When I bring my three little children on outings I am noticing, with significant regularity, how many people ask if Monkey (4.5) is in preschool.
A couple weeks ago, when school started, I contacted the local French preschool program, twice, and I sent an email, but I received no reply. It seemed strange that nobody returned my call but perhaps they couldn’t understand my French… or my English (I left a message in both languages). I want my children to speak and understand French, and they do understand a little, but I have to confess that I haven’t been very diligent in teaching them French. So, I thought that French preschool might give us the kickstart we need.
Until recently Monkey was not ready for preschool but now that he is showing some interest I’m unsure about sending him. Part of my hesitation lies in the fact that we are planning to homeschool our children. If we send Monkey to preschool the natural progression would be kindergarten the year after. It might be difficult for him to understand why all his buddies are going to school the next year and he isn’t.
Also, I am starting to wonder about the reasons for preschool and I’m starting to ask myself some questions. Why would I be sending my son to preschool? Is it to learn French? For me to get a break? Is it really a break? To “socialize” him? I recently came across an article by the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada entitled Nuturing Children: Why “Early Learning” Doesn’t Help. The article touches on the topic of socialization and what it says is really interesting.
For some families there might be a time and a place for preschool. Some preschools are wonderful and offer great learning opportunities for children. What I am saying is that we need to make thoughtful decisions and we shouldn’t simply do something because of societal pressure.
So, I’ve decided, for the time, that I will continue to hold off on preschool. There are other programs we can take part in (like Strongstart), library programs and many other things. We could always revisit preschool in the new year.
What are your thoughts on preschool? Do you send your children or not? Why?