Getting all Judgy about Preschool

A new school year already – today is Day 3.  I know it’s still August – that’s just how they do things here in Small Town America.  Still haven’t figured out the why yet, since it makes more sense to start the Tuesday after Labor Day since Labor Day Weekend is the wrap-up to summer.  At least in my mind it is.

So far so good – a nice from the last two years where it was a major feat to get Princess Nagger out of bed to get her fed and ready for the bus.  She loves her teacher and has a few friends in class this year that she had gotten close to in and First Grade, but they ended up in other classes the subsequent years.

While I understand the school’s thought process to shuffle the kids in different classrooms each year to allow them expanded socialization opportunities, there is still something to be said for consistency and .

This will be her final year at that school, since the Elementary School is K-4.  Next year she would be moving to the Middle School where they only have 5th and 6th grade.  But that’s only if our ducks don’t line up in a row and if we haven’t moved back to the Seattle area by then.  Little Dude has a too, and has to wait until next year to start Kindergarten, so moving before that happens makes more sense.

We never did send Princess Nagger to – which certainly hasn’t stifled her because she’s quite the and has a gaggle of friends.  And, since the hubby and I had to revamp our budget since we were no longer going to be a double-income household, paying for Preschool just didn’t fit in.  Not to mention it’s only offered 2 or 3 days a week, and only 2-1/2 hours each of those days at that.

We’d either have the additional cost of daycare (since my family is 3000 miles away, so no free for me) and figure out how to leave work to do the exchange – or work part-time to hopefully coincide with the odd hours – which was an impossibility. I’d pretty much be working to pay for Preschool and gas to and from work and all the extra shuttling.  And be stressed out and overworked.  Not a good look for me.

When asked if we were going to send Princess Nagger to Preschool – and when she started Kindergarten, asked what Preschool she went to – we got weird looks from people who lectured about the benefits of Preschool for a child when we said we didn’t send her to any.  Without them actually saying so outright, we were treated as if we were bad parents for not sending our child to Preschool.

Really?  So me choosing to teach my own daughter whatever she’d learn in Preschool wasn’t good enough?

I beg to differ.

She has a late birthday, so she had to wait until the following year to start, making her (at that time) the ‘oldest’ kid in her class since she was the first to turn 6 a couple of months into the start of the school year.  During the time leading up to when she’d start Kindergarten, I had no idea what she should know before starting, so I taught her everything. 

So much so, that the things she was supposed to learn in Kindergarten she already knew.  The kid could count to 300 forwards and backwards, could write her name mostly clear in all caps, could already read basic reading books, knew all her colors, numbers, the alphabet – and she had no trouble assimilating into the class on a socialization scale.

She even got off the bus at a wrong stop a few days into her new school adventure, simply because some kids on the bus invited her over to play.  She’s a literal girl, so she thought they meant right then, and followed them off the bus.  The bus driver had to turn around and go back to get her after arriving at our bus stop with no Princess Nagger.

I think my heart stopped beating for a few minutes that day.

Not sending her to Preschool has obviously not been detrimental to her, because she easily could skip into the next grade level if that was something they did in this school district like they did when I was in school.  I have a ‘late birthday’, too – which meant I had to wait until the following fall after turning 5 to start Kindergarten, but only went for 2 weeks before they moved me up into First Grade.  That’s another story for another day since this one is turning out longer than anticipated.

Sure, she’s in the Gifted Program, but that can only keep her from boredom on a limited capacity.  She’s reading at 8th grade level, spelling at 7th grade level, and doing math at 6th grade level.  She’s currently in 4th Grade.  These are all the reasons she did not like school the last two years – because she was bored.  Luckily at the end of the school year last year, the Gifted Teacher assured us they’ll be making sure there is no boredom this year, so hopefully the enthusiasm she’s showing just from these first few days of school will continue on until next spring.

Meanwhile, now that Little Dude is on the scene, we’re right back to getting lectures about the benefits of Preschool for him – and disdain for the fact that we are not sending him to Preschool.  I can just do a repeat performance of four or five years ago.  Though some days I wish we had enrolled him, because he is the polar opposite of Princess Nagger in the Klingon mode – and a lot more hyperactive.

