Thursday, June 11, 2015

No Pre-School?!? How Dare I?

A "friend" of mine said something to me that really struck a nerve. I am not sure if this was her way of telling me something without actually saying it. She said that there were 5 or 6 kids in her son's kindergarten class that "ruin it for the rest of the kids". She went on to tell me that these 5 or 6 kids are inhibiting the other children to learn because of their misbehavior because "they didn't go to pre-school so they don't know how to behave in a classroom". I couldn't help but think that this was her way of telling me I should have sent my son to pre-school. But I ask myself, how does she know those children who are misbehaving have not been to pre-school? Did you talk to all of their parents? Did the teacher tell you (which is totally against the law) or is this an assumption that you made? Maybe you came to this conclusion when you were speaking with other parents (or gossiping)?

First of all, pre-school is in no way required. I am sorry you chose to send your child to school early and I didn't. That was your choice and my choice was mine. Our two choices are different and that's ok in my book. You made your decision based on your child and your situation and I based my decision on my child and my situation. Maybe you chose pre-school so you could have a few hours of the day to yourself for some quiet time, or to get the shopping done. Maybe your child needs to learn his ABC's, counting or social skills with people other than family. There's nothing wrong with that. Does that mean one of us made the wrong decision? Absolutely not. But I think my "friend" thinks I did.

Here's why I made the decision I did.

  1. Pre-school is expensive. Not nearly as expensive as daycare, but still over $100/month. If I am going to be spending $100/month, why would I send my child to a place where he already knows the curriculum? He knows his ABC's, he can count well past 100, he's reading and writing, he's good at problem solving and has been to daycare so he is socialized even though he is an only child. We found that ABC Mouse is a great tool, we have my son do daily lessons and it costs $8/month. I know the computer/internet is not a replacement for school, but he spends an hour a day, he is in fact learning from it and he has fun doing it.
  2. He's a kid. Once he starts Kindergarten, he will be in school for the next 13 years. Why rush it by going to pre-school? Aren't there better things a kid can do and learn about the world by NOT being cooped up in a classroom?
  3. My husband is a stay at home Dad. Again, why send him to pre-school when his Dad can teach him. This gives them more time to spend together having fun while learning and letting my kid be a kid. Pre-school is not required, I ask myself, why would I send him to pre-school if I don't have to?
  4. My son is enrolled in sports, camps, and educational classes through the park district. He gets plenty of socialization. In fact, there are 2 camps he's in this summer that "prepare children for school".
I spoke with some other friends who are in the same school district as me. They have stated to me that the teachers do give individualized attention whether it's to help an advanced child succeed and not get bored or if a child is having a hard time adjusting to a classroom environment or if a child needs extra help to learn the basics.

I know I don't need to justify myself, but other people may feel like they are being criticized too and you are not alone.