My daughter will soon turn 4. About once a day since she first noticed a sprig of red on a tree she’s been reminding me that she’s almost 4. We have been asked by various coworkers, friends, and occasionally the complete stranger on the public playground whether we plan to send her to preschool, Head Start, or Pre-Kindergarten this fall.
My answer is no. She’s been learning a preschool curriculum at the daycare that she has attended since she was 6 weeks old. She’s comfortable there and I see no need to uproot her knowing that next fall she’ll have to leave the next setting I place her in to begin kindergarten.
While it may be surprising to many considering I spent time as a teacher in an elmentary school, and that my husband also spent time as an elementary teacher with his favorite grade to teach being kindergarten, we don’t necessarily fully subscribe to the belief that every child needs to add an additional 2-3 years of school to their career before they even graduate from high school. Can’t we give them just a couple years to be children?
I do want to clarify that I do believe it’s important that a child enters school prepared however. I think a parent should be responsible enough to know what will be required for a kindergarten screening and be sure that their child can meet those most basic requirements.
Preschool and pre-kindergarten seems to have become an expectation similar to that of college. It is assumed that all children will attend. I will admit however that if my local public school offered Pre-K I would most likely send my kids to it.
A woman that I encountered on the playground the other night, who was very friendly to talk to, seemed shocked when I said I wasn’t enrolling Cat in Pre-K this fall. She had a daughter on the playground that was the same age as Cat. They had just returned from completing their back to school shopping. She was lamenting that it was so expensive to send a child to school. She had told her daughter to pick out 7 outfits, one for each day of the week (I thought there were only 5 school days?) but said she had to stop at 3 because it became so pricey by the time they purchased accessories to go with each outfit. I nodded, but admitted I hadn’t done any ‘back to school’ shopping.
And thus our conversation began about whether I would be sending my daughter to Pre-K.
I wondered how many other people do complete back to school shopping for Pre-K aged students?
Yesterday afternoon I did purchase some fall clothing for Cat. Our community is participating in a town-wide garage sale this weekend and I found a garage sale on our road that had lot of little girl clothing. I filled two shopping bags and paid a whopping $2.50.