Thursday, July 2, 2015

Why my kid probably won't go to preschool any time soon.

Fynn turns 3 tomorrow, and for awhile now I've been getting questions about when and where she's going to preschool. I always kind of shrug it off as a "when she's ready" and "maybe when she's 4", but the truth is that I don't know if I want to send her to preschool. If we do send her, it probably won't be until she's 5.

Here's why.

I don't want to send her to school until she's 6. Her birthday is in July, which means we'll either send her to school when she's newly 5, or newly 6. Wouldn't be a problem is Kindergarten was the play-based, social learning place it used to be. But with Common Core and high-stakes testing combined with teacher evaluation based on said test scores... I don't want to put that on my kid. Idealistically, I'd home school her, but I think neither of us would survive that and I have to do that whole annoying work thing. Short of that, I want to wait until she's just a little bit older to buy her more time as a kid and less time sitting in a chair.

Planning backwards from Kindergarten, preschool is great and all, but she doesn't need that kind of structure yet. I think a year of it will be plenty for her to have experience with the structure and expectations of a pre-k program. Until then, she'll go to daycare and just play. Yes, they read books, do crafts, and have expectations about behavior... but it's play. She's learning by experiencing and playing and having fun.

We may change our minds later. We may decide that the home daycare she's at now isn't helping her grow as much any more, or that too many of the kids her age are going to pre-k (therefore taking away the learning opportunity that comes from playing with kids her own age), or she may be ready earlier than we are anticipating. We're constantly thinking about it and reevaluating what's best for her, but as of right now, as we're on the cusp of 3, we have no plans to send her to preschool. 

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