools simply stick a Barney tape in the tv and there are no activities. Mine is a private catholic school, where they do spanish one day a week, music one day, art one day, P.E. one day, etc. etc.

Does his personality make you think that he needs a little artistic stimulation? If so, look for a good preschool. And a lot are strictly part-time, maybe 3 hours a day or so. If it will help him, developmentally, and it's good quality teaching, I say go for it.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2002 at 2:57PM
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My girlfriend's daughter will be 4 in August. I asked her if she was sending her to pre-school and she said no. She had the same reasons as you. She says that she wants that year with her daughter one on one. She thinks it will do her daughter good rather than harm.
I think the decision is all yours. I think one on one with mom will be great.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2002 at 2:58PM
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He might miss the interaction with other kids. My son just turned 5 and had been in preschool for 1.5 yrs, 2 days a wk/3 hrs a day, until we moved. Although he is enjoying his time at home, going places with me, and even playing with his little sister, he keeps asking when can he go back to school? He wants to make friends and "do projects." He will start K this fall full day, so I am looking for a part time place for him to start in the next couple weeks.

I think you could play this by ear. Enjoy the time with him, go places you've been wanting to take him, continue the prereading skills you've been teaching him. But you're his mom, you know him well, I think you will be able to tell by his behavior if he needs a little something more. Or maybe he'll even tell you he misses parts of his old routine. Then you can find something that meets his needs as you see fit. Maybe that would be a couple days of preschool, or maybe a preschool gym class at your local rec center or Y and story time at the library. There are a lot of opportunities for him to make friends, "do projects" with other kids, and still be with mom. It's fun to be home with them, but it's also a lot of fun to have the opportunity to be there to watch them interact and make friends.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2002 at 3:38PM
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The biggest benefit that he will get from preschool is learning how to act at school. Many PK4 classes focus on getting them ready for kindergarden. I am not talking about academics, but rather how to act in school. When I was little kindergarden was where you learned how to act in school. There were very basic academics, but we really learned how to act in school. That was the entire point of kindergarden at that time. Real academics began in first grade.

Today they are expected to know how to behave in school the minute they get there. They are learning to read and write from day one. The kids who did not go to preschool can easily catch up with the academics as long as they are ready to go to school. Kindergarden here is a full day, academic program. No naptime, no baby stuff. They go right to real school. Preschool might make him a little more prepared for the demands of kindergarden.

I also work from home. I do not know what kind of work you do, but my son gets much more stimulation at preschool than he would at home with me working. I would find it very difficult to get work done with my sons at home. You can always try to work at home with him there, but unless you really don't have to get any work done I think you will find it difficult. I tried to save some money last spring break and NOT set up child care for my older kids while I worked at home and it was a disaster. Needless to say for winter break I set up child care for them. Working at home has it's advantages, but I still think you need a few solid hours with no kids in the house if you want to do a good job at work stuff.

If your schedule allows maybe you could do a few days a week of preschool and a few days of home with mommy. I work pt so that's what we do here. Joe loves school but he looks forward to the days he spends with me as well. I think he would be bored home with me all the time and he's only 2. It is especially hard for hime when I have to focus on work and can't pay attention to him so he goes to school while I work.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2002 at 4:13PM
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Thanks for the replies. I'm a CPA, so I will be somewhat busy through 4/15, but not overly busy. My plan is to get up early and get the work stuff done before DS is up. However, I know that it may not work out just the way I want it to.

Another question - I don't want to put him in daycare - MIL babysits, so how are you sure that isn't what you are getting? I mean will a pre-school definitely state it is a "preschool" and be for 4 year olds. Sorry to be so dumb about this, but this is my first go around.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2002 at 4:39PM
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I'm going through exactly the same thing right now. If look in your phone book under childcare, you'll probably see lots of ads for preschool and day care. Preschool, I believe, is for older kids (2 1/2 to 5?) and ought to offer a lot more stimulation than any sort of 'babysitting'. Some preschools offer daycare as well, but separate the kids into different classrooms, so your son wouldn't be stuck with the 'babies'. there should be age appropriate toys, outside recess time, snack time, art time...

Right now we're wading through, and finding that all the 'good' (read:expensive, montessori-type schools) all have a huge wait list,(possible entrance in september for my 3 yr old) and are nearly as expensive as private school. yikes. but, my son is in an at home day care right now with 4 other boys all just under 2 yrs old. As his mom, I think he'd continue to be *happy* there, but I also think he needs more peer interaction and stimulation. I want him to be excited about learning, and I think the first step is preschool, where things are still fun, but they're learning how to behave with others.

