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4/10/13 5:09 P

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I'm sorry you're stressing over this... in this country, child education should not be someting we have to stress over. It really should be handled better by our country's leaders. I know some friends from all over the country who have mentioned elementary schools having free or very low cost preschool programs. My husband and I are both active duty Air Force, so our 3 year old and 1 year old have been in daycare since they were 8 weeks old! Our 3 year old is extremely advanced for her age, and I know she will only go further with being in preschool. Our son is already learning things rapidly from being in the infant room, he is moving to pre toddler in a few weeks. We pay $500 a month for our daughter and $480 a month for our son... needless to say, it's a steep price to pay, but with both of us working 9-12 hour shifts 5-7 days a week, we have no other choice. Plus, they attend on our base that we are stationed at, so they're right down the street. We tried looking around town at off base care facilities, and we terrified by things we saw! On base was definitely a must for our family. Not trying to scare you or anything with that last comment! I guess my point is that we know first hand the high child care expenses that can take a toll on a family, but I honestly don't stress about the $$$ too much when I see how fast my babies are progressing. If we weren't able to afford it, I would definitely try to find something to get them going the way you are. You will find something, you sound like a great mother. good luck!

I have to be happy with myself before i can make others happy.


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LIONE55's Photo LIONE55 Posts: 44
3/28/13 12:35 P

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I'm pretty ambivalent about it at this point (my son turns 2 next month). My mom is a preschool teacher and she really recommends going for the 4 year old year, but that the 3 yo year is kind of optional. My kids are close in age (13 months apart) so they get a lot of built in socialization and we do lots of activities. So I'm undecided.

If we do, we're looking at a parent-involved, play-based co-op. I'm a working mama, but the parent-involvement is important to me and I'm willing to shift my time around so I can do it.

I found this article interesting: www.slate.com/articles/double_x/the_
ki
ds/2013/01/how_important_is_preschooR>l_if_you_are_researching_early_educa
ti
on_philosophies.html


"The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet."


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11/25/12 2:13 P

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Our only child turned 3 in June and we have enrolled her into a Christian preschool program. Our major decision to enroll her was to grow her socialization and to help with separation anxiety. I am amazed at how she has grown in the areas of sharing, empathy and personality. She attends class three days a week for three hours a day, they even have a snack during class and the kids work on table manners. She really has a lot of fun in class and is so proud to share her day with us. I do believe if you have the means to make it work, preschool is a great investment.

You must be the change you wish to see in the world-Ghandi


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MAMABECKETT Posts: 20
11/21/12 7:26 P

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both my 3 and 4 year old kids go to private pre-school. the social and academic skills are indespensible, and we are getting help with some problems that we hadn't been certain we had (we thought we might have aspberger's on our hands, but we didn't get it confirmed until the school recommended screening, and now the school is helping my kids learn to work with their special needs). a good preschool is a great investment.

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SAM_I_AM_2K's Photo SAM_I_AM_2K Posts: 1,117
11/21/12 11:26 A

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We are sending both of our kids (oldest is now in K at public school, but he did the same)... mainly because they don't have any socialization. DH stays home most of the time and the days we're both at work, they stay with a friend. But her kids are older (youngest is 14 now), so they don't get the same social skills there.

DD is 3 yo and she goes T,Th for 3 hours each day. At 4, they go M,W,F also for 3 hours...

I don't think Preschool is critical (neither do any of the teachers I have talked to). What is important is for the kids to learn to communicate and socialize with others - and to listen to someone other than mom/dad.

It's great that you have them in activities - I am sure they are gaining some of these skills already. If you are reading with them, doing crafts, and keeping them active physically, they won't suffer academically from not going to pre-school (IMHO).

What if you fail?
You will.
Then, you move on.


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STELLASMYBEBE's Photo STELLASMYBEBE Posts: 869
11/20/12 1:14 P

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So far, we are unable to send my little one. My mother cares for her a couple days a week andhas been working with her. My husband and I both work with her as well. I would love to be able to send her to some program, but we just don't make enough to spare. And, we make a little too much to get assistance. :( I think she will be fine. I didn't go to pre-school and I think I am pretty good. LOL!
She is very friendly and wants to be everyones friend. Being the only kid (the other is 16), she wasn't getting much interaction. I joined a local 'Meet-Up' for her to make friends and we also joined a dance class at the local rec center.
I like some of the resources offered on here. I will be looking into them.

