Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Preschool Puzzles

Ah, yes. Now that the little bugger is 3, and schools are beginning to accept registration to the 3yo programs in Sept., we (the Carlson/Lee's) need to make a decision.

Here I will go through the thought processes... First: what is the point of it? To help the little man socialize, and to give him access to more kids through which he can learn, in a loving and safe environment. I would LOVE to have some dedicated time w/out a child at home, too. I wonder if I will use it prductively, I hope I will. But either way, it's time for me to get a break.

Decision 1. Hours. morning or afternoon? 2 or 4 hours? once, twice, thrice, or five days a week?

Thoughts on Decision 1. : fewer days, longer hours would be ideal. Ideal would be 9 or 10 -1 Tues and Thurs. The only place that has those hours/days is the JCC which is a LOT more money, because membership is required (which means belonging to a gym again). Bonus: he gets extras like swim lessons, we can add extra hrs. if we need to, and there is a nice play area outside. It's NOT local, about 15 min, each way. I could build work outs 2 days a week into my schedule (tho there is no care for him on other days). I will have to call them to find out more. I'm sure this is the MOST expensive option, because it's inclusive of the membership. Sigh.

Decision 2. : local vs. travel

Thoughts on Decision 2. : there are some wonderful options locally, although none of them really offer the hours I would ideally prefer. TVN has 2.5 hrs 2 or 3 days a week, and BMSD has 5x/wk 2.5 hrs. and the candy place has 2.5 hrs. 2 days a week (cheapest option). but requires a little more travel - 10 min each way. The other two are completely local, less than 5 min. travel. This is not unimportant! Supporting local businesses is important to me. I often pay extra for this service. Also, the travel time cuts into the time away from dc.

Decision 3. : Homeschool vs. Nursery school

I think there is a misunderstanding that if one doesn't start sending their children to nursery or pre school at 3 that they are planning to home school? Or that it is some kind of disservice to their children. T and D sent the kids to the candy place, but only for 1 year preceeding kindergarten. Keeping him home this year seems already to have pushed the envelope for a lot of people (although according to the school district calendar he is smack on target). I have no intention of changing or making any decision based on what other people want for him, that's just silly. It's the fact that I don't really know what I want for him that is making this hard. Making the decision for ME is feeling somewhat ... upstream.

I *could* home school dc, he's an easy kid to teach, loves to watch and learn, and really enjoys being a part of everything. Otoh, I think he'd love being with other children, too. He *might* not, but I really think he'd be likely to enjoy the time w/other children his own age. Once warmed up. And this is part of the problem for me w/the shorter days that the local schools have. They have short 2.5 hr days, that mean that a kid who warms up slowly really doesn't get much of a chance to do stuff if it takes him 1+hr to warm up to the environment. I'm sure that over time he'd get much better about being dropped off etc., but right at first I am guessing that there will be separation issues.

I think all the classrooms - other than the Montessori - are very mainstream, not a lot of wooden toys, not a lot of the quality that I am used to from BMSD or WHMS in their materials. But I'm not sure that would be a huge issue. I am sure, if we are here, that he could get into BMSD as a 4yo, no problem. So what I'm looking for, I guess, is something for ME. And that means fewer days per week (forcing me to really be productive on those days) and longer hours (so that more can get done), local. Which doesn't exist.

JAC feels he doesn't need it at all, but I really think he'll enjoy it tremendously. Three short days may be a nice medium if 2 long are not an option. :D

1 comment:

Karen said...

FWIW... Ra'am went to preschool for 2 years while I was finishing my degree. I found that 3 days a week was MUCH easier. When they just go t-th, there's such a huge break over the weekend, that it's hard to get into a routine about going. M-W-F just made more sense and flowed more smoothly. It was the very very seasoned teacher who suggested I change the days, and she was totally right on.
That is.... IF you decide to send him at all!