Let me start by saying, I'm not anti-preschool! But I didn't go to preschool, so I didn't automatically assume my children would. At various times I've thought about sending Chickie, and, while Zoodle may eventually go, Chickie never did.
There are many reasons to send a child to preschool, but in my mind there are several big ones.
- Often someone is needed to watch children while their parents work. I don't work anywhere close to full-time, and as a real estate agent I don't have a regular schedule, so I haven't needed regular childcare.
- Many children benefit from socialization with other kids. Chickie would have loved the socialization of preschool, but she gets a lot of other socialization. We're active at church and do plenty of play dates with other kids--plus, she has a playmate at home. In other words, she gets a lot of free socialization, and I didn't want to pay for extra!
- Preschool can prepare children academically for kindergarten. Chickie enjoys learning, and I think she's quite well-prepared for kindergarten. While she would have gotten extra education at preschool, we didn't think she needed it in order to do well in school.
- Mommy needs a break! I can understand this one! When we were expecting Zoodle, I thought I might send Chickie to preschool if I needed a few hours a week with only one kid. But, while I certainly have had many overwhelming moments as a mom of two, Zoodle's generally not a high-maintenance kid, and the transition to two kids was in most ways easier than I expected.
- It's nice for young kids to learn classroom skills like standing in line, raising their hands, etc. I know that Chickie will be a little behind in some of these areas compared to preschooled kids, but she gets some experience in her (structured) Sunday School class and gymnastics class, and I don't think it will take her long to "learn the ropes."