Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Preschool Dilemma

This whole preschool thing has really snuck up on me. All around me, my friends are registering their kids here or there and I feel completely uneducated and undecided about what to do. When I see kids younger than Micah already registered I start to feel panicked. And what's the big rush with registration in January anyway? It's almost impossible for me to know if Micah will be ready for such a big transition 9 months from now!

It's crazy to me to think that he could've been in preschool this past September already since he technically turned 3 in '07. And that's our main dilemma: the fact that Micah has a December birthday. Erik and I have debated back and forth about whether we will end up holding him back a year before he starts Kindergarten. Just when we're sure what we're going to do, I start to second-guess it. Erik is more inclined just to wait another year to start preschool and therefore hold him back a year before starting Kindergarten, but I'm not convinced. If we don't at least try preschool this next year we might not be able to make an educated decision about whether or not Micah's ready to start Kindergarten.

The other dilemma - which preschool are we going to send him to? It's not like back when I was a kid in a small town and there was probably only one option to choose from. There are dozens of options and I feel completely clueless about them. I do know that I'd prefer Micah to go to a Christian preschool and many of the local churches have them these days (except our church, unfortunately, which will be closing theirs this year). I'd also like it to be a) affordable, b) not too far from where we live (but we don't know if we'll still be living in this area next year so that's a tricky one), and c) 2 days a week as opposed to 3. So, if any of you Abbotsford-ians can give me advice/suggestions on where to go I would love to hear it!


Amber said...

Or you can live in a REALLY small town like me and not even have ONE preschool around. I have never thought about preschool at all because I haven't grown up in an area where it was an option. To be honest I don't even know where the nearest preschool would be!

Ya, I guess I'm not much help but I hope you & Erik can decide on something. Pray about it, as I'm sure you are.

Laura said...

Ok, well, here's my two cents. Sarah is in a preschool right now that I LOVE!!!!!!! It's called Wind and Tide (they have a website, as it's a chain basically). It's a Christian preschool with amazing teachers, and an unbelievable program! Sarah is learning about artists, a different one every month, and right now is learning about the human body. It's on Gladwin Road just past the big pentecostal church, but it's held in Gladwin Heights United Church in the basement. The only thing is that it's on the pricey side of preschools that I've checked out, but in my mind definitely worth the extra bit of money. As for deciding if Micah's ready or not, it might be hard to know until you try it, and remember that he'll develop a whole lot in the next nine months or so. You can always register him, and decide closer to September if he should actually go or not. Let me know if you want any more info - sorry for the looooong comment!

Laura said...

We faced a similar dilema with Madlaine having a birthday in November. She was very socially ready for preschool and did well in it. She also did very well in kindergarten. But when it came time for grade one and learning to read, I still think that holding her bace the year would have definitely given her more of an advantage. It seems like she's always struggling to keep up. I always advice people who ask and have the option of holding back, to do so. It is always an advantage to the child. And it is much better to hold back now than being faced with holding back somewhere down the line, when it could really hurt there self esteem and friendships. I remember stressing about this but in the bigger picture Micah is not going to remember having to wait an extra year, and he'll defintely be ready the following year.
That's my 2 cents.
By the way Maddy is doing very well in grade 3, she works hard for her marks. The learning to read thing for her was a big challange.
And then there's Olivia who absolutely hated nursery school for 2 years straight, and absolutely loves kindergarten. (I even considered starting her at don't have to start them when their 5 I found out.)
That probably doesn't help much, I hope I didn't confuse you more.

Christy said...

We are having the same dillemma! I am not sure if I am homeschooling or not yet. So if we decide to send him to school then I would like to get him used to the school atmosphere but at the same time I am not ready to let him go! I want to keep him home as long as possible! It honestly feels like he was just born and now I am having to make these decisions for him already...ahhh!! Good luck and keep us posted!

Janelle said...

does that mean i should be registering Kamryn? or is she still too young? oh boy.

Trev & Rebekah said...

