image from earlyedcoverage.org
What I’m about to say is very politically incorrect.
In our area, preschool programs cost about $100 a month. Is it a necessary expense in order to have a well-educated, properly socialized child? Or can your hard-earned money be better spent on other things while your child still grows into his or her perfectly-rounded, well-adjusted, very-socialized, brilliant self? I would argue the latter.
You can send a child as young as two to preschool five days a week, and you’ll be asked to attend parent-teacher conferences, where the teacher will probably point out areas needing improvement in your child’s life. What could those areas possibly be at age two or three? Maybe the teacher will say he is not holding a crayon properly and is not sharing toys as well as she would like. And you will go home and cry.
Or you could just remember, your child is two (or three or four), for goodness’ sake! Coloring with crayons and learning to share will come in due time. Let’s keep our perspective. But that’s hard to do when the “educational expert” on your child (the teacher, not you) is pointing out all of your wee little one’s faults and areas needing improvement. Can we just back away from the situation and relax a little? (I’m sure you know all of these areas anyway as the parent, and as a good parent, I’m sure you’re working on all the character training anyway).
You can save your money and teach your child everything he or she will need to know for success in school in the comfort of your own home. Read quality books to your kids every single day. Their vocabulary and comprehension skills will soar. Involve them in your lives; that in itself will educate them.
Now about the big “s” word, socialization—
- Learn to trace shapes and patterns, with their fingers, and later with pencils
You could skip the curriculum and find great books at your library and read, read, read. The Very Hungry Caterpillar helped teach my two and four year old to count (and colors). Blueberries for Sal, Make Way for Ducklings, The Story about Ferdinand, and The Berenstain Bears Big Book of Science and Nature are some of my favorite books for this age.
If you have strong opinions in favor of preschool, that’s great! We can, I hope, agree to disagree. I myself am a preschool graduate and have fond memories of my time at Maple Tree preschool (what I can remember). As a friend reminded me, it is a personal decision.
My purpose in this post is not to bash preschool (although I think I’ve given that impression); my goal is to help other parents who feel like they have to send their kids to preschool because everybody else does it, and how will their darling children be “socialized” if they don’t, but they can’t really afford the whole preschool expense, so what do they do? It is to those parents I write this post. It is my hope that what I’ve shared may help you consider it perhaps not a necessary expense after all.
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