It seems like yesterday you were brining them home from the hospital and adjusting to life with a newborn. You blinked, arrived at age three, and are now thinking about preschool?
The decision is not easy
Some parents have their child’s preschool picked out before they are born. That was not us, but we had no doubts about when our firstborn would start preschool. The norm where lived at the time was to start at three and attend two days a week the first year and that’s exactly what he did.
We debated with the second child and went back and forth. In the end we decided to send him to preschool at age three. We felt he needed socialization away from his brother. He was driving his brother crazy imitating everything his brother did.
After much consideration, we have decided to wait and not send our three year old daughter to preschool this year.
Why we waited a year for preschool
1. It is not the norm where we live.
It is the not the norm for kids who are three to attend preschool where we live. Our elementary school offers half day preschool five days a week for all students who are four by the start of school. Almost all kids in our area start preschool at age four.
2. Our daughter wants to do other activities.
Our daughter has being doing gymnastics/tumbling since she was 15 months old and loves it. In addition to the gymnastic skills she has gained social and transition skills from her class. Students are required to sit quietly on their mat, wait their turn, and walk in a line behind the teacher. Our daughter also wants to try dance.
3. I know how quickly the years fly by.
I remember being excited when our oldest reached the preschool milestone. I couldn’t wait for him to attend preschool and then start kindergarten and check off the milestones. He is now going into 3rd grade. I love every new age and stage of his life, but he is growing up quickly and I miss him being young.
4. She is my last child at home.
This reason like the last one is selfish on my part. Kids grow up so quickly, our two sons have. This is the last year I will have a child home full time and I want to cherish and hold onto this time for as long as I can.
5. She has two older brothers.
Our daughter has learned so much from her older brothers. Our middle son especially loves to do “school related” activities and she always participates. I volunteered in her brother’s preschool class last year and once a week she got to experience what it was like to be in preschool.
6. She is motivated to learn.
Our daughter loves doing worksheets and arts and craft projects. She gets excited when she learns something new or masters a skill. Therefore, I will be able to work with her at home.
7. She needs to be a child.
Often so many children today have very structured days filled with so many activities that they have no time to play and be a kid. There is no time built into their schedules for free play and imagination. With our daughter wanting to do the other activities (gymnastics and dance), we feel adding preschool would be too much.
8. We have resources.
We do a lot of arts and crafts at our house and have almost every art and craft item you could want or need. We have several preschool workbooks. We have Internet service and know how to access online resources and programs to aid in her learning. Our kids receive an annual membership to the zoo as a gift each year and we visit often. Our library offers a free storytime.
I am not writing this to say that preschool is not important. I think it is more necessary now then it has ever been. Children are required to know so much by the time they start kindergarten.
This was not an easy decision for us. We took into consideration each of these points before arriving at our decision. If you are feeling torn about whether you should send your child to preschool, I hope you will find our story helpful.
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