Thursday, August 09, 2007

Why PreSchool Now?

*Updated because I forgot to add the juicy stuff.

We'd planned to hold off taking Q to preschool until he was at least 3, because it seems a bit early to start on the school track. However, as you know, he started a program this week, for "mid-twos." Here's our thinking.

It's a chance for him to play freely with other children. He's fond of his music and gym class, but those are more structured and don't provide opportunities for him enjoy kiddie company, as well as learn how to negotiate the sharing of toys and such.

Focused one-on-one time is a great benefit of having a nanny, but he doesn’t yet have those social skills that daycare kids get early. I’ve read some moderately hysterical articles (if that’s possible) about how kids will never catch up if they don’t practice those interactions early, but I don’t buy it. It would imply that the Stay At Home Mom, gold standard of momhood, is neglectful, since one would assume that her toddlers are mostly with her instead of with a passel of peers. A balance of group time and solo time seems more reasonable to me.

A number of families from our playgroup have also selected this school, so it's also a lovely time to catch up with them. At only two and a half hours, twice per week, this seems like a gentle way for Q to taste school and friends. We're hoping it works out well.

*Updated: Ok, I was blogging when I was too tired to remember the goofy part of the story. Another reason we started preschool now? We learned that it's hard to get into a good preschool here at age 3. Because the classes are filled with graduating 2's. No kidding. Is it like that in your neighborhood? The academic grind begins now!

I also cut a phrase about the ghetto snack bag that we brought because I didn't want to offend anyone, but hey, we found something nicer for the little dude to bring to school on Monday, so I'll leave that be.


Christina said...

The good preschools are tough to get into around here for the same reason. They all have programs for 2's, so the two year olds get preference for the 3's classroom.

I think it's good time for them to interact with kids their own age.

Lara said...

hey, my preschool's good and we take 3's. but we also don't separate them into different age classrooms - our kids are all together, but we do instruction in learning tasks one-on-one. it's actually really cool seeing the kids interacting with other ages, because the older kids get a chance to be teachers and leaders to the little ones, and the younger kids are always learning from the older ones. :)

kittenpie said...

Although our neighb is rife with nannies, it can be hard to get into preschool, and there is sometimes even a slight wait in the moving up into the next group, especially because there seems to be a big bubble or two of kids who can't all move at once, delaying the others.

ewe are here said...

Ahhh, the politics of getting into preschool. It can be tough over here, too. MF loves his nursery program -- he goes 3 afternoons a week -- and I really want to keep him in this one when he turns 3 next spring, although if we move, it may not be super feasible.

I think it does provide him with certain types of socialization skills that I can't provide at home. Plus a little independence is a good thing.

Sandra said...

The preschool track made my head spin. Q is so cute!

Hey -I haven't forgotten about your china town treats ... I just got back from vacation and my friend at work who I will take with me is now on vacation so in about 2 weeks I'll go shopping for them, K?

Alex Elliot said...

My older son started preschool at exactly 3 for all those reasons. Because he just missed the cut-off (his birthday is Sept 2 and the cut-off is Sept 1) he'll have 3 years of preschool. A lot of people asked why we didn't wait until this year. I have to say that it was one of the best decisions we've made for him. The socialization without me has made a huge difference. He loves it and I love that I get to spend alone time with my younger son. It's a win win situation.

Lady M said...

Thanks for all the good thoughts, ladies. Seems like there are some common threads there.

Sandra - you are too sweet for remembering! :)

Mamacita Tina said...

So I'm clueless about the preschools here, but now you've got me thinking about it.

I'm not looking for anything academic for Ian, just socialization and fun.