This is another question-regarding-Adelay post. Maybe I should eventually delete these so she doesn't think she was my main source of worry as a child?!
Anyways, it's about preschool. To do or not to do, basically. All summer long, people have been ASKING and ASKING us if she's in preschool yet, and assuring us that she's going to be so behind if we don't get on it and get her in a good school! And I'm all, "She's still only three, you know." Which... won't be true as of Saturday, but it was true when I was saying it! Is preschool considered mandatory now for school preparation?
I've always planned to put her in some kind of preschool program next year, when she's five, because our school doesn't offer half day kindergarten and I feel that going from being with Eli and me all day to being at school all day would be kind of a big transition without some stepping stone in between. But does she need to start it now? (For the record, she can't start kindergarten until she's almost six due to her birthday. In this state you have to have turned five by August first to start when you're five.)
I know that a lot of kids start preschool around three or four, but for most of them isn't that because they were in daycare already anyways, and at that age it automatically transitions over to a preschool program? If she's here with me (FOR FREE, I might add) and reading books, going to the park, coloring pictures and practicing letters with Jim and painting and all that stuff, is it really necessary to take her somewhere else and PAY someone else to do that stuff?
I'm kind of gathering that the main concern is socialization and structure, more than perhaps actual education, but in my opinion she's getting plenty of that, as well. She goes to Sunday school once a week, and now sometimes on Wednesday nights too. She goes to the Y childcare program whenever I work out, she's taking dance class this year, we go to the playground pretty frequently, and she sees her cousins quite a bit. She doesn't seem to me to be antisocial or to be having any problems relating to others, sharing, listening to other adults, etc. I watch her through the windows at the childcare and at her dance class, and she seems to be responding well to her peers and taking instruction from her teachers just as well as the other kids.
I guess our decision is pretty much made for this year, and I'm just kind of looking for validation. However, I know sometimes as a parent your kid seems fine to YOU, but you're not seeing things objectively. I certainly don't want her to be behind or at a disadvantage in any way. On the other hand, it's kind of too late for this year anyways, and also, TEH MONEY, geez, especially when there's no reason to pay for childcare since I'm here.
Do you guys think preschool is necessary at this age, or that she'll be behind in some way if we hold off another year?