So you're in preschool?

That is what we here everywhere here....Any place we go. Preschool is a BIG deal here. I mean really really Big deal here. Everywhere we the library, the park, the grocery store. They ask A how old she is and then when she says 3 they so "So you're in preschool?"

You see our local school has a 2 day a week program for 3's and a 3 day a week program for 4's. Yep they are split which if know A would be the worse possible thing for her.

But wait...we must have grown 3 heads. GASP.... she's not in preschool!
Hmmmm....the range of responses when told no, we homeschool......all of which are directed at her I might add...

" miss so much fun"
"Oh! But you should be in preschool"
"You homeschool? You need to be learning your alphabet"
"But you are 3, you are supposed to be in preschool"

And they all look at me like I am the derelict mom who is keeping her child from learning all the amazing things a child learns in preschool.

Okay, umm we tried it. Not here in this town, but we tried it. She hated it. Begged me for worksheets and couldn't understand why they focused so much on colors! LOL. She was 2 then....she was in the class with 3 and 4 year olds.

She is now reading on a 3rd grade level. I hardly think she needs to go learn her alphabet. Heck I can't even spell words when talking with DH so she wont understand because she looks at you funny, thinks a minute, and then responds with the word you just spelled.

My 3 year old who needs to be in preschool can do place value in the thousands, can do addition and subtraction, and just this weekend went down the meat aisle at the Grocery Store reading "Club Price $2.99" "Club Price $5.59" "Club Price $1.99" And helped me select which icing to buy by reading the prices $2.39 and $2.79 and telling me which cost less money and therefore was a better deal.

Yes this is the child that I am holding back and ruining her life by not putting her in preschool. Agg. I have never lived in a place so age segregated. There is no story time during the week because all of the kids are in preschool. All activities at the PCR that would interest A....child must be 5 and up. It is a hard place to be in. I want her to have friends to have the interaction she needs and we are working at that by going to story time, by going to church and she is in children's church and friends with a little girl who is 6. But I am tired of people seeming so appalled when I say "No, she is not in preschool."


Joyful Learner said…
We live in California and that's all we hear too! I still haven't come up with a clever thing to say without offending the other person. We tried preschool and it's overrated. Luckily, I don't carry idealistic ideas of school either having subbed in so many schools around here. But it is getting harder to meet friends because most kids go to preschool. Story time usually attract younger babies and I've been getting annoyed that some nannies bring them even when it is clearly obvious they don't want to be there!

Maybe you can find a mother's helper or an older child to play with Ansley. JC prefers older kids because they can carry on a conversation and follow through on games. I tested JC few months ago and she's reading on a second grade level but we need to work on her confidence. She thinks she's not a good reader because she's not reading as well as a grown up! Only if she knew!

Hope Ansley finds friends of all ages she can play with. Maybe you can start a playgroup with activities and invite some kids over after their school is over.
With all due respect, preschool is not just about learning stuff. To be honest, I don't expect daughter to learn anything in her preschool. But it's also about being with someone else other than parents, listening to directions, not always getting what one wants and learning to help others with tasks she is better at. I cannot say that daughter is thrilled about school, but nevertheless she always seem to enjoy telling me about things they did. She says that sometimes that activities are "easy", but the only thing that she really complains about is a mandatory nap time when she is expected to lay on a cot for an hour.
My 3 year old is very bright - don't know that I would label her gifted, but definitely advanced. She is begging for preschool but my husband and I wanted to homeschool her. We know she would be bored at normal preschool. We're going to try a MOntessori school for a bit to see how it goes as she will be able to work at her level in that kind of setting.
Amanda said…
Raising a Happy Child- I am glad that preschool is going well for your child. And no preschool is not just about learning...however with All due respect- preschool is not the only place where a child can learn "about being with someone else other than parents, listening to directions, not always getting what one wants and learning to help others with tasks she is better at." Those things can also be learned in sports, homeschool co-ops, scouting, and music groups. All things which my child is a part of, has been a part of, or will be a part of. In fact there are plenty of opportunities in which a child can learn all of those things which I believe are extremely important to success in everyday life, even more important then academic success, without being bored in a preschool setting. All of those arguments are the same arguments that I have heard given against homeschooling in general. And yet, it is really up to the homeschooling parent to make sure that their child is not isolated but is allowed the opportunities that will help him or her thrive in life, both academically and socially.