You'll have to go tour the facility yourself to see what you think. go with a list of questions, and take your son if they'll allow it. Try to visit when school is in session and the kids are doing their normal routine. See how the teachers interact.

I worked in a kindergarten class last year, and I do agree- kids that have been to preschool have a definite advantage.

feel free to email me- I totally relate to where you are right now. It's daunting! I'm hoping it'll be over soon! :)

    Bookmark   January 4, 2002 at 5:20PM
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Where I live many preschools are used as daycares because parents want a more stimulating environment for their kids.

Make a visit during school hours. Make an additional visit, unannounced to check it out again. Look carefully at what you see. Are the classrooms decorated with the children's art work? What are the kids doing? Are they happy? Do they have smiles on their faces? Do the activities seem age appropriate?

Ask to see a classroom similar to the one your son will be in. Ask to see the bathrooms. Ask to see the gym and the special areas. Try to arrange a visit for when your child's age group is in the gym so you can see what they do.

Ask about the credentials of the staff. The head teachers should have some sort of formal training in early childhood development. Some states have non-degree certifications (we do in FL). The people in charge of the school should have some background in early childhood eduation.

Ask about tuition. It is not always true that the most expensive places are the best, but there does seem to be a general correlation between cost and the quality of education in preschools. That said, my child does not atttend the MOST expensive preschool in the area and I am happy with the school. The higher cost preschools usually have better staff ratios and offer more programs like gym and music and media centers.

A well run professtional daycare/preschool will have an educational philosphy. Ask about it. Let them tell you what the school's philosophy is. You can think about the substance later but I would shy away from anyplace that cannot tell you what their philopsphy is. They cannot possilby be giving a good education if they haven't thought about what a good education means.

When you go look at the school ask about the curriculum. A good preschool will have a curriculum for ALL AGES served by the school. Needless to say that last year when I had a 1 year old and a 4 year old the curriculum was very different at each age group. Be wary of any place that does not have a set curriculum.

Different states have different required child/teacher ratio. A good preschool usually has a ratio that is more favorable than the minimum state requirements. My son currently has 18 kids and 3 teachers in his 2 year old class. Last year my 4 year old had 25 kids and 3 teachers and my 1 year old had 10 kids and 2 teachers. In kindergarden there are 25 kids and 2 adults in the classroom.

Good luck.


    Bookmark   January 4, 2002 at 5:47PM
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Just like you would do in your professional career, the best way to find good resources, from schools to sports to consignment shops, is to NETWORK with your new "coworkers," other at home moms.

THe best way to find out is to ask other moms in your area. Many churches have good preschool programs if that agrees with you. It's not daycare, but you get a little Sunday school thrown in there if it matters to you. Most of the parents I've met send their kids to some church affiliated preschool, they are simply the most abundant next to daycares. They are also usually pretty reasonable $$wise.

There is a university in our town with an early childhood development program which runs a preschool. I'm shooting for that for DS, if they have a spot. So if there is a college in your area, you might ask about that.

Another way to know you are getting preschool not daycare is to find a private elementary school that offers preK. That is what I had DS enrolled in in FL. Though I had no intentions of sending him to the private elementary school, too expensive, but a couple days of preschool was affordable. The down side to that source is that many of them do everyday, full day preschool -way more than I wanted for DS. You just have to ask or call around.

Look for a program that stresses Kindergarten readiness in their curriculum. Still, word of mouth is the best way to find out. Make an effort to meet other moms through a moms group, organized programs for mom/kids at rec center or such, or just go to a McD's with a playland at lunch time, and start asking other moms where their kids go to preschool and what they think of it. That is how I found the preschool I loved for DS#1 and #2 in FL. I have been networking here :o) Pick up a copy of a local free parenting magazine, in grocery stores or anyplace parents and children frequent. A lot of schools advertise in those.

One other thing you should know. Real "preschools" will limit their enrollment. With the word of mouth thing working so well, a lot of them fill up quickly. If you plan to send him to a preschool this fall, you will probably have to register him in the next few weeks. I cant' speak for everywhere, but the area I just left February was the registration month for almost every preschool around there. Some would have signs up a couple weeks before to advertise fall registration times. Some would fill up quickly without advertising, so you have to do your homework.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2002 at 5:49PM
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I say if you don't want to- DON'T. My mom has been a preschool/kindergarten teacher and worked in daycares for the last 25 years. Her opinion is that pre-school is for *parents*, not kids. When parents work, they feel better thinking their kids are in preschool rather than daycare. And there's a heck of a lot of pressure to put kids in pre-school these days.
My mom says that a good preschool is NOT academic- in other words, it doesn't matter how many letters or numbers the kids know. What those programs are for is to introduce kids to the institutional aspect of school, i.e.- standing in line, waiting your turn, etc. Almost ALL kids, by the time they are truly ready for school, will adapt quite readily to it, without ANY preschool preparation.
According to a lady who has taught these kids for years, it is FALSE that going to preschool helps kids when they get into kindergarten and first grade. The social skills aspect of it is also FALSE. Normal children will develop social skills because they are *ready*, not because of exposure to other kids.
One other point- if you are worried about your son not getting time to play with other kids- just go to the playground a few times a week. That's free, it fits in almost any schedule, and it's something you can do together.
It is my opinion that what kids want MOST in life is their parent's love and attention. He will be happy and fine to skip preschool. Go with your heart. He will grow up so fast and you'll be glad you spent the time with him.