Part of the problem (as was the case for Princess Nagger, as well) in addition to the ridiculous monthly cost, any viable Preschool is at minimum a half-hour drive to get there – so if it’s two or three days a week for only a couple of hours, it would put a big crimp in my schedule to shuttle him back and forth.  You know, because it’s all about me.

His socialization skills aren’t suffering – in fact, we have to constantly remind him not to talk to strangers, because he says “Hi” to everybody that passes by when we’re out shopping.  And seems hurt when they don’t say “Hi” back.  He’s a smart little guy, but he does have trouble following directions – something he could learn at Preschool, but something I could also teach him.  As long as I can manage to hang on to my sanity, that is. 

For now, we’ll brush off the cynicism and judgmental attitudes and do what we do best – raise our kids the best way we know how, and hope and pray that they’ll eventually grow into amazing adults and be contributing members of society.  Without judgment or cynicism towards others.

Which brings me to this week’s question:

Did you send your kids to Preschool?  If they’re not school age yet, will you be sending them to Preschool?

Have a great weekend.

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Happy !

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From Kailani at An Island Life:
In Hawaii, Aloha Friday is the day that we take it easy and look forward to the weekend. So on Fridays let’s take it easy on posting, too. Ask a simple question…nothing that requires a lengthy response. It’s a great way to make new blogging friends!

 

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60 thoughts on “Getting all Judgy about Preschool

  1. Hi there, found you on Friday Friend and Follow. I’m now following you on Google+. It would be great if you’d follow me back. https://www.facebook.com/#!/intheshadowsoflife
    If you stop by my blog you’ll see we homeschool, so we did not do pre-school. I did with my oldest, he’s now almost 17, but it didn’t really work for us. We’ve homeschooled ever since. Enjoy!

    • Thanks for following me, Anastasia! I’m already following you… 😉 My sister homeschooled both her boys until they reached their senior year in high school – I thought about doing that, but I’m not sure I have the patience to last all those years! LOL!

  2. I not only didn’t send my kids to preschool, I didn’t send Oldest Son to kindergarten (just discussion of school gave him horrible anxiety attacks). Stick to your guns – you’re a GREAT Mama!

  3. I did send little m an to pre school only because he really begged to go and was getting bored at home he needed the extra stimulation that came from school though his teacher said he was to advance for it he had a blast. I got lucky in Little man is gifted and by the time he started pre school he could write his name, count to 20 and almost say his ABC truth be told somedays he scares me knowing he is way smarter then me.

  4. My first child went to Pre-K as a 4 year old. But, my other three kids did not. They started school as kindergartners at age 5.

  5. We did send all the kids to preschool, but more for the social interaction than anything they were going to learn. It’s not for everyone and it’s your own choice. Believe me, I didn’t love the whole preschool experience. There’s so much competition between parents. Don’t lose sleep. You’re a great mom!

  6. My oldest was in daycare which really ran more like a nursery school/preschool for kids until they went to kindergarten. My youngest was home with me all the time. I knew that he needed to go to preschool at least for a little while. We saved and got scholarships so he could go three days a week when he was three and five days a week when he was four. Our district has full day PreK, but an incident with my oldest meant switching schools, so we did not have a spot secured in the new school. Lots of people home school for PreK and beyond. There are groups and it can work well. Good luck!

    • I’ve thought about homeschooling, especially since my sister successfully did that with her two boys until they were seniors in high school (after some very bad experiences for them at schools – both public and private). She always made it look like so much fun – but while I’m a very patient person, I don’t think I’d have the patience to do that for that many years. 🙂

  7. We did send both our girls to preschool but honestly I don’t know that it makes a huge difference one way or the other as long as your kids are learning. And sounds like you know what to do, so I wouldn’t feel the need if I were you. Other parents can be so judgmental, but it is your kid and it is your choice. You know your kid best (not them). My older one we had in preschool out in CA, and then moved back East when she went into first grade. So for her it didn’t make any difference since the biggest advantage seemed to be that the kids all knew each other and already had friends. My younger one did go to the local preschool, but then her closest friends went to other schools. So again there was no advantage. Honestly, do what works for your family and ignore the rest.