As I have said before, we have tried preschool. There was nothing fun about it for her, she didn't enjoy any part of it, and she stuck with it for a while. She didn't enjoyoing playing with the other children, in fact her games where rebuffed by many of them because they simply could not understand the detailed imaginative instructions she had. Yet when she is with kids older then her, there is no problem with this disconnect. She plays more like an 6,7,8 year old then a 3 year old, and just as it would be wrong to force an 8 year old to spend all day with a group of 3 year olds, so is it wrong to push my child to. However, she does have opportunities to play with children her on age, which I believe, is highly needed, and we work on dealing with the fact that she believes they are being rude and mean when they do not play the way she does. We work on accepting others where they are and on playing on their level no matter what age they are on. These are teaching moments that she has gotten much better at dealing with and enjoying herself in.

I am very glad that preschool is working for your child, but it did not work for mine, thus I began this quest to provide her with the education in all areas of life that will serve her well in the future. We are homeschooling for now, however as I am seeking the educational fit that works best for her, I in no way rule out school in the traditional sense for her if the right opportunity presents itself. In fact after Kindergarten, I loved school. I would love for my child to be able to have the same experiences I did. But I know my experiences would have been quite different if I had experienced the one size fits all education that I did in K and did not find my place in the school I was moved to. I hope school continues to work well for her, but if there ever comes a point at which it does not, I hope you will be open enough to explore other options as to what she needs. As a Family Therapist I have worked with children at all different ages across all spectrums of the intelligence level, and I have to say that something I have found even in those that school suits well is that much much depends on the school and the teacher. Those that see a classroom as a one size fits all solution tend to do the worst for all children no matter where they fall as all children have strength and weaknesses, which need to be addressed.
Amanda said…
Joyful Learner- Its nice to meet someone who understands :) LOL. I am waiting till next summer when Ansley will be 4, as I feel I have a better chance of having groups bend the Age rule to allow a 4 year old in the 5 and up groups. Our PCR has many summer activities that sound very interesting to Ansley, so my fingers are crossed.

The girl who painted trees- Ansley also begged for preschool until she went LOL. Then she begged for worksheets, books to read, and to go home. I would put her in a Montessori preschool in a heartbeat; unfortunately we have never had the experience of living near a Montessori school. Good luck on your search :)
Ack. We get that too. For now I don't even bother to tell them we homeschool. They usually say "kindgergarten here" (there's K3, K4, and K5) and I look at THEM like they're from Mars and say "he's not old enough for kindergarten yet." They know *I* mean K5, but it stops it. I would just tell them "we're too busy doing other things" and save some breath for all the times you'll have to explain when they're older.

Yeah, I hear the "being with people other than their parent's, not always getting what they want, following directions, learning to help others..." stuff too. Except for the first one, they learn that at home too. What? Surprisingly I don't let them get what they want every time, ignore directions, and refrain from helping others here at home or out and about.

Those lessons are not so difficult to learn that they can't pick them up at church, storytime, music lessons, T-ball. They don't ALSO need to go to preschool to learn this lesson "extra well."

Even if the parent doesn't expect their children to "learn anything" at preschool, the people at the preschool will certainly make the children feel they are supposed to be "learning something." Setting up a situation where a child is NOT learning in school is something I intend to avoid as much as possible.

Sounds like their won't be as many homeschoolers where you are as where we are, but they ARE out their. You would be PERFECT for taking the initiative and starting a "homeschool" storytime or whatever you want to have. I'm shocked they don't have them anyway. If the preschool is only 2-3 days a week what do all the chronic overschedulers do the other days of the week?
MommyWise said…
I too am getting the STARE and the "Oh, shouldn't she be in preschool by now?" Some part of me is offended because the question itself is too pointed.. as if I'm not being a good parent. Usually I say "It's just not a good fit for her." Surprisingly, most people take that without going further. (perhaps they think she's a troublesome child and don't want to pry) Then if they ask I'll tell them she's in 1st grade, reading at a 3rd grade level, has many friends, and already knows how to use scissors. Ha ha

As for the socialization thing. I know 100% that Aidan would be miserable in preschool. She does NOT at all fit with her age group. She does not think, play, question, or do anything in any way that is age appropriate. It is a struggle to her to socialize with her age mates.

There are so many different outlets to socialize a child. Playgroups, lessons, scouts, church, neighbors, family, the lady in the grocery store, etc.

I find it ridiculous to force a kid to spend hours out of their day doing inappropriate work for their level. I think in the long run it'll teach them way too many bad habits. (not that I'm recommending cramming hard work either) But putting a kid in a group that they cannot relate to and they feel they're a misfit with... can cause a lot of harm psychologically.

Many "gifted" kids are fine with that scenario but profoundly gifted kids are a whole 'nother story.
MommyWise said…
Why oh why don't you live nearer us? LOL! :-)
Amanda said…
Thank you all for the support. It is just a whole differnt world with here. LOL

I like the "we're to busy doing other things" one My Boy's Teacher. I may have to try that. And I really like "it's just not a good fit for her." Mommywise. I think I will be using those from now on and sharing them with DH.