Last year around this same time, I was sitting outside of a church at 3:00 AM, waiting in line to register my son for pre-school. Today was the day to register for the next school year. I had the willpower to just say "no" to pre-school for my daughter next year.
She's only 2, but will turn 3 shortly after the school year starts. I've gone back and forth about whether or not I wanted to sign her up for pre-school. Back, and forth. Yes, and no. I think I've driven my husband nuts over this decision.
I think pre-school is very valuable. I think the value of it is much more than teaching kids letters and numbers. In my opinion, the real value lies in the social interactions (without Mom present) and preparing for the structure and routine of a school setting.
The moms I know have very diverse opinions on the subject of pre-school. Some have asked me about my plans for next year, and when I respond that I'm not doing pre-school for my daughter, they are shocked. "What, this could be the first time you have no kids in the house! Are you crazy, woman!?!?" "Not even a Mother's Day Out???"
Then I also knows some moms who think pre-school is totally unnecessary and don't even do it before going to elementary school (or homeschool). I read this interesting article from a mom who made the decision to skip pre-school.
My middle child is going to kindergarten this next school year, so by skipping a year of pre-school tuition/registration in our household we are saving $2000. And that money is going to our mortgage.
We won't be homebodies next year, though. I plan on continuing to take my daughter to several free activities around the area, like music and movement time at the library and story time at the mall. She will get some social interaction time without me at our gym daycare and at my church mom's group. I also plan on starting her in gymnastics or swimming. I hope to make it to many play dates and outings at the park. We will be busy.
I'm not looking for advice, since we've already made our decision for this year...but I am curious to know what your thoughts are on pre-school. Did or will your children attend? For how many years? What do you think they gained the most out of pre-school?