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SRRYLVINGSP Posts: 1,262
9/24/12 7:50 A

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sorry commented on wrong post

Edited by: SRRYLVINGSP at: 9/24/2012 (07:58)
JENNIK2's Photo JENNIK2 Posts: 1,831
9/23/12 10:25 A

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I taught Kindergarten and I do not think preschool is a must. As long as you teach them their letters, numbers, colors, etc, and get them to socialize some with kids their age (like play-dates) then they will be fine. So you should not feel guilty. However, I do have my 3 year old in preschool, and if you can find a Head Start program in your area I would try to enroll your child. Getting the kids used to walking in a line, raising their hands, and other school procedures is helpful. But it will not ruin them if they do not go to preschool.

Jenni

Michigan, Eastern Standard Time


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ULISED's Photo ULISED Posts: 131
9/23/12 12:26 A

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It really depends on what services are available in your area. The best place to start would be to call your county school board and ask what programs are available to children the age of your child.
In my area (North Central Florida), they offer a program for children 3 & 4 years of age called VPK (Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten). They have private providers (daycare centers) as well as public elementary schools. VPK is free for families that meet their guidelines (income limits) however they do allow children from families slightly above the limits if they have low enrollment numbers.
My 4 year-old son goes to VPK at the elementary school, which is also the Head Start program at public schools. The Head Start program is federally funded, which means that there should be some form of this program in every state.
School has definitely helped my son's behavior. He attended a private daycare center prior to school starting, but the structure is not the same. And I think being around some of the older boys was not a very good influence for him.
Every child is different and you just need to do what is right for them and your family. It's never too early to start education. But if you don't have to put your child in daycare, don't. There are plenty of educational materials you can find online for free or you can buy programs to do at home until your kids are old enough to attend Head Start (Pre-K) or Kindergarten. Daycares, frankly, are germ factories and their policies and prices take advantage of working parents. We paid $97/week for private daycare and my son got sick often. It's not worth it.

Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
- Thomas A. Edison

The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable.
- James A. Garfield


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LIBRA74's Photo LIBRA74 Posts: 56
8/29/12 2:34 P

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We are sending our 3 yo son to pre-school this year three mornings a week. We aren't concerned about him being academically ready for kindergarten in 2 years, but we wanted to make sure that he got the social interation with other kids (especially since he's any only child), and wanted him to get used to the structure of school, knowing that in our district kindergarten is all day, five days a week. This also gives dad (the SAH parent in our house) a bit of a break, since our son has pretty much given up on naps.

Our district has a "Bright Beginnings" program. It offers free preschool for families who qualify based on income (though the income threshold to qualify is about at the poverty level, so there are a lot of families who can't really afford preschool who don't qualify). They also offer a Bright Beginnings playgroup which meets once a week and is free and open to all children in the district from birth until they start kindergarten. Some of the preschools in the area also offer partial or full scholarships based on income, so preschool can be within reach for more families.

I suggest that you and your husband talk through what you want your kids to get out of preschool. If you're concerned about academics, there are probably things that you can do at home to help get your kids ready for school. If you're concerned about social maturity or school "structure", maybe you've already got that covered with the activities you're doing or you could switch to some different short-term activities that better meet your needs.

You know your children best, and I think that preschool can be a good tool to help with school readiness, but is by no means the only tool. Especially if you're intential about what kinds of experiences you want your children to have before they start school, I believe that they can be just as well-prepared as a child who has been in daycare and preschool for several years before kindergarten. In our case, preschool is more convenient and affordable than using other activities to get the school "structure" and interactions with kids his age, which is why we chose to go that route.

