As a mama of a freshly-minted five year old who is eagerly counting down the days until her first day of Kindergarten, I can speak from experience when I say that the school-days roll around all too quickly. On August 7th, my life will change in a major way when Little Miss R is busy in the classroom rather than in the our playroom. But in those years leading up to Kindergarten, one of the major choices we make as parents is whether we send our little loves off to pre-school in preparation for the big K, or if we keep them at home just a bit longer for a more organic learning approach. My family, well, we came up somewhere in the middle, sending her off to pre-K 2 days per week and keeping her here at home for 3. But, as our mission with this series states, we are all about each family doing what makes the most sense for them. Loving more and judging less.
This week, two of our contributors, Jen and Krystle, are here to tell us about their own family decisions on the topic of pre-K education.
Jen: Sending her littles to pre-school
“The choice to put my children in preschool wasn’t really a decision I had to make. It came out of necessity.
For my children, speech and language has not come easily. Since before my oldest turned two we brought up these concerns and we were eventually referred to contact AZEIP. By the time we got through the approval process and got a speech therapist in our home, there were only a couple of months until he turned three. After he turned three, we transitioned him to school based services.
I’ve been through this process for both of my boys and they have both been eligible for early intervention preschool. They go to class four days a week, for three hours a day.
My oldest has been in this program for a full school year now and we’ve seen a vast improvement. The teachers have been amazing with him and we’ve seen so much growth. They’ve even helped to guide us to see a developmental pediatrician to ultimately find out that our son was mildly autistic. I’m not sure how long he would have gone undiagnosed and not receiving additional therapy if he wasn’t in preschool.
My younger son starts school this fall and we can’t wait to see how he progresses.
This program is free and has helped our family tremendously. Due to financial reasons who knows if we would have been able to pay for traditional preschool especially when they had to attend at the same time. I do believe that there are so many good benefits for all children to attend preschool. They learn to follow directions from a teacher to have a set agenda and to really learn how to interact with other children. I’m pleased that although we didn’t go the traditional route, that our children are able to get schooling at a younger age
Krystle: Schooling from home
“I am a stay-at-home mama of 3 little crazies (5, 3, and 10 months). We have already started our schooling journey with my oldest starting kindergarten this year! My husband and I have decided to homeschool. It didn’t take much time to come to that decision as he was homeschooled the whole way from K-12. He really enjoyed his experience and is one of the best thinkers I know!
As we all know education isn’t something to be taken lightly. You have just read about two families who put thought into which route to take regarding their children’s education. Just as you read in our last Mommy Wars Post, each family must weigh the positives and negatives. I love how Krystle puts it, “…in any decision you make for your family, some things (and fun!) will be sacrificed in order to complete your family’s puzzle.” So true. Each of our families are a unique little puzzle. Each piece must be looked at, studied closely and we must figure out how to put it together and make it work. What works for one family may not work for another. No one way is wrong, no one way is right…it’s just what works for that family. Let’s choose to respect other mamas decisions more…no matter what end of the spectrum. It’s time to end the mommy wars.