Friday, May 18, 2007

Preschool Questions...

So, I've been having a few preschool questions running through my mind and I'm trying to figure out what to do. I think I need some other opinions. I am leaning one way, but I keep thinking that I'm probably just putting too much thought into all this. I mean, really, it's preschool. I guarantee you that my mother never thought about any of this. You turned five and you went to school. End of thinking.

No, I guess she did think a little bit more than that, but it was when I was older. I was a very early reader (4) and apparently in 1st grade I was reading encyclopedias. My mom told me that she did worry that I wouldn't be challenged enough once I was in school, but I don't think she though much of it prior to going to school. In 2nd grade, I was tested and was reading at a 7th grade reading level, but they decided to keep me with my peers. Probably a good idea since I had already been with them for three years.

But back to my girls and MY thinking. I don't why I'm thinking so much about it all. I know part of it is the fact that they are twins, that they were micropreemies and I know they are still at risk for different learning problems, etc. And I can't help think how different school is now than it was 30 years ago.

So, to get to it. Currently my girls are in a private Lutheran school that has grades Preschool-Grade 8. It was their first year and they are thriving in this environment. I love their teacher and so do they. It's small, only 10 kids in the class maximum. Depending on the day they are there, there may only be 5-6 six kids. It's also a mixed age group with 3-5 year olds. I really like this too. They went three days/week from 8-12 and then after they got used to the school, I started sending them for full days once or twice a month. They love it! They love eating lunch with the big kids and are paired up with an older kid to help them with lunch. Plus my niece goes to school there too. My nephew will be going there next year. The main reasons I decided to send them there this year (rather than the community ed preschool) was the flexibility of sending them different days, changing their days, flexibility in the hours and smaller class size.

My girls are easily overwhelmed in new situations and freak out a little in larger groups of kids, especially if they are really loud. It takes awhile for them to transition. They can be quite shy at first until they know you well, and then well, they'll talk your ear off. I have already enrolled them at this same school for next year, MWF for the full days. We have full day kindergarten here so I want to transition them to that this year. They love school and sometimes they don't want to go home!

Sounds all good, right? What I am also thinking of doing now and I'm just not sure I should or that I need to, but I've been pondering on enrolling them at the community ed preschool too in their 2 day a week program for 4-5 year olds. They would then go T/TH from 8:30 - 11 a.m. at this other school. My reasons for this is to expose them to more kids and most likely the kids that they will be entering Kindergarten with. At this point, I'm not planning on sending them to the private school so that is why I'm thinking of doing this. But really...I'm probably thinking too much into it. It's not for academic reasons. Their teacher told me yesterday that they are just as sharp as the almost six year olds entering kindergarten next year; that they really know their letters, sounds, numbers well. I know that. They are already reading some sight words and doing basic addition and subtraction.

I guess I'm just worried about the transition stuff and I want them to be as prepared as they can be with large groups of people. With the PreK class through community ed, there can be up to 18 kids (w/two teachers) in the 4/5 class. But then I keep second guessing myself too...thinking that I'm sure they'll be just fine going to the one preschool. Why spend the extra $1200-1300 for the year for the two of them? (Yes, I know it's cheap! LOL)

What to do...what to do...I guess I could just pay the $60 to register them both and decide later. I am just all over the board here. Of course this is just me analyzing things to death! Any thoughts? Any readers out there? What would you do?


Sarah said...

Hrm... if they really do have a hard time with transitions, the it might not be a bad idea to east them into both the community preschool AND into being away from you 5 days a week. (Will their kindergarten be full-day or half-day?) You know your girls best - if this will ease the transition for them, I'd do it.

Shoshanna will be starting preschool in the fall after 2 years in a home-based daycare. We decided to go with the "ripping off the bandaid" approach - we're going to switch from one to the other cold-turkey. That's how she handles things best (though I expect that we'll be doing a lot of visits to Miss Ira's house in the beginning).

Billie said...

You know, all kids are different, and your girls are lucky that you have taken the time to really think this through. Personally, if you are able to, I think I would just go with the MWF smaller classroom program for next year, and save T/TH for fun family time. Maybe you could plan some day trips with the three of you on their days home? I just think that they grow up so fast and you should (hate to say "should") enjoy your time with them while you can. With an extra year to mature, I am sure they will do fine with the transition to kindergarten the following year. Good luck making a decision. I bet they will do great either way!

Oh, and reading back, I laughed out loud at the 18-month bathing suits. My girls easily fit into their 12-month suits at almost 3. They did get new suits this year in 18-months for Eden, and 24-months for Holland, and there is plenty of room to grow. The only bummer is that I LOVE buying bathing suits, but they don't need them!

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