    • Thank you, Cynthia! I agree – I really don’t think it makes a huge difference aside from starting kindergarten with an entourage of friends already. Hasn’t stopped Princess Nagger from acquiring an entourage since Kindergarten! 😉

  8. My oldest Ryan did not go to preschool. But Allison will be starting preschool on Tuesday. She has been wanting to go to school since she was 2. She is beyond excited about going. But I searched hard for a preschool for her, they was all so expensive. We are a 1 income family and there is no way we could do $100 a week for 2 hours a day. I finally found one that is way cheaper, took a tour, talked to staff and we loved it.

  9. We sent Turbo part time for preschool, but it was at a daycare and the rest of the kids were there all day, all week long. Turbo wasn’t and he never really fit in with them. We will send Bruiser next year but probably to a dedicated preschool so he can get the routines for doing what teacher says when she says to do it. With luck we might be able to tap into the public preschool the school district offers.

    • That’s the trouble I had – finding an actual dedicated pre-school vs. just a daycare. Didn’t make sense spending money on a day care when I stayed home so we wouldn’t have to put our kids in daycare. 🙂 Now if there were decent (and affordable) pre-schools in our area, I totally would have relished the extra alone time during the day and let someone else get them ready for Kindergarten. 😉

  10. I do send Alex to Preschool BUT… my neighbor is the director at the school, otherwise I probably would not have sent her. It comes out to $25 a week for 2 days 9:30 – 2. It gives me time to run errands and do housework (eh…sometimes). My family also lives far away and Micheal’s family works, so time for them to spend with her is at night or on the weekends. I think that not sending them to preschool is okay and obviously didn’t hinder nagger so I say rock with the little dude and to he…ck with the judgy people!!

  11. well it’s there loss for not saying “hi” back. He’s learning to listen to his “spidey sense” He’ll learn quicker who is the person to avoid by picking up these cues along the way. It’s a great skill to have.
    As for Preschool 3/3 didn’t here. They aren’t as social as the girls their age but it’s coming along. Our hugest obstacle is other kids parents. 😛

  12. Hi Stacy, I am new to your blog. I found you through Freaky Friday and I like your blog 🙂

    I sent my kids to preschool, but it is a BIG difference here. We have free preschool that the school district runs in the same school as Kindergarten. Our town is the only one I know of that has it! The district encouraged it and the price was right. If I had to pay a lot of money for it, I probably would not have. It is expensive and makes no sense if you are only working to pay for preschool!! Our kids went to preschool all day, 5 days a week and we have all day kindergarten so all the kids went to school and came home on a school bus. It helped here, but we would have worked with our girls if they were not attending.

    Talking about breaking kids up in classrooms, our town is a bit more confusing. We have 2 schools in town for 1st and 2nd, 2 schools for 3-5 and then on to middle school. So they break the kids up across different schools from K-1st and then again going from 2nd to 3rd. They say that sending them to the different schools instead of keeping all the same kids in the same schools all the way to middle school is so they meet different kids. Do you have any idea what it is like when your children are moving up to the next school and you have to wait until a week before school starts just to see which of the 2 schools they will attend?? Yeah and then your child is bugging you hoping they will be in a certain school all summer and you don’t know until just before school starts lol.

    Happy Friday!

    • How do you keep all the schools straight? LOL! We have 3 different elementary schools in the area, but luckily Princess Nagger has been ‘assigned’ to the same school each year. And how cool that your school district not only offered free preschool, but the convenience of a bus to and from, too? If they had that here, it would have been a no-brainer – I would have sent both to preschool happily! 😉

      Thanks so much for stopping by my blog – I’m on my way over to yours! 🙂

  13. I didn’t send my kids to preschool. I have no intention of doing this.

    I taught my kids everything and really they could go straight to 2nd grade right then instead of Kindergarten. It sickens me that my kids are not being challenged and have to be lumped in with the other kids who can’t even write!

    Stick to your guns honey, doesn’t matter who look or say what!

    You are a fantastic mom!

