Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Preschool Visit Number 1

Last Saturday I attended an open house for the preschool down the road from here as a possibility for F in the fall.

While I was there, I didn't like it.

On the way home, I really didn't like it.

The more I think about it, the more I really, really don't like it and there's no way that she will be attending.

First of all, my daughter is very quick. She's adorable and precocious and she learns everything very quickly and with little effort. I'm sure that at some point she will hit a rough patch with some subject that is a challenge, but right now, it's all go. I have little doubt that she will know how to read a year from now, and it isn't because I'm pushing her. She begs to learn.

And normally, she's quite social as well.

Something about the preschool classroom, though, made her uncomfortable. It wasn't that she wasn't interested -- she was fascinated -- but it was almost like it was too much for her to take in at one. So many things on the walls, so many activities to choose from, so many toys, so many...so many....

It would have been great if one of the several teachers came over, got down at her level and engaged with her. She was shy. She was hiding behind my legs and squeezing my fingers so tight there was a circulation issue, but she was smiling.

Instead, all the attention went to the bright, adorable little girl who jumped right in the midst of it, sitting in the laps of her prospective teachers and making silly faces at her father from across the room.

It was understandable that this other little girl got lots of attention -- she deserved it! But so did F.

Also, F already knows, at the age of 2 1/2, everything they are teaching these 3 & 4 year olds.

  • They learn a letter a week; she knows all her letters, upper and lower case.
  • They practice shapes and colors; she's known those since she could talk, which was early.
  • They learn how to wash hands and be polite, she already (mostly) does those things on her own, and is ever now learning to say "excuse me" if she needs to interrupt.

None of these things are bad, of course, and I'm sure she would have a blast just playing with these other kids in their igloo made of empty milk jugs and child-sized hair salon. The toys were awesome! But why should I pay money for her to spend many hours a week at a place that is going to be well below her level?

There were other issues too which I won't discuss here, But when I came home, my helper Miss Julie, was less than surprised.

In fact, she may have said "I told you so."

I still plan to visit the public preschool to see if it is any more exciting, but I'm not optimistic. I continue to go back and forth about whether to send her off to school.

I'm beginning to wonder though, if I should stop worrying about whether I should homeschool F. Maybe I already am homeschooling her and I just need to embrace it.

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