Monday, July 16, 2007

Preschool . . . to attend or not to attend, that is the question!

Well, a few months ago, I enrolled Maddy1 in a preschool sponsored by my Grandmother's church. She is scheduled to start attending this fall - sometime in September. She'll be 2 years old September 10th. Originally, I enrolled her because my days were extremely tough. For those of you who don't know me, let me explain . . . my husband is a pilot who is gone from our home anywhere from 15 to 19 days out of the month - I have two children under the age of 2 - we have a beach condo rental that I manage (answer email inquiries, phone inquiries, collect deposits & rent, schedule cleanings, inventory items in the unit, bookkeeping, etc) - I attend college online --- life at home is tough. I find it hard to juggle everything all of the time. I guess a lot of that "hard to juggle" attitude is because I want to be the "best" at everything. My husband will attest . . . it's hard to give me constructive criticism without me feeling bad about the job that I'm doing. However, I understand this about myself and I'm working on it.

Anyway -- preschool. Yes, I enrolled her into preschool because I thought it would definitely make things easier at home. This preschool is certified by the State of Florida as far as making sure the children are kindergarten ready. So I thought that she could benefit from learning to play with other kids and learning skills that will help her begin real school. BUT . . . here's the kicker--- I now find myself wanting to cancel her enrollment and keep her at home with me and Baby Lulu. Am I being silly? It's just, she's start to communicate so well. I've finally found my groove with the two girls and we really enjoy playing. It's such a milestone to speak to Maddy1 and see that she completely understands what I'm saying to her. It's the neatest thing. Now, I'm not saying she can hold conversations yet. In fact, my cousins son, who is one month older than Maddy1, is already counting to ten in English and Spanish. I'm lucky if I get "1,2,3!" out of Maddy1. And there's the pressure. The pressure of feeling like maybe someone else might be able to teach her more?! Maybe I'm not doing enough. Should I be sitting with her on the floor making her learn? I don't know -- I don't want to get caught up in that game of whose kid knows more. I'm happy with who she is. I don't need her to speak Spanish. I'm confident that Maddy1 is very sharp. But, she does everything in her own time and in her own way. There's no forcing her into anything. She's independent - has been since day one. That trait will be so great for her as she grows older.

So, tell me this, am I depriving her of anything by not sending her to preschool? Is it ok that she doesn't know how to count to ten?


Anonymous said...

It sure is...okay. Let her be a baby. She'll start learning at her own rate & it will really take off when she's ready! Anxious to see you & the kiddies soon! Love, Pianomum

At A Hen's Pace said...

Listen to your heart on this one! No one else can be more interested in her every utterance than her own mother. No, she will not miss out on anything, and in fact much research would say that she would miss out on the much richer one-on-one language environment she has at home with you if she were IN preschool!

Get Endangered Minds by Jane Healy from your library if you want to see the brain research for the preschool years--it's a fascinating book even just to skim.

Also, in my experience, the preschool schedule drove me batty, always having that daily deadline to get her there by, and pick her up by--I felt like I was always saying hurry, hurry. And they expect you to help out in the classroom, and send in cupcakes for every holiday, and read all the paperwork they send home, etc. I haven't put any of our last four in preschool at all, even tho I've thought they might enjoy it, because It ADDED more stressful extra stuff than it was worth to me!

Since you asked.