Preschool Update

I was never a huge fan of 3 year old preschool. I know there is good reason that many parents choose this and many three year old’s are very ready for preschool. I just think 3 is still so young! Livi is still so much my baby. She is so dependent on us still. We have been lucky enough to have never needed child care other than family. Now I’m considering sending her to school where she will be away from people who would literally die for her 6-12 hours a week! I didn’t think I was that over attached mom, but I TOTALLY am.

I know our family’s circumstances were a little different than some when Livi had just turned 3. We didn’t have a newborn, but another 3 year old, who we had just brought home a few weeks before Livi would have started preschool. Besides the fact that we felt she was too young, we didn’t want her feeling like we were sending her away because we got a new baby.

Now we are obviously considering putting Livi in preschool at 3 years old. I think, with the new understanding of how the funding all works for Sofie, we would prefer Livi to go to preschool before Sofie joins her. If that doesn’t work out, we’ll figure it out, but we would like Livi to feel like the big girl and go to school before Sofie joins her. So, the best option, as of this moment, seems to be to put Livi in preschool for the spring semester, starting in January or February, then having Sofie join her in September. Both of them would progress to Kindergarten together, in separate classes and Sofie would repeat Kindergarten. I talked with the Resource teacher of our catch-man area who referred me to the Principal of Student Services of the School Board of our district. I got through the first try and had a nice conversation. I explained my case and reasoning for wanting to have Sofie repeat Kindergarten and she seemed very receptive. She gave me the talk about why they don’t like to keep kids back but admitted that I have a rather unique case and she would “probably” side in my favor. She wanted a week to talk with some of her co-workers and think about it. I will need to get her decision in writing but it sounded very promising and positive! I was totally geared up for a fight!

Now comes the question of which preschool. I am, again, so lost. I’m sure I am over thinking this all but I feel like this is such an important decision! We have looked at three schools in our area, each with their pro’s and con’s. I think we might need your advice again.

1. The first school is the easiest choice. It is literally around the corner from our house and we would be able to walk there within 4 minutes each day. The preschool is community funded and utilizes the Play to Learn philosophy. The con’s against this school is it is very dimly decorated. They have chosen muted colors to not overstimulate the children. I don’t agree with this, especially for Sofie. No one has anything bad to say about this preschool but I haven’t heard anything great either. I also think Livi is academically above the ‘curriculum’ of this school. They don’t practice writing letters or numbers since they are totally play based.

2. The second school is kind of perfect. I have heard GREAT reviews about it from numerous people. It is a wonderful mix of play and academics. The biggest problem with it is that it is too far away. We would need a second car or have a way to guarantee transportation. This is, potentially, a huge problem for us and a big head ache. It is also a very sought after school that may be difficult to get in to. It would be easier to get both girls in next year if we put Livi in for January but there are currently, no guarantees.

3. The third school is also wonderful. It is just a little further than the first school but still within walking distance. When I went to visit the class room I saw the teacher signing to her students. I nearly started crying from happiness right there. It is a strict Montessori school, which means they concentrate on Practical Life, Sensory Academic Learning and Culture. They focus on values and teaching the kids to be good people while it is all COMPLETELY child-led learning. The con’s to this school is that they don’t have as much imaginative play as we would like, it is four days a week, and it is WAY more expensive than the other two schools. We can’t afford it.

Now, in my most ideal little scenario, we would be able to send Livi to the Montessori school two days a week this year (I don’t think I’m ready for four days yet) and then send both girls three days a week next year. I don’t think that is going to happen though. Choice number two would be too be able to afford a second car and go to school number two, but that isn’t in the near future either. So, ideal number three would be Livi going to the first, easy choice school for January, just to get used to being away from Mommy and expand her social development. She would still get the big girl experience. Then be get enough subsidy funding to be able to afford the Montessori school for September for both girls and be allowed to only send them three days a week. Four days still seems excessive to me. Both girls would then go to Kindergarten together and Sofie would be allowed to repeat.

So, how good is my line to God these days? I hope He’s got my back on this one. If you feel like sending up an extra prayer for this to all fall in to place, I’d sure appreciate it! Something will work out and I think there is a good chance we will end up loving school choice number 1, which would make next September really easy for me! If we have to keep Sofie back from Kindergarten a year too, we can make it work. There are a lot of scenario’s here that could be really great, so maybe just pray that the right doors open up too us!

2 thoughts on “Preschool Update

  1. Val says:

    We had a similar choice when looking for our preschool. There was a Christian preschool very close to us but it was dingy looking AND at the time we didn't attend church, and if we did it would not be that particular faith. Our other choices were all quite far from us, and our favorite was the Montessori. We LOVED it, but again – cost.

    We ended up enrolling them in the close Christian school and haven't regretted it. My middle child now attends daycare at the same facility and still gets the preschool program. It's play-based, but they still end up learning stuff. I briefly switched the kids to another group daycare facility because the baby would be able to attend also. It was bright and new with shiny new toys and young, energetic teachers. HUGE mistake. It was impersonal, rigid, and eventually they kicked the baby out when my oldest graduated to kindergarten and I moved the other back to the place we love.

    My point – looks can be deceiving. The other benefit of the close one – they'll be attending with kids who are more likely to be in their school catchment and will start kindergarten with them.


  2. Katie says:

    wow Katie, you are a real piece of work, you know that??!!!! Never in my life have I seen this kind of dissertation over preschool choices. Of course I love you and I mean this in the most light-hearted way possible :).

    FYI, Z is not in preschool, and is learning to read and write letters, numbers, etc. all on her own. She can now write her name and is also learning to type things on the computer. So I suggest just trusting in your children's natural ability to learn, and don't worry about what they are going to “learn” in school. I'm pretty sure your girls will be just fine wherever you send them! And even if they didn't go, guess what, they would still be fine too!!!!

    It's going to be ok! You're a great mom!


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