    Bookmark   January 4, 2002 at 11:30PM
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Well, then I'm with you, and nope my 4 year old is not going to preschool...I can't afford it! He will start kindergarten in the fall. Your guy is farther ahead in the "learning" department then mine too.
My oldest went to preschool, but I was working, and figured if he was gonna be away from me, might as well be in a place that he's "learning"...

I have no problems not sending my 4 year old to preschool..He will be just fine next year when he starts kindergarten...It will be a small adjustment..but we all have to start adjusting some time.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2002 at 10:01PM
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Thanks for all the responses. Unless I change my mind, I won't be sending him to preschool. I see the advantages of it, and if I had been home with him since birth, I would consider it. Our local library has activities for children (story time, puppet shows etc.) and I guess we'll do a lot of that. I'll try to find more group activities for us to do, but I definitely want something that I can be at with him.


    Bookmark   January 10, 2002 at 4:11PM
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Enjoy your year at home with him. You'll never regret it :-) He already knows what he needs to know to enter kindergarten.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2002 at 10:04AM
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I think it's more important for them to be with you than in a class room. There aren't many years we can spend with them. You can teach them everything preschool does. I haven't and will not send mine to preschool. The thought of a regular school breaks my heart!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2002 at 8:19PM
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im not planning on sending my kids to preschool either. i take my 2.5yo dd to a moms and tots once a week and next year we are planning on putting her into skating, which we figure she will have to learn to listen to a coach (another adult) we would rather spend the money on something that she will have fun at becuase they are going to spend so much of there time in school once they start. we do at home stuff with her as well, she knows her colors and some shapes now and we are working on her numbers. there is also always loads of great programs out there that you can participate in with them usually through a library or community centre.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2002 at 3:28PM
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Kim, you will never have this opportunity again--to be with your pre-school child and just hang out with him. Don't miss it!! As for preschool, it doesn't sound like your guy needs it. And even if he did, what's to stop you from teaching him to socialize and learn? There are plenty of drop-in groups and parks and activities, not to mention just playing with kids in the neighbourhood. With four boys, only one of mine went to preschool. He enjoyed it but no more than my others did staying at home. And now that he's in school, he is really not much further ahead than his peers. Two of my children who didn't go appear gifted--one has been confirmed as such. So if you don't want to send him, DON'T. Enjoy this short time with him. You'll never get the chance again, and I promise you will NOT regret it.

    Bookmark   January 13, 2002 at 11:36PM
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Don't send him! Someone told me I would be "crippling' my son if I didn't send him to what was then called nursery school. I didn't, and I didn't send any of the other 4 either. And we didn't do formalized play groups...they just managed to play together. We went to story hour at the library, and kid concerts and other events...like parades, and fairs. The oldest one, who the neighbor warned me about...got 1580 on his SAT's and an ROTC full scholarship to a major well, known University. Child two also went there, was 5th in her HS class (did I mention that the oldest was Valedictorian - and got 5's on all of his AP exams?) and so it continued down the line. They had friends, did some sports, some musicals...and have good jobs. Two are married so far. In other words, without being in an artificial social situation, they are well adjusted and literate individuals whom I would be proud to call friends were they not my children.

Keep him home. love him and let him learn to occupy himself, complete tasks, and all those other "school" tasks at home. V

    Bookmark   January 14, 2002 at 9:15PM
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Kim, you answered your own question the moment you stated: "I don't want to send him to preschool!!."

"Philosophy, Curriculum, How to Act" [these are some of the things which were posted on this thread]...what IS that?!? We're simply discussing a [barely] 4 yr old child.

Whatever happened to playing in the mud, messy finger painting, "acting" silly, and just plain rambunctious.... like normal 4 year olds are supposed to.

I'd like to applaud Eranda and all the posters who followed, for emphasizing the fact that children do adjust, and do well academically when the time comes. There's obviously no reason to rush him into anything simply because you were "advised" to do so.