My sister and I are December babies. Micah and Sara share the same birth date. My sister was smart but not socially ready to go at the at of 4 turning 5 so the teachers and my parents decided she needed to stay back in Kindergarten another year because of how shy she was. Because of that my mom kept me back and put me into preschool the year I could have been in Kindergarten. I kinda liked being one of the oldest in the class and the first to get my drivers, etc. Trev on the other hand is a January baby and is smart. He actually was put in at the age of 5 turning 6 but got pushed up a grade. I guess you need to determine if you think Micah is ready or not. That's hard. Praying you will be able to do that.

Jamie said...

Janelle - Kamryn would be old enough to go this fall since she'll be 3 in '08 and that would just mean doing 2 years of preschool rather than just one (or none!) Around here they usually do 2 times a week for the 3 yr olds and 2 or 3 times for the 4 yr olds.

the salmon said...

i have always thought i would not put my daughter in preschool because we go to playgroups and she has a "preschool" type class twice a month, she has sunday school, and there is a local church that offers a free kids group once per week where you can even drop them off and go.

that being said, i know she would love and thrive at preschool and i feel a little left out b/c everyone seems to put their kids in. i wish it was like in ontario where you have jr. & sr. kindergarten and its all free, so you just choose your school and start your kid there. although you'd still have the same decision of whether to start in jk or sk or just regular kindergarten.

Erin Keown said...

school was a big stress for me. Especially finding the right one. Aidan did two years of preschool before he started kindergarten. Him being a january baby it was an easy decision on when to send him to kindergarten. I can't imagine if he was a few months older. He would have struggled being in grade one this year i think. Cassidy on the other hand is very ready for kindergarten and she is a later baby. I have heard girls develop a little faster mentally then boys, but everyone is different.
I would hold him back, but still take advantage of the preschool for two years. I plan to start Liam in preschool in fall, mainly because it would give me a nice break and i think it would be good for his speech. It doesn't have to be a christian preschool to be a good one. Aidan went to a christian one last year and i prefer the 'secular' one cass is in this year. (and it is way cheaper) I would ask around and get references from people. Attend open houses, and ask lots of questions. As for registering early, it is a pain but you can always choose not to send them in fall and you usualy just lose your registration fee.

Lorrie said...

Hey Jamie
I sent all 3 of my kids to a Christian one at the West Abby church which thankfully was also the cheapest in, they went for age 3, and then I put them into wee college for age 4 (the one by Remples Meats church) and then 1 activity of their choice, ballet, or skating, whatever, and then they entered K when they were 5, but my kids were born Jan, Apr and June.
With that being said, I was an end of Oct baby and was very SOCIALLY ready for K at that time, but struggled thro school my whole life, it seemed no matter how hard I tried I couldn't get great grades. There's my 2 cents!! Jsut remember each kid is different, preschool is usually pretty over-rated, and he'll do fine with whatever you guys choose cause your all really great parents ;)

rachel joy said...

As I've already shared with you, I'm really happy with Central Heights. Max loves it too. He's a July baby and was very socially ready for it, although the crazy summer we had stressed him out, making in a rough first week. But after that he was so fine. I agree with those who are saying that keeping Micah back a year would be a good idea. I'm a November "baby" and struggled with school quite a bit. I wonder now if holding me back would have changed things. We chose preschool for Max because he is so social and wanted to ease him into the idea of school before Kindergarten which is usually every day of the week, either morning or afternoon. Max did 2 days @ 3 yrs old, will do 3 days @ 4 years old, then 5 days for Kindy. As you said, most 4 year old programs are 3 days. This would be an adjustment just as much as 2 days would be. I think preschool is a great way to ease our kids (especially our boys!) into a school routine, rather than a huge change for Kindergarten. If you hold him back for Kindergarten will he even be able to do preschool at 5 years old? Central Heights has two 4 yr classes. 3 mornings or 2 afternoons. Someone also mentioned going to open houses. I'll find out if Central Heights has already had theirs. Even in if you missed it I"m sure you could arrange to visit with the teacher. Would love to chat with you more about it.

rachel joy said...

I forgot to say that Central Heights is really reasonably priced too. Love it!