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??

No Responses to The Pre-K Debate
  1. Kate
    January 10, 2009 | 8:06 am

    I think your reasoning seems completely logical and you’re doing what we should all do: Trusting your mommy gut. Of course, this comes from one of those crazy homeschoolers. 🙂

    Love your blog’s new look, especially the photo collage editor.

  2. citystreams
    January 10, 2009 | 8:59 am

    I love the sound of Ms. Diane’s preschool. You’ll get the best of both worlds because you get a break while he’s at school and you still get to “homeschool” him too. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to have a big part in your child’s education. He’s going to be a genius no matter what you decide, because it’s genetic. The brains are already there. Don’t sweat it!

  3. Jesse
    January 10, 2009 | 4:35 pm

    Well I may be biased also, but I actually AM I teacher so I can say this with authority! The things they do in Pre-K are things that Tucker already knows (or is getting there). The only bonus for being in the state funded Pre-K would be the extra socialization he would get by being there for longer. But you know that I’m already in favor of 1/2 days. I think that if you can do 1/2 day….do it! He will NOT be behind when he gets to Kindergarten. If it makes you fell better I’ll tutor him next summer!!!

  4. Jessica
    January 10, 2009 | 9:35 pm

    Do whatever you think is best for your son, but I am not a huge fan of full days before kindergarden, unless you need the childcare. Like you said, he’ll have a good 12 years to do that! I don’t plan to send Christa to anything that is 5 full days a week before Kindergarden – I want her home with me as long as possible. Our kiddos have plenty of time to learn how to read and count. Plus, I like the Christian influence of the church pre-schools as long as possible! Just my 2 cents 🙂

  5. Liz Sanders
    January 11, 2009 | 12:07 am

    I know exactly how you feel!

    Peyton went to a half day, 3 day a week program at a church in Manassas when we lived there. He was ahead of all of the kids when he got to kindergarten. I loved the fact that Peyton was learning all the church songs and they had what they called chapel on Wednesdays so he was also getting the bible classes that I loved for him to have.

    I wanted the same type of thing for Wyatt but where we live now (Brunswick) it wasn’t easy to find a church we knew since we had just moved here. I asked around and the church we decided on had a pre-k program but it was full so he was wait listed. Then we found another church suggested by a teacher which turned out to be a nightmare, (and I hate saying that about a church being that I loved the one I was a member of) Wyatt told me his teacher hit him and I was plagued with the idea of that and couldn’t send him back. So I decided to home school him. No pre-k except for what I taught him. I found things online and we did flash cards and worked on all the fundamentals. Anyway Wyatt started Kindergarten this year and had a rough month, getting into the hang of things because he hadn’t really been in a school setting before. but he was lucky enough to get a great teacher and he is flowing along beautifully now.

    I agree with you on not wanting them to be gone all day. I felt the same way. FB has a great program, Trey went there, and this makes me feel so old!

    Just my opinion but keep him in the church program. He is getting all the socialization he need in the four hours he is there and you get to have him home for the rest of the day.

    On another note when we lived in Va their schools were JUST going to full day Kindergarten. Peyton’s school was one of the first in the county to change from half day to full day. Nothing wrong with the half day. they just squeeze what they would stretch out over 6-7 hours into four. They still learn the same and do the same things just in a shorter time.

  6. Aunt Dianne
    January 13, 2009 | 9:28 pm

    I can tell you that all Tucker needs is 1/2 day. I’ve been around a lot of pre-ks. They do all their instruction in the morning and the afternoon is naptime and playtime. You can do that at home. Socialization takes place in the morning. At our school all of our pre-k is half day with daycare in the afternoon. Those kids who choose to do so get to stay 2 days a week for lunch bunch. They get to eat lunch in the cafeteria with their friends, a special experience, and mom gets the chance for lunch with her friends every now and then. As you can tell, I’m all for 1/2 day!!

  7. Mama
    January 14, 2009 | 8:58 pm

    I vote for “Miss Diane” and Mommy training….the best!