Life with kids is ALWAYS an adventure. And I have 3 who are only 3 years apart. (yes, we're crazy.) This is my place to capture the craziness in all it's glory, because childhood only happens once. (thank goodness!)

When you get tired of reading about my kids visit my other blog all about ME!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

And now a word on education.....

Ok. Here we go. I know that there will be lots of people with lots of different opinions on the following subject. So let me say right now that this is MY opinion for MY kids and I am in no way trying to tell anybody else what to do with their own kids. But this is my blog so I get to write my opinion. That's how it works.

So, I have been thinking LONG and HARD about the whole preschool thing. You see, technically Adam is already nearly a year behind. Most the kids in his sunbeam class started preschool last fall at the age of 3. Adam will be 4 in less than a week and has not as yet started preschool. Last fall it wasn't really an option for us as we were still working on the whole potty training thing. But this upcoming fall I need to make a decision.

And believe me I have been bombarded with options. Some where he goes 4 days a week, some 2 days a week, some expensive, some less expensive, some require my volunteer time, some I drop him off and don't see him again for hours on end......it's enough to make a mother's head spin. And since Adam is my oldest child and hence my first child there are plenty of women in the ward and neighborhood all too willing to give me their opinion on what I should be doing.

But like I said, I've thought long and hard about it. And here is the conclusion I have come to.......I'm not going to put him in preschool at all. period. end of discussion.

okay, not really the end of discussion, since now I'm going to give you all my reasons for this decision.

See, I think kids are only kids once and school is going to monopolize his life soon enough as it is. Why rob him of precious childhood free time by forcing him into school too soon?

Not to mention I have already confessed that I am a slacker mom (and proud of it, by the way) and the sooner I start him in school the sooner I have to start running him to school on a set schedule certain days of the week, which means packing the other kids in the stroller or car just to drop him off and pick him up however many times a week and I'm just not ready to do that yet.

I really like what Muffy Mead-Ferro (author of the Confessions books) has to say about the subject as well. (side note, reading her books didn't make my decision for me. I don't let people I have never met make my parenting decisions for me. I just happen to really agree with what she says and as she is a published author I think she says it quite eloquently.)

"It's not just my reluctance to drive myself insane by overloading our schedules, though. I also wonder, if I left my kids with no time or opportunity to think for themselves and solve their own problems, even in terms of coming up with something to do to entertain themselves, whether I would really be enriching them. It feels more like shortchanging them. And I wonder, if my daughter always had to leave home in order to qualify as doing something worthwhile, whether she would have the opportunity to develop strong relationships with her brother, her father, or me. I wonder, if my son was pushed to achieve from the time he was two, whether he might burn out at ten. And I wonder if there is any evidence that success in life is so formulaic that we can program our kids to succeed just by enrolling them in enriching activities from the time they are small. How do we know it's not just as enriching, and just as likely to lead to success in life, for them to be mowing the lawn or washing the car?"

She says a whole lot more, but for that you'll have to read her books.

Now some of you may be all up in arms about this! You want to scream at me "aren't you afraid he'll be behind when he hits kindergarten? Aren't you worried the other kids will learn how to read and write and add first? And what about Harvard? How on earth is he going to get into Harvard if he doesn't go to preschool?"

To which I respond, he will be just fine. I never attended preschool and somehow I managed. (Quite well I might add, if I can say that without being obnoxiously vain.) You see, he already knows his colors and numbers and letters and even a few simple words. He also knows rudimentary math skills. (just ask anybody who has seen him bargain with me about how many bites of dinner he has to eat before getting done to play.)

Yes, I'm sure some of those kids that attended preschool will be "ahead" of him in some areas. But that's life. There will always be somebody better then you at some things, as well as somebody worse than you. And perhaps kindergarten is as good a time as any for him to learn that. I'm okay with it if he doesn't look at life as a competition in which he has to be better than everybody at everything! I mean what 4 year old needs that kind of pressure?

For now let's just say that I have decided to give Adam one more year of childhood. I hope that someday he will thank me.

10 comments:

Liss said...

I am totally with you! I _am_ going to send my kids to preschool, but we're doing the Joy school thing where it's more about socialization than anything else. After being in education I have more than my fair share of opinions here, but I don't think that getting your kid to read by age 3 proves much of anything. There's a lot a kid can "memorize", I just want my kids to learn to play with others (especially since Jonah has been quite the solitary kid).

orangemily said...

I agree that kids need to be kids and not shoved in to achieving too early. But I have to ask (and add I'm not trying to change your mind in any way) how do you think he'll adjust to going from being home to gone 5 days a week for half a day?
I'm glad I don't have to figure out preschool for 2 more years (I'm definitely not sending Moira when she's three)!

Nicole said...

He'll adjust the same way the rest of us somehow did.

Principessa said...

(fake educated tone) "I think that if you keep Adam out of preschool he will not learn to play with the other kids, because he doesn't have siblings to play with or the experience in sunbeams. speaking of sunbeams, 2 hours a week away from his mom, where is apparently is a chatterbox and loves to be, is definitely not enough time for him to adjust to being away from his mom when he enters kindergarten. blah blah blah, yadda yadda yadda"....

This message will self-destruct

Nicole said...

my mom has suggested the joy school route. but i'm such a slacker mom that it just sounded like way too much work. Plus with my other two young kids crying and wanting my attention the LAST thing I want is 3 or 4 more other kids running around my house that I'm supposed to try and teach something to. It ranks right up there with day care on my list of things I want to do.

orangemily said...

I agree Joy School is way too much work!

Dana said...

I put my son in preschool because he begged to go. All his friends were going and he was going to have no one for playdates anymore!

But honestly, I think I taught him more than he learned in school. I was worried that he couldn't go, so I was teaching him to read and basic math skills on my own. After they changed the school policy and he was eligible, I discovered that he was way ahead in most areas.

So keeping him home is not a bad deal. He probably gets plenty of interaction and rules at home and with his friends. The biggest issue is usually teaching kids common manners and socialization. I've seen how you work with kids (a long time ago!) and I have a sneaking suspicion that your children will not be crazy monsters that refuse to follow rules! So no worries on your part!

sierraqueen said...

Adam will do just fine without preschool. Enjoy him, play with him, teach him, and above all just plain enjoy being a mom to him and the other kids.

sierraqueen said...

I support you in your decision. I personally believe children are not allowed enough time to be kids and enjoy their childhood. Adam is bright. He learns quickly and will do just fine. Enjoy your children while they are "little" as they grow up too quickly.

Anonymous said...

So, I am a firm believer that Mom's know what is best for their children. You have to go with what you know to be right in your heart for your family. It gets a little more frustrating when they get into the public education system and they want to forget they are children and believe they know what is best for your child. You go girl!