my thoughts on motherhood, kids, books and stuff

Little Graduates…Was Preschool Worth It?

Little Graduates 

We attended Lincoln and Anna’s preschool graduation this week.  It was fun watching them sing along with the other 34 graduates.   We decided to put them in separate classes at the same school this year.  Anna attended on Monday’s and Wednesday’s and Lincoln went on Tuesday’s and Thursday’s.   I debated up until the last minute whether I should put them in a class together or separate, but it worked out perfectly and was the right choice.  I had time to spend with them one on one twice a week while the other was at school.  It also kept them from clinging to each other during class and they each made a new set of friends.

I don’t think preschool is necessary for kids to get them ready academically for kindergarten.  I can teach my kids their ABC’s, 123’s, days of the week, colors, and shapes.  I can take them to the farm, the airport, and the retirement center to hand out daffodils on May Day. 

So is it worth $100 a month for one of my children to go to preschool?

Absolutely.

I can teach my kid’s their ABC’s, but it is hard for me to teach them to sit still with a group of 17 other kid’s and respectfully listen as a teacher tells them and shows them pictures of words that start with A. 

I can teach them to sit quietly while I read them a story at home, but they learn more patience as they learn to sit criss cross on the floor with a group and listen to the story and wait as the book is turned out of their view so the other side of the room can see the pictures. 

They learn to sit where they are told to sit and sit by who they are told to sit by and to respect the kids next to them. 

They learn how it feels to have their behavior corrected by someone other than mom or dad. 

They learn how to spend “free-time” outside of their own home.  How to put together a group to play a game and how to ask if they can join a game in progress. 

They learn how to behave on field trips when mom or dad aren’t around watching their every move.  They learn how to trust and respect other adults who are in authority and how to follow the rules that are given for their safety.

They learn (after several weeks of clinging to my leg when it is time to go) that they can be away from me for two and a half hours and I am there with open arms to greet them when they return. 

They learn to say “thank you” to the cookie with the blue frosting when what they really wanted was the one with the green frosting.  They learn to respectfully say “no thank you” to the snack that they don’t want.

They get the excitement of sharing their birthday treat with their classmates and having the group sing “Happy Birthday” to them.  A little different than having your family sing to you.

They learn how to stand up in front of a group and share something of theirs that is blue, round, some form or transportation, a picture of a pet, something they wear in cold weather, or whatever the theme for the week is.

They learn to be proud of their accomplishments and overcome their weaknesses and make mistakes and get over it. 

I have seen two of my children come really far on their perfectionism.

All three of my kids that have attended preschool have overcome their clinginess to me. 

I know all preschool’s aren’t equal and we were very blessed to find such a great one that all three of our kids have loved. (and that one of my very best friend’s runs)

Lincoln is more prepared as he heads to kindergarten this year and Anna is already asking when she gets to go back to preschool again.

A big thank you to the four teacher’s who have helped me prepare my children socially and academically, and to become enough more independent to move on to the next step in their lives.

 

  • That is a darling graduation picture of LIncoln and Anna. It has sure been a good thing for your kids to go to Michelle’s pre-school!

  • I’ve been debating about preschool. So thanks for the great post of all the pros. I’m still trying to find a good one, and to make up my mind about it. Cute picture.

  • Sus

    Thanks for this. My Frannie starts preschool this fall and will be v. young for her class – so we are a bit worried and conflicted.

  • whim

    Sus, I can’t find your email to respond so hopefully you will check back.

    Anna was only three when she started, which at the time I felt was too young. The other two kids that have been in preschool only went the year before kindergarten and I think that was enough for them. I was pregnant and having some complications and not doing a great job of getting the kids together with friends so I thought it would be a good way for her to get some extra social time in her week. I also didn’t want her to feel left out with her brother starting preschool and her older sister starting first grade. It was really hard for me to let my baby (she was the baby at the time) be gone for three hours twice a week, but I slowly got used to it and saw how much fun she was having. She made a lot of friends and she loved all the fun crafts and projects she got to make. I can’t say she would have been better off one way or the other…but she had fun and I have no regrets. Every child is different though!

    Good luck to Frannie with her start!

  • whim

    Andrea, darnit…I thought I had your email too, but I couldn’t find it either.

    It is a tough thing to decide. We moved to our current house the first week of September of our oldest daughter’s first year of preschool. I was STRESSED during the move about finding a preschool I could trust. I was so blessed that the first friend I made (who I met at church), just happened to run a preschool from her home…that happened to be right through my backyard. I don’t know how comfortable I would have been going to a random place from the yellow pages. I think my other two that have had preschool probably would have had fine starts to kindergarten with out it, but my oldest NEEDED it. She could barely let me out of her site without breakdowns and she was incredibly shy. She is now very social at school and has no problem being away from me and preschool was a good start to getting her where she is at.

  • I enjoyed reading this post, Kim, it gets me excited to do this kind of stuff with my own kids someday! I like your blog! I miss getting to see you more often, memories of the old days come back to me often and I cherish those moments when we came to your house in St. George and went to the store behind your house and bought tons of candy and had “candy parties.” Those were the good days! I miss ’em! Love you!!
    Stacey

  • Bravo! Bravo! Well said.

    I think this blog entry should be published in a parenting magazine. As an early educator, I appreciate how you articulated the importance of preschool from a developmental point of view and not an academic one.

    I hope you don’t mind if I print it off for my reference file. Is that ok?

  • whim

    Kristen, thank you. Preschool was definitely a learning experience for my kids AND me. What I thought they would get out of it wasn’t even close to what they really gained…and that is a good thing!

    Absolutely, feel free to print it out for your file.