I’ve read your column for years now and always love the advice you give. So, after weeks of indecision about preschool, I decided it was time to ask the expert. I have an awesome 4 year old son. He has a September birthday, so he missed the deadline for going to Kindergarten this coming year. Right now he is going to a mommy-based preschool with some friends from church. Four kids total, each mom takes a turn to teach two times a week. Overall it has been awesome. But! He hasn’t learned anything. He knew his letters, sounds, numbers, etc. before he started. He loves going and being so big with his backpack and playing with his friends is awesome, but he really hasn’t learned anything. So here we are looking at one more year of preschool ahead of him and I’m trying to decide what to do. An in-home preschool around here costs $150-$175/month, for two-three days a week depending on the teacher. At a public daycare-type preschool it’s about twice that. I’m a stay at home mom with a three-year old and 4-month old as well.
Adding an extra $150/month expense to our budget would be a huge financial hit to us. Yes, we could do it, but I feel like we would be sacrificing a lot in order to make it work. But yet I feel like my son WANTS to learn more than what he’s getting from this little mommy group and another year of repeating sounds and numbers is not going to help him and might even bore him. And even if I wanted to do the mommy preschool again, all of the other kids are enrolling in a more formal preschool, so at this point it’s not even an option.
So I go back and forth. Is it worth the money and sacrifice to put him in a “real” preschool? Or do all kids just even out by mid-kindergarten anyway so no one can tell who had preschool and who didn’t? I feel like I have to do something for him, he’ll feel so left out when all of his friends are going to school next year and he’s not anymore. Should I send him to Kindergarten a year early? I’m positive he would pass the screening, but I don’t want to be that mom that tries to prove how smart her kid is, so let’s bump him up a grade! I don’t want him to be at a disadvantage because he would be younger than the other kids, but yet I feel like if I don’t do SOMETHING for this next year then I’m also putting him at a disadvantage. I just want to do what’s best for my son and my family as a whole. Oh goodness, I’m completely overanalyzing this, I know. So, just tell me what to do so maybe I can get some sleep tonight.
Preschool Drama Queen