- Christy
Sho Dan (1st Black) in Okinawan Shuri-Ryu Karate-do
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PBAILEY06's Photo PBAILEY06 SparkPoints: (39,407)
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8/29/12 12:10 P

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I'm in the same situation as JFToday. My husband and I work full time and my son has been in daycare/preschool since end of my maternity leave. Sometimes I feel a lot of guilt about that - especially when he asks me if he can come home earlier than he does, because I can't leave work to pick him up.

Our area has a free preschool - but it lets out at 3:15 and kids either need to be picked up and go home, or get on a van/bus to go to an afterschool center (expanded day care). I just don't feel comfortable with him getting on a van/bus yet. So we are in a private daycare/preschool. I don't love it, they don't do nearly as much as his last one (it closed) so I feel sometimes its just extended babysitting. We are on the waiting list for another private preschool.

Paula
CST - Arkansas

*~ You don't have to go fast. You just have to go


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FLYINGTOFREEDOM's Photo FLYINGTOFREEDOM SparkPoints: (78,570)
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8/29/12 10:54 A

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I am getting ready to see my little one go off on the bus today for her first day. she is more excited than anything. I hope that whatever decision you make it works for you and your family. Nobody can tell you what to do. Preschool is not a requirement. I know that if I had topay for it, she would not be going. good luck

1 bite at a time = 1 choice at a time.
Choice is in our power; take the power and run.

Co-Leader of "Emotional Eaters"

Nothing is forever why not live for today and make it the best day ever.

I am my best friend.


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VOCALMAMA's Photo VOCALMAMA SparkPoints: (5,616)
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8/29/12 10:42 A

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UNbelievable! My husband and I JUST had this conversation last night: That daycare and preschool should be available to everyone and part of the public school system (not to mention the first 4 years of undergraduate school after high school, but that's a soap box for another day)! My 2 year old son was in a daycare but I wasn't happy so I moved him to a different one which I love. I can already see a difference and he hates to leave at the end of the day (which is the sign of a good daycare/preschool!) That said, I have worked for my company for 9 years and it has just been sold. Hopefully we will know in the next few weeks if the new owners will be keeping us or at least making us offers. There is a very good possibility I could get a drastic pay and benefits cut, not to mention the loss of schedule flexibility I have here now. So we have considered me staying home. I have been doing a lot of reading on it and I think as ;long as you try to keep some type of structure and schedule (food time, nap time, art time, book, time, errand time, etc) it can be very beneficial. But it is also very important to make sure you still have you time. I say all this as it sounds good and I do not find myself in the situation yet...but I'm sure, as with most things, it is easier said than done. Bottom line? DOn;t feel bad, we all have to make the best (reasonable) decisions for our families and paying for daycare and not being able to pay for a rook=f or food is just plain crazy. Does the system need revamping? YES!! In the meantime, cherish the time you have with them and make it is memorable as possible for all of you.

"My power of speech: unimpeachable." -Lin-Manuel Miranda / A. Ham


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BFLY2012's Photo BFLY2012 SparkPoints: (0)
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8/28/12 9:43 P

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Dehart~ YES Curse that Mommy Guilt!!!! Useless, useless, useless!!! Okay, that out of the way, like pp said, a lot of public school districts have preschool programs. Head Start is a preschool program (I think). Anyway, check into your public school system. I know my strengths and they are not planning a 2 to 3 hour "curriculum" for my preschooler, plus I work 2 days a week, so I send my DD#1 to a flexible-schedule preschool.

It's all fun and games until someone gets hurt, then it's just hilarious


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NURSE19821 SparkPoints: (1,464)
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8/28/12 9:16 P

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My son just turned four and is in preschool 3 hours a day five days a week. when he was 3 he went 3 days a week for 2 hours. Luckily I pay nothing. preschool is recommended especially for children who have developmental delays, my sons speech was delayed not really bad but bad enough they thought school would help. talk to your local school, if you think your child will have difficulty in kindergarden they will do test and see if they are eligible. also some schools have extra openings and will fill spots. call and give your concerns they should be able to help.
good luck

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DAWNNEWDAY's Photo DAWNNEWDAY Posts: 263
8/28/12 2:23 P

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Curse that Mommy guilt! I'm in the opposite situation as I work full-time and both of my kids were in daycare from 12 weeks on. The daycare we used was excellent and had full-time preschool as well. But you don't even want to know what it cost us to send them.

