Carter was in an early intervention program. You age out at three. As part of his exiting the program, they have you go meet with your local preschool. After age three, if your child still has delays, it is up to the school district to meet those needs. The preschool tested him to see if he was still delayed and needed their services.
First off--the test was crazy long. We were there for a little over an hour. I was really proud watching him use his language and respond so well. But, by the end he was crawling around on the floor or starring blankly at them and refusing to answer. I can't blame him...that's a long time for a three year old to be asked question after question.
The results came back and he was in the normal range...including language! This was my biggest area of concern. I was so relieved and proud of how much progress he's made. Way to go buddy!
However, he did score low in one area: cognitive. It was the last area they tested him in, and they said he might have passed, but because he wouldn't answer they had to mark the answers as incomplete. Because of this, he qualified to go to the school.
While this preschool seemed great (play based) and the staff seemed knowledgeable I just didn't feel comfortable. Sending Carter off to preschool, at age 3? They even offered a bus that could come pick him up. I just couldn't fathom sending him off on a bus already.
Claudy and I weighed the option seriously. I talked to a friend who majored in early childhood education. And, we finally decided to decline. There were multiple reasons. But, honestly the biggest one was that I wasn't ready to let him go. Some may call this selfishness and I'm fine with that. I am very greedy when it comes to time with my children.
I recently read in an article about a mother who said that school is a vortex which children go into and once they come out they're adults. I believe it. Once I start giving away a few hours a day, pretty soon it will be full days, and pretty soon they'll be grown. It's a bit dramatic but true. Kids' lives get busy fast. Pretty soon they'll be sports, extra curricular activities, Scouts, mutual, friends. And, the time each day I get with him will diminish until he doesn't need me.
While I don't doubt the preschool's capabilities. I also believe in my own. I have a bachelors degree and feel I have a few things I can teach him too. I may not be the brightest crayon in box, but I'd like to think I'm at least a lovely pastel. I also believe that love and values can be best taught at home.
Even though there are days were I want to run away from my crazy toddler, there is no one else I'd rather spend my ENTIRE day with. Plus, he only has so much time to bond with Calvin. Pretty soon they'll be split into different classrooms and sporting teams because of their age difference. I want my kids to be close, and want to give them as much time together at the beginning to forge that bond.
Not to mention, his poor immune system probably doesn't need to be bombarded just yet with others' germs. Just once a week at nursery is bad enough.
So, sorry preschool. You'll have to wait another year for this great student. I already feel like time has flown with Carter and I refuse to give up any more time than I have to. I'm going to try hard to cherish this time I have with him before I have to start sharing him with the world.
I don't judge those who need to or want to send their kids to preschool, but I feel at peace that this is the right decision for my family right now.
Anyone else have good or bad experiences with preschool? Are you glad or regret putting them in it?