Monday, April 9, 2007

Preschool

I haven't sent my kids to preschool. When we lived in Utah we did a co-op "preschool" once a week for an 1 1/2 hours. It was basically a structured play group. When I moved to New Hampshire I found that most people send their kids to preschool. I felt pressured, worried that Chloe would be behind. Then, in reading Ezra Taft Benson's talk "The Honored Place of Woman" I found this:

"We become enamored with men’s theories such as the idea of preschool training outside the home for young children. Not only does this put added pressure on the budget, but it places young children in an environment away from mother’s influence."

And later:

"It is mother’s influence during the crucial formative years that forms a child’s basic character.

Home is the place where a child learns faith, feels love, and thereby learns from mother’s loving example to choose righteousness.

How vital are mother’s influence and teaching in the home—and how apparent when neglected!"



So, maybe I'm a bad mommie, but I won't be sending my kids to preschool as long as I'm at home. I don't have to do what my neighbors are doing. It's my choice, and I'm okay with it.

8 comments:

AzĂșcar said...

I feel some sense of guilt about this--but maybe now I shouldn't. We don't have the money and Guille won't use the potty. The only thing I feel badly about is that I know he could use some socialization with other children, he hungers for it.

La Yen said...

Amy and I are doing a home-based preschool with some awesome curriculum. She is supposed to be sending it to me, and if she does, I will pass it on to you. Our theory on the other children is to invite kids over every other week, or just to do play groups. Does your ward do play groups? Or go to the park?

Also, Jooj is getting socialized from Passions.

~j. said...

I have rather enjoyed sending my kids to preschool. The oldest went to the preschool at the local university, which preschool is actually a child studies laboratory for the early childhood ed students. Included in this program is "the booth": a mirror from the classroom, but in actuality a hidden room where the university students observe the children as part of their studies. Some have told me that they find this creepy, that strangers would watch kids. But the rooms are closely monitored (not just anyone is allowed in), and the parents are encouraged to spend as much time in the booth as they desire. There's also a very strict sign-in/sign-out procedure, which I feel secure about.

My second daughter is just finishing this same program. This is her second year of preschool since she'll be one of the oldest in her grade (birthday is early after the cutoff date). Last year she attended a few days a week in the home of a woman who is the sister of the YW I had as a youth. I trust her very much. So much in fact, that in the fall, my third daughter will be attending her younger-kid program.

I admit that I love the break, and knowing that my kids are in a safe, nurturing environment, where they are learning positive things. The people to whom I have entrusted my children for a few hours a week are enriching their lives (as well as mine) when I might otherwise not be in the mood to paint or do some other craft project. I don't think this is Bad Mommy behaviour.

Also, I need to state here that I look into the program before I enroll. There are MANY people in my neighborhood who say, "Oh, you should send your children to Polly Preschool! She teaches out of her home...", etc., etc.. Well, I happen to know Polly, and what I'm certain of is when I have had conversations with her, she says things like "I seen Tom" and "We was goin' up to the Payson" and that just won't do. Just being in the same neighborhood does not (necessarily) an adequate preschool make.

cabesh said...

Azucar-the $ thing was a big one for us. When I found myself saying, "Maybe I could find some work to do from home so that we can send her to preschool" I realized that I needed to re-examine my motives. We do an activity once a week so that she gets social time--I can handle the $40/month for dance, but not the $400+ for preschool.

~J- I don't think preschool in and of itself is bad, and especially not if chosen well. I just found that the main reason I was thinking of sending Chloe was peer pressure! Everyone, from people at church to my pediatrician, was asking me where I was sending her to preschool. I felt like I was a "bad mommie" because I wasn't giving my child what everyone else was giving theirs. That's when I had to step back and re-evluate. And, since I'm the personality type that seeks and needs approval, Pres. Benson's talk reassured me. Do I wish I had more me time? Of course! Do I want my children to learn? Of course! Is preschool right for us? I don't think so. Do I think other mommies are bad for sending their kids to preschool? No. But, I'm glad that I've been able to find peace in the choice I've made for my family.

Queen Scarlett said...

And that's just it. We do what is best for us. I've been to see a bunch of preschools and enrolled Kalea in one for this fall. I'm excited for her... to have social time. At the same time... if she doesn't choose to potty-train before that... doesn't bother me. I can do that joyschool stuff my Mom did for my sister from home - we already do letters, reading and numbers...

I totally would love the break... to focus on just Melia...I'm big on trying to make time for both fair. Crazy to some...but it suits me.

I'm with ~J on the... you're sending your kids where...just because??? That's a little nuts to me... when they are supposed to be the most precious gifts.

I kept getting questions from my doctor ...are they in daycare? No. Why not? Because I don't need to put them in daycare...

I'm lucky I live in an area where the Moms ...about 80-90% stay home. Some work from home... so the standards of education and parental involvement is high.

I just think we're lucky - we live in a country where we can choose... as opposed to fight to survive another day for our kids.

Jenny said...

I remember reading that talk like 5 years ago and it kindof blew my mind. Also, this blog is hilarious.

I started a preschool/playgroup with 3 other moms and we do it twice a week for two weeks and then switch, so our kid is gone for 6 weeks before we have to teach again and it's mostly fun. Then on Fridays a couple times a month (if we're feeling up to it and semi organized) we go on field trips, like to Krispy Kreme or the park or the petting zoo.

I live in a nicer neighborhood and everyone sticks their kid in preschool and sometimes I feel like I'm doing my daughter a disservice by not putting her in full time preschool, even though that's not what I want for her right now. Thanks for the reminder.

compulsive writer said...

What Queen said. And "what is best for us" can sometimes even be different for each child. I think it's about being aware of your kid's needs, your needs and your family's needs and trying to strike the right balance.

Even when you mess up (I've had some teacher requests for older kids that have gone badly) it can be a good thing. You simply say OK, what did we learn from that? What good came out of that? And you move on.

Kids are pretty darn resilient. I remember reading about a baby delivered from a woman who didn't know she was pregnant. The woman delivered the baby on the toilet and it slipped from the toilet and fell onto the hard tile bathroom floor. The baby was fine. I don't really advocate that kind of parenting as a habit, but after I heard that I decided we should all cut ourselves--and probably each other--some major slack.

~j. said...

cabesh - Yeah, peer pressure is certainly no reason to send a kid to preschool, good on you for not doing it! And $400?! What the? And lucky for your kids and mine, their mommies (Good) are home with them and know that teaching is not limited to formal education.