    Aloha

  14. I don’ have any of my own, but my sister has sent all of hers to Nursery. As long as what you’re doing works for you and your family it’s no one elses business 🙂

  15. Isn’t it AMAZING how much of an expert everyone else is on your children?! My daughter does go to school, full time daycare, and I work full time. Every choice has it ups and downs.

    • It is amazing how that works, isn’t it? I agree – every choice definitely has its ups and downs. Some days I wish I could ‘escape’ to a day job and have the opportunity to have adult conversations. And others I’m very grateful to be able to stay home. 🙂

  16. We did the preschool thing twice. Theree weren’t really any kids to play with in our neighborhood, I was the first of my friends to have any children, nobody in our family had little ones either. Plus I did the stay at home thing, so I really thought they needed somebody else to look at for a few hurs a week. 😉 I think there were three choices within three miles of us, so that was easy too.

  17. Both of my kids went to Montessori school through kindergarten. They loved it. I sent my son to a two morning a week pre-school before he started Montessori because he was begging to go to school and I wanted alone time with my daughter. I think it worked out great for us. I also volunteered a lot to listen to readers etc.
    It’s really different for everyone. It depends on the kid too.

    Have a great weekend!

  18. My son is 23, starting his last year of law school, my daughter is 20,starting her junior year of college. Both,went to pre-school. Do I think it made a huge difference? Heck, I have no idea? They both enjoyed school but in the end we parented our children how we wanted to and listened to a lot of advice. We listened to experts, our parents,siblings and friends and then made a decision. We learned from those who “Been there done that”. Sometimes, it came across as judgmental and frustrating but we knew it was meant as loving concern, for the most part,especially with our son, he was a pistol and I am glad I had the support. Sometimes, it takes a village and I certainly didn’t have all the answers, I am so thankful to my loving family and friends for helping me through some long parenting days 🙂
    Sounds,like you are doing an awesome job and all is going smoothly,keep it up and trust your gut!!!

  19. We sent Leo to a daycare instead of preschool. He started at 8 weeks old and stayed until Kindergarten. The preschools in our area are the same where it’s a few hours a day a few days a week. That was not do-able with a family of 2-working parents. But since him starting Kindergarten he seems to be doing just fine. He’s able to read and has great social skills. So I’m not too concerned!

  20. I have to say that it makes no sense to me either that they can’t wait until after labor day like it always use to be when I was growing up!
    Labor day was always the end of summer.

  21. Do what is best for you and your family and ignore the naysayers. Can you start a play group for other mothers in your area?

    • Thanks, Michele! I’d love to start a play group – unfortunately we don’t live in a suburban area, and the people near here have kids that have already graduated high school. We’re the only ones with young children (aside from the kids that go to the elementary school, and they;re the ones whose parents judge us for not having had our kids in preschool…a vicious cycle! LOL!) I’m hoping it’ll be a different case when we move back to Washington State… 🙂

  22. Both my niece and nephew were sent to preschool at an early age. In that case, it actually helped them in developing their skills. If I’m not mistaken, the adjustment too is crucial for kids so it is important to send them to school where they can start playing while learning.

  23. We had to send Sprite to preschool, one because she was already in daycare, so it just worked that way, and two because VPK is free in Florida so it shaved some money off the tuition. Sprite definitely benefited from it, but I think she would be at the same level even if I was home with her and sent her in with no preschool experience.

    • If there were a free option here – or even an affordable one where I wouldn’t be working just to pay for preschool, I’d be all over it. Sprite is one lucky girl! Especially having two ultra cool genius parents. 😉 I have no doubt she’d be at the same level (or more) if you had sent her to Kindergarten with no preschool experience – I suspect you probably would have ‘over-taught’ her like I did with Princess Nagger…heh!

  24. My kids ( my youngest is 31) did co-op preschool where I along with some close friends took turns teaching twice a week at our own homes.
    My grandkids have gone to “real” pre-schools. When I was working in kindergarten we noticed within a few months of the first day of school, the pre-school kids and those that did not attend were mostly on the same level.
    Personally, I’m a firm believer that the best and most valuable education children receive is in their own home. 😉