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Along Abbey Road | A Lifestyle And Family Blog : Mama Talk: Preschool


Mama Talk: Preschool

(Luke practicing his brainiest of looks for his future preschool days. Pictures via Instagram.)

Not two days ago, my phone chimed with a new daily update from The Bump informing me it was time to start thinking about preschool for Luke. 

"Your little guy sure is growing up fast! Now it's time to check out preschools (if you haven't already started)..."

Say whhaaa? Preschool? For my 1-year old

Lumps were beginning to form in my throat, my heart starting pounding, and I swear I broke out in a mild sweat from the anxiety of thinking about Luke and preschool. My mind was racing back and forth with all sorts of first-time mommy questions...

Am I already behind the preschool game? At what age do all of these shenanigans start? Should my toddler be learning a second language already? Should he know the entire alphabet and be able to count to 100 already? Should I start him in piano lessons while I'm at it? 

I was a mess. An utter, hormonal, pregnant mess. The thought of preschool for Luke hadn't even entered my mind until that blasted email hacked its way into my life. Sure, I'd seen a few friends put their little ones in daycare classes and programs, but not full on backpack, sack lunch, reading, writing and, 'rithmetic school. 

I never went to preschool at all. I just skipped along into kindergarten with a death grip on my mom, accompanied with a few tears and the occasional stinkface. Perhaps I should have gone to preschool, considering I had some major social anxiety looking back on it in retrospect, but I just don't remember this insane push for earlier and earlier education. Why can't we just let our little ones be little? Sometimes the parenting world overwhelms me with the competition and need for having the brightest, most accomplished toddler. Is it really that important that my 4-year old knows Mandarin Chinese? What ever happened to climbing trees and banging on things with sticks? There is plenty of time in life to be grown up, and not enough moments to indulge in the innocence of youth. Stop trying to rob my babies of their childhood, world. Let's just take a step back and breathe a little easier.

That being said, what is the appropriate age to enroll your bambino in preschool? Or do you even think preschool is necessary? 

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At August 21, 2013 at 4:22 PM , Blogger Kelly Jane said...

Speaking as a former kindergarten teacher/current elementary GT teacher, I absolutely think preschool is important. I can still often tell which kids have been to preschool and which kids haven't...kids who have been to preschool have often learned valuable social skills and basic academic skills (no Mandarin Chinese :) ) that just prepare them a little better for 'real school.'

HOWEVER, with that being said, you are certainly not behind. For Pete's sake, he's 1 year old!! No need for it right now if you don't need it for child care. Here's my unsolicited opinion--I believe kids will benefit from attending preschool a couple of days a week starting maybe when they're 3 or 4. And even then, it doesn't have to be full days or anything. There are so many options...I have a friend who has a three year old son who attends preschool 3 mornings a week. And that works for them. Her older son increased to 4 mornings a week when he turned 4.

Anyway, this is a really long comment, but I hope that helps!! :)

At August 21, 2013 at 5:18 PM , Anonymous Courtney said...

As an elementary ESL teacher I believe preschool is very important. Not only for academic skill, but for the social piece as well. My almost three year old goes three times a week to an International Montessori school and yes he is learning Mandarin :)and as an ESL teacher I love that he is being exposed to many different cultures and languages in his classroom.

As a mom I am a strong believer in letting kids be kids and letting them explore their environment. If I didn't have to work, I think the ideal situation would be a morning preschool 3 times a week for my almost 3 year old son, but unfortunately this mama has to work :( As he got older I would do everyday, so he was ready for kindergarten.

Teacher hat on - In my state and district kindergarteners are expected to know all their letters and sounds before entering kindergarten and be able to count to 10 (state standards). If teachers had it their way children wouldn't be under so much pressure. Makes me sad sometimes :( It is pretty amazing to watch kindergarteners read books by the end of the year and love writing!

At August 21, 2013 at 5:52 PM , Blogger Jessica Holly said...

coming from a former Kindergarten teacher....I don't think pre-school is necessary for all kids. I think it's nice for some from a completely social/interacting with other kids aspect. but academically, I don't think it's necessary at all. I would just read lots of books with him and talk to him about numbers and the alphabet and he'll be fine (I say "talk" not "he has to have it all memorized")!!! Just my opinion!

At August 21, 2013 at 5:54 PM , Blogger Jessica Holly said...

oo I just read the other comments here! I'm not trying to be controversial- this is just my opinion!! Jess 101 :)

At August 21, 2013 at 6:07 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

since my son will be right at the cut-off age for kindergarten we've been talking about this topic a lot recently. my parents all worked so i was in day care from 6weeks old and it kind of turned in to preschool when i was older. i totally feel ya with the anxiety already. someone just asked what would be a good 1st birthday gift for william and i had no idea. they said "any kind of learning/developmental toys?" what?! he plays with blocks with letters on them and has books... is that not enough right now? he's just a baby!

At August 21, 2013 at 8:28 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

Super insightful advice! I agree with the 3-4 age range of starting kids in preschool and I love that there are a variety of options and schedules like you mentioned! Thanks for sharing!

At August 21, 2013 at 8:31 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

I totally agree that learning about cultures and languages at a young age is great. Heck, we have Luke in baby/toddler sign classes, so I guess he is already learning a second language, too. Since you are a teacher and see all of this stuff in action, I really value your input! Thanks for your comment!

At August 21, 2013 at 8:33 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

This isn't controversial at all! I love seeing everyone's opinions, especially since you were a kindergarten teacher! It helps me relax a little in realizing Luke doesn't need to know a million things before he enters school!

At August 21, 2013 at 8:36 PM , Blogger Unknown said...

He's just a wittow guy! Let him play with pots and pans, since they like all of the basic, non-toy things anyway! In fact, I just read an article the other day saying how it's better for their development to have fewer things to play with instead of all these glitzy, high-tech toys that they bore of after a minute. To each their own, right?

At August 24, 2013 at 5:32 AM , Blogger Dawnelle @ Just Dawnelle said...

OH my gosh now I'm feeling all kinds of anxiety! Preschool? Haven't even thought about it and my little boy is going already 2-1/2... gosh! Although I have done some reading and research about different learning and teaching methods for little ones and have found that I love the Montessori method. I know there are Montessori preschools out there and other methods of learning... Anyway, so yeah I might need to take some time to look into all this stuff eventually...

At August 26, 2013 at 6:57 PM , Blogger Hannah Avery said...

Since I plan on homeschooling our almost 3 year old, I am just reading to him right now, pointing out numbers, counting with him up and down the steps, and will probably start working more with the alphabet with him with a magnetic board and letters this year. Also, we will probably do more number recognition. He is doing so amazing already with playing like counting his toys and lining them up, etc. He is just amazing me lately with his creativity. We don't have much loud electronic toys though. I want to do more research on learning styles, etc. as we go.



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