So maybe it’s not up there with debating our national debt, but for many parents the decision of when to send our little ones to preschool is just as difficult. As the mother of four I have had a considerable amount of experience in this area, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have questions and since we’re talking about all things back-to-school this week I thought this was the perfect time to talk preschool!
My oldest daughter, Taylor started preschool (all day, Monday-Thursday) when she was 3 1/2, she went to preschool for 2 years before starting Kindergarten and thrived when many of her classmates did not. My middle daughter, Savanna went to preschool (all day Tuesday-Friday) when she was 4 for 1/2 a year (long story short, there were issues with a particular child that made school miserable for her and many other children), when Savanna got to Kindergarten she was noticeably behind where Taylor was at that stage, but she seemed to be at the same level as most of her classmates. Savanna did have some trouble for the first few months of Kindergarten catching up to the children who had, had 1 or more years of preschool prior to kindergarten, but by the end of the year she had exceeded all of the expectations that both myself and her teacher had for her.
That leads me to my son; Lil Man turned 4 August 1st, more than old enough to go to preschool, but the problem lies in the fact that due to his birthday falling when it does he will always be either the youngest person in his class or the oldest person in his class, depending on when I decide to start him in kindergarten. I had planned on sending Lil Man to preschool this fall since I feel that he needs the social interaction before being thrown into all-day kindergarten away from Mommy and his Sissy, but when I spoke to one of the preschool teachers she told me that due to his birthday falling when it does (gotta love those August birthdays) if I enroll him in preschool this fall he will have to go to kindergarten next year (just a few days after turning 5). I’m not sure of the exact reason, but this presented a huge problem for me; do I send Lil Man to preschool this fall (at 4) and then throw him into kindergarten next fall (at barely 5) and hope that he doesn’t have any issues? The preschool teacher happens to be a dear friend of me and she suggested that I wait to send him next year saying that she’s seen too many children who were started early have problems and ultimately have to be held back in later grades. If I wait until next fall Lil Diva will be old enough to attend preschool with Lil Man (and that presents a whole new can of worms lol) but I think that may be the best option!?!?
So I want to know what you think—what are the pros and cons of preschool (in your opinion of course) and how do you feel about children starting in kindergarten too early and/or too late?
I’m counting on y’all to give me some feedback here as this is one issue I’m not really sure how to resolve by myself!