Last spring, I wasn’t even thinking of preschool. I am not one of those people who believes that all kids need preschool. I had this happy-go-lucky idea floating around in my head of not really doing any formal schooling until kindergarten or maybe even 1st grade. I had visions of being a borderline unschooler, though to be honest it doesn’t really fit my personality and I don’t think I’d do it well.
A quick side story: Savannah is one of those lucky kids with a late August birthday, so I knew that when to start school with her would be something we’d have to consider closer than if her birthday fell elsewhere in the year. I also knew we’d need to consider and make a decision about our schooling options – homeschool, private school, or public school. My most recent decision was that we’d start her in kindergarten following the state of Georgia cut-off (Sept. 1st), so she would start the same month she turned 5 in August 2014. I’d like to homeschool her for K5, and then at the end of the year reevaluate how she was doing and either repeat kindy or send her on to 1st grade. I don’t want to push her before she’s ready, but I don’t want to hold her back arbitrarily either.
My friend Kacie emailed me and asked me about homeschooling and preschool. I have been so focused on kindergarten that I hadn’t really considered preschool. But Kacie piqued my interest. It would be fun to do a few activities a week, I thought. I don’t need a curriculum or anything. I was also inspired by my friend Karla and her blog. Her weekly themes sounded like a lot of fun!
However, over the summer I have really struggled with this whole toddler thing. I must admit – parenting a toddler has been REALLY hard for me. I have felt completely off my game and unable to cope with my responsibilities of being a mom of a 2.5 year old. I began to wish I was returning to work – and I really don’t think wanting to get away from your kid is a great reason to return to work. :-) I knew something needed to change.
I began to look at preschool programs. I know, quite a change from my idealistic run-through-the-meadows and learn through play and all those happy thoughts! The more I thought of it, the more I decided that a part time preschool would probably be just the break I needed. I had other reasons too… Savannah getting something that was all “hers” and had nothing to do with her baby sister, a chance to make friends and be social, giving me time one-on-one with Caroline, etc. I also think we would all do better if we had more of a routine during the day, but I do better when something else is forcing us to the routine (like work or school).
I found a Methodist Church preschool near us that had an opening in their two day program! It was exactly what I was wanting. Also, I was excited to find out they even offered a 2.5 year old class. Even though Savannah technically is old enough for the 3 year old class (turning three by Sept. 1st), I was a little worried about how she’d do being the youngest in her class. Also, they have to be potty-trained for the 3 year old class and we’re working on it, but with a new baby in the house I just didn’t want that added stress. :-)
Another side story: The preschool director for some reason REALLY wanted Savannah in the 3 year old class. She kept saying that she thought it was weird that parents held their kids back, and that Savannah wouldn’t be ready for the 4 year old class next year if she didn’t go to the 3yo class this year. I debated and kept coming back to the fact that I thought Savannah would do better with kids more her age, instead of being the very youngest.
Savannah starts preschool in a few weeks. I am excited! I think she will really enjoy it, and I am already looking forward to having a time to run errands and make appointments with only a baby and not both baby and toddler.
We’re taking each year as it comes. I don’t know that we’ll do preschool next year. I don’t know that I will send Caroline to preschool. I still want to homeschool for kindergarten, which I’m excited about. I just know that this year, this is what’s working best for our family.
Also, I feel like a real “mom” now. Getting my kid ready for school. Packing a lunch. Wow, when did I get this old?