Monday, June 8, 2009

Is Pre-K A Good Idea?

Though my oldest daughter is only 3, I’ve realized that it’s never too late to begin thinking about her education. After all, in just one year, when she’s four, I’ll have to begin researching pre-K programs, and then a year after that, what elementary school to place her in. Sure, I’ve got plenty of time to make a decision, which has led me to start quizzing all my mom friends who have been through the pre-k experience.

Do I move my daughter from her private preschool to a Georgia pre-k program, or leave her where she is?

Of course money plays a factor, at least in my family. Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of a state-funded school program that prepares a child for kindergarten? But on the other hand, do I really want my child to dive straight into a full-day of school, five days a week, at the tender age of four? She’ll be in school for at least 13 years after that (hopefully seven more if she decides to get her masters!), so my thinking is why push her into one more year? Sure, it would be nice to not have that monthly expense anymore, but would that be in the best interest of my daughter?

Some friends feel that any extra educational head start you can give your child should be taken advantage of – and even better if you aren’t required to fund it. Others feel they want to keep their children at home just a bit longer – putting them in preschool programs that are a bit less intense in terms of time commitment, or working with them at home.

Moms had some very helpful advice on the subject in response to a similar question posed by S.S. – Georgia Pre-K vs. Private Pre-K - on Mamapedia.com. Most seemed to concur that pre-k programs, whether public or private, have the same curriculum. Others expressed some dissatisfaction with programs held at daycare centers.

P.K. mentioned in her response that “My daughter is currently in the GA pre-k at Primrose of Woodstock and is doing wonderfully. The private class is no further along than her class, but the biggest difference is they wear private school clothes. My friend has her child in the private class and they cover the same items each week as the GA pre-K. We had to make the same decision when it was time for ours and we talked to the teachers and other parents and they didn't see a difference for the price.”

What do you think? If my daughter seems well prepared for elementary school by the time she's four, does she really need the pre-K experience? Let me know your thoughts. After all, as a mom, I can never get (or give) too much advice!

12 comments:

  1. Here in Massachusetts a lot of kids start pre-K at 2 and 3!!! I am not considering it for my 2 year old this year. Sometimes I feel like he can learn more at home with me, and frankly I think he's too young to benefit from the "socializing". I agree that the 13 years of schooling should be plenty, and he's doing fine with ABCs, counting, etc. so far. Thanks for your blog!

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