6/12/07

To Go Or Not To Go....To Pre-School

Last weekend, Grace went to a birthday party for one of her day care friends. While the kids played after cake and ice cream, the moms sat around the table and chatted. For whatever reason lately, we have gotten together with the kids after day care ends....cookout, birthdays. Its really nice actually. I see these women every morning and evening but we rarely actually talk beyond the "good morning" as we pass in the driveway.

Bad news this weekend though....one of Grace's favorite day care buddies is not returning to 'Ghani's (the day care woman) house. She is off to pre-school. This little girl (we will call her M) and Grace have been together at Afghani's since they were infants; when Grace started all day care, she was 3 months old and M was 6 months old. They have essentially grown up together and now M will not be there to play with everyday. It makes me sad. She really is a sweet little girl and Grace adores her.

So of course, with the mention that M is leaving day care for a structured all day pre-school and knowing the other 3/4 year old (we will call her S) that Grace adores, is in a 3 day a week pre-school program, now I am confused on what to do with Grace.

Do I send Grace to pre-school or leave well enough alone?

She is getting enough of the social skills she needs at day care. And she is getting a bit of instruction as well....knows her ABCs, can count to 10 in spanish and 20 in english, and knows how to share, etc, etc, etc. So what benefit would pre-school be? Well, the structure of a school day. Grace is very set in her ways and is used to her little world revolving around her. Even at day care. Sure there are other kids there and Afghani is so good at handling all of them together. But for the most part, if she wants to color and the other kids are reading, she can go to the table and color. At pre-school, her day would be more structured and she would have to follow the teacher's schedule and instruction.

But she is so happy at Afghani's. Do I disturb that peace? I know that either decision is a good one but what is the right one?!

I cant believe we are at the point we have to think about school!!! It seems like just yesterday I was holding my newborn baby girl. Where does the time go!?

8 comments:

Bri said...

It is a hard thing to contemplate. Ken heard about this article on NPR the other day,

http://www.ericdigests.org/1994/lasting.htm

Basically it says that kids enrolled in preschool do better over the long term than their non-preschool counterparts. BUT - I think they only studied kids from extreme poverty situations so maybe the lack of parental involvement would be key there too. Who knows? I know we'll be sending Ash to a pre-pre-K in January for her to get used to being around other kids and then in pre-K in July 2008.

Misty said...

Can you try her in pre-school a day or two a week and the other place the rest of the time? Smooth transitions are more comfortable anyway...

So-Called Supermom said...

My issue is this: Is Grace getting the stimulation at day care? Most of those studies are based on kids at home vs kids at pre-school. Is Grace getting the stuff she needs?

Bri said...

Hmm... I don't know. I know beyond stimulation, teaching Ash to work within rules and guidelines (other than those established by mom & dad) like a big kid school environment was high on our list of things to have her walk away with. It really is a judgement call about how G is growing at daycare. Maybe talk to the moms that have their kids in preschool. See what they say is the benefit.

TeamWinks said...

That sounds like a tough debate. I was sent to a full day preschool when I was a little girl, and my mother said it helped me learn structure, socialization with a large group, and above all learning to follow new rules.

Good luck with the decision!

Karen said...

I'm working on a post to just this issue - that I think we parents take these kinds of decisions too seriously. In 20 years it probably won't matter one way or the other. You can find statistics to argue for either side, but ultimately, I think you go with what your gut is telling you is best for your child. We have been at the same preschool for 5 years and are making a change - different kids need different things & that's what my gut is telling me to do (you can ask me how it's going in mid-September :)

a happier girl said...

That's a tough decision. Our three year old had the same thing happen to her best daycare buddy recently and we're contemplating switching to a preschool too. Maybe you could tour a few preschools. Might help you decide one way or the other. And you could see how your daughter reacts to it too. Her reaction might help you decide too.

azure said...

Just found your blog, thought I would make a comment. I have 4 kids, ages 17-25, not kids any more at all really. I would say, don't sweat it, make the decision which works better with your family situation, makes life easier for you. I don't think it makes any difference in the long run. If it's a stable situation with a good provider, it's golden. She'll be in school soon enough. You never know what will 'make a difference' and you can go nuts trying to figure it out