Wednesday, January 26, 2011

UPDATE: Confession Number 47: I'm Torn

Editorial Note:  There is still time to enter the giveaway of my super cute Hootiemomma baby and children's gift items over at Nix9to5.  While you are at it, just go ahead and visit my Hootiemomma Etsy store!  The deadline for entering the drawing is TONIGHT, Jan. 26th at 11:59pm. 

Back last summer I wrote to you, begging for parenting advice, concerning our decision to send Kennedy to a private preschool a couple of days a week.  A recent post about the same topic (sort of) from my friend Megan over at Sorta Crunchy got me thinking about our decision, the outcome, and what we were going to do this coming fall.  I thought an update...and another call for advice....was in order. 

Thinking back on our concerns last summer, each of them either hasn't been as issue or has been replaced with something new, which, I think, is story of our lives for the next, oh, forever.  Here is a run down of the concerns I had last summer and where we stand with each of them:

Potty Training:  This one has taken care of itself.  While you all know about the issues we have from time to time at home ( has gotten soooo much better in recent weeks), we have NEVER (knocking on wood) had an issue with this at school.  Not once.  Whew!

Nap time:  This is one we still struggle with.  They don't nap at KJ's school, which is totally fine.  She doesn't always need one, but, more often that not, she falls asleep for a short cat nap at some point between getting home from school and dinner.  Unfortunately, this results in a very cranky girl when she wakes up.  We are torn between a very cranky girl waking up and a very cranky girl who is overly tired.  We've learned to live with this for two reasons.  The first is I'm not super excited about giving up nap time completely before Baby Brother Cole gets here.  I think I'll need it for momma's sanity this summer.  The second is that when we make the transition to public school, they still nap or have "quiet time" in the afternoons.  So I'm not too worried about preparing her for life without quiet time. 

Social Interaction:  This has been as great as I expected it to be, but comes with it's own set of issues.  She is a very social girl and we have had discussions about when to talk and when to be quiet more than a handful of times.  You can tell that she is a young three in her class with this issue.  Her maturity to be quiet when the teacher is talking just isn't there, yet.  I recently taught her how to pinch her lips shut with her fingers when she is told to be quiet and the report from school yesterday was that she sat there looking like a duck for much of the day.  On the flip side, I'd rather have this problem than an extremely shy child.  Of course, if you know Dustin and I....we are going to have a little social butterfly.  Our kids are just going to be wired that way genetically. 

Mommy Guilt:  Yep.  This went out the window within a few minutes of seeing her interaction with her teachers and the kids at school.  She loves it!  I would feel guilty if I weren't sending her.  As for me, the time apart has made me a better mom on the days we are together.  I rarely have to take Kennedy to Wal-Mart with me (which we both despise) and we can spend time playing and having fun the three days of the week she is home. 

So, now Dustin and I start asking ourselves the next question:  What to do next fall?  She will be old enough to go to the full day, public prek program, but I think we both agree that none of the three of us are ready for that.  So, the question is, what are we ready for?  How many days a week is going to fit her perfectly in her current school and what is going to adequately prepare her for full time, public schooling the following year?  As my friend Nicci posted last time, I understand that her educational future probably isn't solely balancing on the question of how many days of preschool she attends at the age of 4, but I do think it sets the "mood" for her future learning.  So, I'm throwing it back out there to all of you.  What is your best advice in regards to schooling?


  1. Here's my take on this now that Bear is closer and closer to preschool age by the second--as a mommy AND as an educator, here's my stance. This push for full-day preK 5 days a week is too much for our kids! I still think all-day Kindergarten is too much. The trade-off comes when you wonder, "Well, all these other kids are going to full day PK--is mine going to be behind?" My thought is that KJ is probably ahead of most of those peers educationally, because she has a mom that works with her and engages her and plays with her and reads to her and . . . I think all-day PK is more about what parents want than what kids need. It seems that most kids have 2 working parents (which I am not criticizing! I've been there and am just one client away from being there again!), and full-day, public PK is a fantastic solution to day care. But is that what education is about? Providing child care?

    Oh, my. I'm on a soapbox.

    Okay. Whatever you decide will be fine, of course. I think the tone for her education is actually set more by what you do at home than what she's getting in a full-day preK five days/week.

    I'm probably saying everything all wrong. I don't think all-day PreK is wrong. I just think that the push for it to become the norm is misguided.

    I'm probably going to have to come in and delete this comment later and start over, so that I make more sense. *sigh*

  2. Just checking to see if this works before I type a lot...

  3. Here are my thoughts on the issue...
    Jacob was exactly the same age (mid august turn 4) when he started full time public pre-K. He was a very inquisitive little fellow and required lots of one on one learning- playing time and was starting to get bored at home by himself. I know the time I could spend teaching him was going to be limited with the birth of his sis in Oct. so we sent him. He loved it and we have had a very positive experience in school ever since. If we would have waited another year , he would have been bored in school and that can lead to behavioral issues esp in boys. It also gave me one on one time with my newborn without being exhasperated- I know my limitations... I could nap when she napped ( i was breastfeeding at night) and spend one on one time with Jacob when he got home and she was napping in the pm.
    All that said- I do wish he was one of the older kids in the class. It doesnt effect him academically or socially- but there are always those little maturity issues and Lance would say for sports;)
    I think it is an individual decision based on each kid and their family situation at the time...
    Good luck!