Lately I’ve been very confused in determining whether or not to send my 2,9 year-old son to a preschool. As a mother who is totally hooked with the internet, I often do some research before making any parenting decisions. Sometimes, I find my answers, but sometimes I became even more confused.
What I need to explain first, is that every child is different, and just because I decide something that is not like most parents/mommies, it doesn’t mean I disrespect other opinions.
After giving some thoughts, and having searched the web for different alternatives, plus those enormous discussions I had with my husband, we have decided that my son will not be going to school this year.
1. The cost, to send our son, to this Elementary School of our current choice (which shall be paid 3 years from now) is way above our financial capability.
However, we strongly believe that this is the place where my son can “unleash” his full skills and abilities under its flexible curriculum. The school is also located very near to our house, and it focused on the application of theories in the real world. Therefore, we will do whatever is possible, we will work hard, save our money the best way we can. And by saving money, it means we will also save the money we have prepared for play group fees.
If he goes to school NOW, we will lose some amount of money which we can SAVE for his elementary school fees.
2. My idea that regular schedule at play groups can increase his self-confidence and social skills is NOT a hundred-percent correct.
My son hates crowd. Especially a bunch of kids and adults staring at him, telling him to do stuffs, or are playing with his toys. I see this respond again last week when we have a party at our house, and my son did nothing but observing others. He also need some time to ‘warm up’ his engine before being able to relate to others, before he can talk friendly to others the way he never stop talking so much to his family.
There are other reasons, such as to give him better options besides TV, to increase the possibility of introducing him to letters, alphabets, art & craft activities, music, paintings, art and other educational stuffs.
However apparently, this great article have given me some thoughts about the mistakes most parents did when it comes to sending their kids to school. It was the idea of, “is my child ready for school?” instead of asking, “is the school ready to accept my child?”
We don’t expect our kids to be friendly to others by sending him to school, we must prepare them to be friendly. As mentioned on the article,
Indicators of “readiness” include possessing a level of composure and the ability to cope when things go wrong, being able to speak clearly and engage with adults so that they can say when they need help, understanding the importance of being able to share and play nicely with other children, and the beginnings of some responsibility so that they can look after their belongings.
Consider not just the importance of an emotional readiness for school and the confidence to make friends, but how well developed a child’s fine motor skills are. Can your child hold a pencil correctly? Draw simple shapes? Write their name? Dress themselves? Use a pair of scissors? Hop, skip and jump and tie their shoelaces?
And I very much agree with one of the comments in the article, that parents tend to force their children to school, which will put the burden to the teachers, instead of teaching their kids by themselves first, to give experiences which they need.
The biggest problem today is that parents are not being expected to ready their children for school and life in general. Teachers are having to spend a great deal of their time teaching children basic skills that should have been taught at home.
Bottom line, I plan to give more experiences child to my son before he starts school, that way he will have better abilities to cope with problems that will arise at school, such as sharing, independence, concentrating, and asking for help. I don’t need play group classes on which its fees will decrease the saving for my son’s elementary school, I can teach him myself.
Here’s what I’m going to do with my son for this year, now that he’s not going to any school yet..
1. Teach him on how to eat, drink, brush teeth, bathe, wear clothes, pants and shoes, by himself.
2. Teach him on how to draw shapes and associate each shape with everyday stuffs. (Or just follow some samples of children activities in this website).
3. Introduction to letters and numbers (will buy posters of letters, numbers and tracing books if necessary).
4. How to sort, match, compare, and perhaps.. count?
5. How to take turns, share toys, and get involved with other kids, maybe I will send him to this robotic course where he can play with these fantastic educational legos and listen to his tutor.
6. Will take him to the swimming pool, playground, animal museum, zoo and parks, more frequently.
Anyway, this is just my personal decision and thoughts, I still respect other parents who choose to send their kids to school as early as 3 years, and wish them and their kids the best.
I just need to save more money and help my son to be more independent, self-confidence and ready to start (and actually enjoy staying at) school. And when he does, I will NOT neglect my parenting responsibility to educate him, and leave it to his school teachers, I will still do everything I can to dig out his true talent, skills, and abilities, and support them the best way I can.
Because in the end, as written by Ms Tiffany Cooper here, children spend less than 20 percent of their waking hours in school, so we can’t expect schools to teach children everything they need to know. It is a shared responsibility between school and parents to create learning environments and opportunities within our homes, to support kids’ curiosity and critical thinking capabilities.
* * *