Before I begin my dissertation about the last few weeks and our preschool go around, I think I need to make a few quick statements!
1. I don't think there is anything wrong with sending your child to preschool
2. I don't like to be told what to do
3. I have learned to never say never
Okay...so as an elementary teacher for 13 years, primarily in first grade and Kindergarten, I decided long ago that I would NEVER send my children to preschool (see above statement number 3). I would have even been so obnoxious as to say "I don't believe in preschool," which is a pretty stupid statement considering I drive by about 10 of them no matter what direction I go in, so clearly they exist :) I even taught at one for a year and a half, although it was a horrible experience and is part of why I made the previous obnoxious statement!
So fast forward to November 2010: I'm chatting with my mommy friends and they are all buzzing about preschool registration, open houses, etc. I have fielded many questions already about why I haven't put M in preschool up to this point. Most people seemed to be able to look over my choice for a three year old. But as I'm listening and joining in and thinking (you know, late at night when everyone else is asleep and you're laying in bed going over all the horrible mistakes you made that day as a mom) I begin to feel like I am doing my child a horrible disservice by not at least looking into preschool. And apparently I better do it quick because if I don't register at the beginning of January "I will never get her in a good school."
So I begin the conversation with hubby, he says to go ahead and check out the preschool scene. By the way, he was shocked that you had to pay for preschool, he thought it was free :) Anyway, I begin making phone calls, scheduling visists, going to open houses, filling out applications, etc, etc, etc...
Then all of the sudden I remembered who I was and who my kids are. I remembered that preschool isn't necessary. I remembered that M is smart and social and around children all the time. I remembered that just because everyone else thinks I should do it doesn't mean I have to. I also remembered that generally speaking, parents are trying to do what they think is best for THEIR family, for THEIR children and every family and every child is different!
So I regrouped, talked to the hubby again and met with friends that are more like minded. We have come up with our own solution that will save my financially strapped family lots of money and will still benefit my child. I will not be sending M to preschool, I will be preparing her for Kindergarten the best way I know how, I will enjoy this last year home with her before I have to send her off to school for 13+ years. And I will do it with confidence that God has given me the skills to teach, the ability to love and the wisdom to discern what is best for MY family, for MY little M.