Absolutely always, follow your heart. I chose to keep my daughter home, and will always cherish the time we spent together, we did all the things young children should be doing with their parents. To avoid turning this into a mini-novel, she's now an outgoing, happy, well adjusted 14 year old who's at the top of her class, and we couldn't be more proud of her.....not even a modicum of 'should've, could've' here.


    Bookmark   January 25, 2002 at 1:38AM
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If you dont want to send him don't, but I think it would benefit him. I am a preschool teacher. My sister didnt send her son and she ended up pulling him out of kindergarten and putting him in preschool for a year. I dont know what the requirements are like for kindergarten in your state, but in Ohio the kindergarten cirriculum is what the first grade cirriculum used to be ten years ago. They even are expected to do simple addition and story problems by the end of the year.
At my preschool 4 year olds go 2 1/2 hours 3 times a week. And it is not true that we are used for daycare. The majority of mom's are SAH. We believe you learn through play. We dont have 30 children like a kindergarten does, so we can start out a child's educational experiences with more individualized attention. Every child I have loves coming to school. I love each one like my own. Just because your child is in preschool doesn't mean you have to be apart from them. I have parents that volunteer and help me in the classroom almost every day. A good preschool will encourage parent participation.
If you would decide to try it. (And what would trying it hurt?) Ask to see a list of objectives (the things the teacher wants the children to learn that year) and a sample copy of a lesson plan. If they don't have these things to show you then find a different school.
Yes, children will adapt to kindergarten. But, as my sister's sons ex-kindergarten teacher told her, they have so many children and so much is expected of them, she doesn't have the time to teach them to stand in line, sit still, listen to a story, ect.
I hope you change your mind. I think you and your son would enjoy it (because it should be an experience for both of you)

    Bookmark   January 25, 2002 at 7:38AM
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My friends 3 year old get to stay home with mom every day. He has no one. I mean no one to play with. When we all get together with her and other friends children that boy is sooooooo whinny. The poor kid does not know how to share or react with other kids! It is to the point no one wants to go around because all he does is cry! I told her to get that boy in daycare. At least one day a week! He need social interaction with people his own size!!!!!!! I think outside care is great. My son turned 3 two weeks ago and he starts preschool in Feb. It is only 2 hours a day 3 days a week but he can't wait to go. He asks everyday if he gets to go to school today!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   January 25, 2002 at 1:34PM
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Then don't send him. He is your child, raise him the way you want to do it. Far too many people raise thier kids the way they are told to and don't follow thier own common sense. There is no replacement for the love of a mother. Your son will benefit greatly from contact with you, especially when it is what you WANT!!! You are a good mom.

    Bookmark   January 25, 2002 at 3:30PM
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I see nothing wrong with the child staying at home-It might be a great opportunity for you to have some quality time as you now have a chance to be with him more.
I wonder if you have him in any programs at a church, wednesday night , sunday etc. where he is in a class of some kind and around other children his age. This would be helpful.

There is no reason at all that you couldn't have some friends over for him to play with too occasionally to get the interatction needed. You youself can do alot to get him prepared for Kindergarten. Reading stories to him. Buying him books about things in nature, with large pictures, learning his shapes, colors, letter recognition, number recognition- reading stories about sharing, taking your turn-and other helpful topics would be good. Having him develop fine motor skills by doing puzzles, playing with wooden blocks, playdough, legos. Also make sure he gets to do things like swinging and running outdoors when possible to build up his leg muscles. Also find large picture, maybe one to a page or several for him to color to work those muscles in his fingers.
There are websites out there too that can be helpful, so take advantage of them!! Also preschool books even at WalMart's. Have fun with him this year, as you have the time off to be with him.
Any little group for children his age he could be involved in would be good. Providing the people over it are good.
Your local "Y" might offer Preschool Gymnastic or something like this.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2002 at 12:14AM
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My son is 4 years old.He also has social skills and is outgoing.My aunt is the director of a preschool in our area.I also have a daughter who is age 10 and I absolutely refused to send her.After much nagging from both sides of the family, I finally relented and enrolled my son 6 months ago.I expected tears(from both of us).However, he absolutely love it,he even wants to go if hes not feeling well lol.This also gives me time to myself.It is working out great for us.I understand your reluctance and the solution is in your heart.Good luck and God bless!

    Bookmark   February 7, 2002 at 5:24PM
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I have now been home for a week! We love it! I work early in the morning before he gets up and he is so happy that I'm here with him.

Oh yeah, he has now learned how to open Word on the computer all by himself, change the font size and color, and type his whole name. He even logged me onto the internet the other day!


    Bookmark   February 8, 2002 at 11:44PM
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