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The Pre-K Debate

I can’t tell you how many times in the past week someone has asked me some form of the question, “So what are you doing to do about pre-K?”  It’s just that time of year, I guess.

I had initially made up my mind that I would send him to Ms. Diane’s “school” where Carter and Lydia are both going this year.  It’s at a local church.  It’s convenient.  I’ve enjoyed and been happy with the teachers there.  They seem to have a pretty comprehensive program.  And he seems to be doing well there.  He (and Lydia) currently go 2 days a week for half-days.  Nine a.m. doesn’t sound early until you have to get three children under 4 up, fed, dressed and ready.   And by the time we get home and have lunch, I’m as exhausted as they are!  We all nap, and it’s wonderful.  We’ve developed a rhythm, a routine I guess.  It’s comfortable.  I’m happy.  They’re happy.

But when the registration forms for next year came out, I mentioned it to Marshall.  He, completely understandably, was a little surprised that I wasn’t really considering the state-funded Pre-K program that’s offered in Georgia.  We have one of the best Pre-K programs in the country.  Why wouldn’t I want him to go, right?

Well, here are my reasons:
(And, no…I’m not trying to convince Marshall.  We’ve already talked about it, and he is comfortable with whatever decision I make.)
1. I like the preschool they are in, and I like the idea of both Carter and Lydia being in the same place.

2. He’s a pretty smart kid(I know, I’m biased. But that’s ok, because all mommies are supposed to be, right?), and I feel like he has a pretty good grasp on a lot of the things they teach in Pre-K.

3. I’m no teacher. I wasn’t cut out to be one. But I do try to incorporate a lot of “teaching moments” into our daily life. I don’t baby talk with them. I always try to answer their questions honestly and to the best of my ability. We emphasize letters, numbers, words and shapes that we encounter. We even do simple math…like when they help me cook, or we count toes(a favorite at our house).

4. I’m just not ready.  I don’t want him to be gone all day(from 8 to 3) for 5 days a week.  That’s a long day!!  I think I could handle the 4 half-days(like at Ms. Diane’s) much better.  Is that selfish of me?  I enjoy being at home with my kids-at least most of the time I do.  🙂  He’ll be in school for at least 12 more years.  One more year wouldn’t hurt…but would it help?  My biggest concern is that I’ll-because of the decision I make-be putting him at a disadvantage.  No mom wants that.

I’m pretty sure I’m going to stick with Ms. Diane’s preschool.  But everytime I make up my mind, a little seed of doubt rears its ugly head.  So I guess the best thing I can do is to register him as normal, and then still put him in the lottery for Pre-K.  If he gets in, I’ll have to decide then.  That’s the other thing:  even if I make up my mind that I want him in Pre-K, there’s no guarantee he’ll get in because they do a lottery here!  What if I don’t register him for Ms. Diane’s school, and then he doesn’t get in at Pre-K either.  Then I’d really be upset!  And he would, too!

I know it’ll all work out.  I know that.  But I still can’t help but keep weighing the pros and cons, rolling it around in my head over and over and over again!  I want to do what is best for Carter, not me.  I want to do the most responsible thing.  I want to make a good decision.

What do you all think??