I was surprised to read that Moms at home have guilt for their kids not having the preschool experience. Moms at work outside the home have guilt that their kids HAVE to have the preschool experience.

I do believe that the preschool did an excellent job preparing my kids for kindergarten. But who is to say that you can't provide just as good a preparation doing what you are currently doing with your child?

We do the best we can. I have a feeling that you are taking advantage of every possible opportunity to involve your child socially and with educational activities. I'm sure it's going to be just fine for them when they start school.

Best to you.

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LBLYKOWSKI's Photo LBLYKOWSKI SparkPoints: (0)
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8/28/12 1:17 A

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My husband and I fought over whether or not to put my 3 year old in preschool. We compromised that I could pick the preschool if we only sent him for the smallest amount of time offered. I grew up in a Montessori preschool so it was very important for me for my son to have that experience too. While it's not ideal for him to go "part-time," it's all we can afford right now. He goes two days a week from 9-1 and I send his lunch (to save money). We have seen a vast difference in him... even the girls in the KidCare at the gym have commented on how much better he is at playing with other kids, doing things independently and there is so much less whining. It is definitely worth it for us but would not have been possible if my husband hadn't recieved a mid-year bonus.

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ALCHOCOLATE's Photo ALCHOCOLATE SparkPoints: (2,062)
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8/27/12 1:35 P

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Hi! After I paid to send my older son through two years of preschool, I found out the local school district provides free preschool at an elementary school near us. I felt like a complete idiot for shelling out 200-300 a month for two years for something the school district is supposed to provide.

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FLYINGTOFREEDOM's Photo FLYINGTOFREEDOM SparkPoints: (78,570)
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8/27/12 1:32 P

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we would not be able to afford preschool either. Luckily the school that my 10 year old goes to has a preschool program but you have to be lower income. Check with the local elementary school that your kids would go to kindergarten, they might offer a preschool program. Maybe check head start or United Way as well. I know United Way sometimes offers tuition help for families that cannot afford it. I am sending my 4 year old becuase that school offers it. I think it is necessary for her because she will have a structured environment that her dad does not provide during the day. Socially she is a butterfly, but she tends to not want to sit and learn with us. She would rather be a in aschool setting. it seems like you are doing great things for your kids and maybe they don't need to go. the decision is really up to you. Just check to see what requirements they will need for kindergarten so that they are ready.

1 bite at a time = 1 choice at a time.
Choice is in our power; take the power and run.

Co-Leader of "Emotional Eaters"

Nothing is forever why not live for today and make it the best day ever.

I am my best friend.


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DEHART_MOMMY's Photo DEHART_MOMMY SparkPoints: (0)
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8/27/12 1:21 P

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I keep hearing that preschool is more and more of a must these days. All my friends have their kids enrolled in preschool. Granted all my friends husbands work at at Microsoft or companies smaller yet same pay grade.... My husband works commercial construction and although he makes good money we live Paycheck to paycheck. We just can't afford preschool and it makes me feel awful. We have two children now a 11 mo old and a 3 year old. I keep our 3 year old busy with community classes like art or music or gymnastics classes that only run us usually $50-$100 a two month class. Doing this we can always drop things if money is tight or add more things when there is a little extra cash.... Or grandma contributes :) Then there is library classes that are free...... the average preschool in our area is $200 a month. A co op will run $80-$100 dollars and this is even a little much, and with having our other daughter it makes it hard to commit and also do the required monthly parent eds.

I am doing the co op I did with my first for two years (she can no longer do this school as it only goes until age 3) with my second this year so I'm already having to to parent eds with that school... This school offers a full scholarship, otherwise I would not be doing this class with my second.

I just feel really bad because my oldest loves "school" but I just can't put her in something that is all year this year.... Are your kids in preschool or going??

It just makes me mad. If Preschool is such a MUST and they want the kids to know so much by the time they get to kindergarten then the state should pay for preschool.

My girls napping are like Cheese Cake and Wine.... I enjoy it in the moment but pay for it later. (When they nap they are up so LATE)


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