Brielle will only be 2 years old next school year, so obviously she won't be going anywhere. But Raya will be 4 and I pretty much have two choices for her 4 year old preschool (I hear about places like Texas and New York etc. where there are preschool waiting lists and entrance "exams" and interviews etc. and getting into a "good" preschool is a huge deal----now in Iowa lol. Preschool is completely optional and you pretty much just pick one and sign up. No biggie.)
So my options for Miss Raya are to continue at the same little preschool she's at now (only instead of 2 mornings a week it will be 3 mornings a week---maybe 4. They are looking into whether people have interest in 4 mornings a week, so we'll see how that pans out) OR the public school where Raya will go for Kindergarten also offers a 4 year old preschool (which I've heard is also a pre-k too---combined) and that is 5 mornings a week.
I think as of now I've decided to keep Raya at the one she is at now, even though I know a lot of people are changing to the 5 morning a week one. Here are a few of my reasons why:
Many of the people I've spoken with who are doing the 5 morning a week one are working parents---more preschool equals less daycare costs. No brainer! Many of the others have children who are still very "young" acting and haven't shown much interest in sit down activities etc, and they think that 5 mornings a week will be good for them to transition to the demands of Kindergarten.
Raya, on the other hand, I'm predicting will be a model student in kindergarten (and yes, even though she has a late May birthday, I do currently plan to send her the following year to Kindergarten.) I don't say this for academic reasons, but because Raya is a huge people pleaser. I would be shocked if she ever told a teacher she didn't want to do something lol. She LOVES doing worksheets, flashcards, and other "school" activities. She begs for them constantly at home. At her current preschool all of the activities are optional, and many parents make comments about how their kids never choose to do the art project or whatever, concerned that they only want to play. Raya on the other hand must sit at these activity stations all morning LOL. When parents pick up the previous days' project in the mornings I always ask "did Raya make something yesterday?" and they laugh and usually say "oh yeah, she made 5!" haha.
She has all the stereotypical characteristics of a first born. She is going to rock kindergarten :-P
|Clearly she is advanced in many ways! lol|
My thing is that Kindergarten is essentially the first "mandatory" schooling for children. Children come in with greatly different skills in kindergarten. And as much as I LOVE teachers, teachers can only do so much with a class full of kids and the standards they are required to teach by their school and state. So when you have little Johnny come to kindergarten knowing zero letters and little Susie knowing them all, what typically happens is that the teacher goes through her mandatory curriculum of teaching all the letters and by the end of the year both Johnny and Susie know their letters. Johnny caught up and Susie maintained. Sure, teachers are supposed to "enrich" for the high students etc., but I've worked in many different schools and there is only so much you can do as a teacher. Until schools start changing their standards and benchmarks for kindergarten I really think preschool is not as huge of a deal as many parents believe. By then end of kindergarten the gap between kids like Johnny and Susie is usually gone or significantly smaller....which means Kindergarten teachers are doing a great job! And it also means that preschoolers don't need to learn it all before they even start school. They have plenty of years to sit at a desk....let them play for now! :-)
But I won't lie...I also have my own selfish reasons for wanting Raya to go to the 3 (or 4) day a week preschool next year, instead of the 5 day. First, next year is probably my last year as a full time stay at home mom (more on that later! haha) ...and I don't want to spend my last year home having to get up every single morning and get her to preschool by 8am haha. Her current preschool is also slightly closer to our home which is nice. And a biggie for me is that I hate the idea of being tied down to preschool every. single. day.! For instance today we are heading to the children's museum for the day. On preschool days we can't even leave to go anywhere until after lunch, and by that time Brielle is ready for a nap, and the day is half gone! As much as Raya LOVES preschool, she loves going places with me and Brielle even more LOL. What a bummer if we had to stop doing those daytrips next year already!
And lastly, for anyone still reading lol, I hate the idea of Brielle being here by herself 5 mornings a week. She just LOVES Raya...and when Raya starts kindergarten Brielle will be starting 3 year old preschool (perfect!)....but until then I think Brielle would be lost if Raya was gone every single morning (not to mention I wouldn't have anyone to help me entertain Brielle! ;-)
So very long story kinda short, that is why I am almost positive Raya will continue at her current preschool next year haha. And if she gets to Kindergarten and I realize that she can't do algebra with the other kids then maybe I will reevaluate my decision for Brielle haha :-)
(I am soooo not looking forward to the school years haha. This is only the beginning I know of questioning my own parenting decisions, dealing with those "competitive" parents, struggling with teachers who don't think your child is where he/she "should" be, etc. ....and so it begins!)