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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Preschool.

Little did I know that preschool would be such a big deal around these parts.

A few weeks back information came in the mail for the preschool that is affiliated with our school district. This is where we had tentatively (unknowingly) already had planned on sending H this next fall. I couldn't believe how bittersweet it was to open the flyer and read the information. On one hand, it's disbelief that it's already time for school for H, which is exciting, yet somewhat sad for me too.

On the other hand I was overwhelmed by the big decisions needing to be made.

Decisions that had to be made in TWO WEEKS.
Decisions being made in two weeks for something nine months away.

Yes, preschool registration happens nine months before preschool actually starts.
The choices for three year olds were plenty. One day or two days. Mornings or afternoons.

And that's just this particular preschool. We hadn't even contemplated other options, like the local church preschools. (Because then we start going through the pros and cons of this preschool vs. a Christian based preschool and then what denomination of a church is the Christian preschool in....um, yeah. It's a process.)

Then there's the whole cost part.

The non-refundable application fee. (Not cheap.)

And then the cost of monthly tuition. (Which is a lot more than it was four years ago when M was in preschool.)

Though for the last several months I've been mentioning preschool here and there to H, we had never really made a decision on what we would do when it came time and I think I was completely torn on needing to make the decision this far ahead.

I know that H will LOVE school. He already loves going to ECFE (Early Childhood Family Ed.) and can't wait to get on that big yellow school bus a few years from now. But at the same time I sometimes start thinking, doesn't he have his entire life ahead of him to go to school?

J and I went back and forth in conversation. I didn't go to preschool as a kid, J did. I wanted H to go because I know he'd love it and J didn't know how much H would get out of it as a 3 year old.

Finally we decided that we'd at least sign him up and enter him in the lottery.

Yes, the lottery. There is no guarantee that H will get into preschool even when we register and pay our not cheap non-refundable application fee because it's a lottery.

Which in my eyes is way better than first come, first serve because I'm hearing horror stories of a local church preschool that does just that and some parents spend the night in the parking lot.

Really?!?

For preschool?!?

I mean, yes I was one of those moms who signed up for ECFE at midnight the night registration opened. But that was from the comfort of my own home and I was in my pajamas. Not sitting in the parking lot somewhere ready to tear through the doors of preschool...

But I digress.

We've turned in the registration and we are anxiously awaiting the outcome.

We'll know by February 6th if H will be in preschool next year.

I'll be sure and let you know.

5 Comments:

Blogger Kim said...

j's kindergarten information came in the mail this past week. It would be a lie if I said I didn't mist up a little as I read it.

H will love school, and you might really love the break in your week!

January 29, 2009 at 8:19 AM  
Blogger Coma Girl said...

Gosh, who knew this was such a process. If you think about it, it is sort of like applying for college ;)

January 29, 2009 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger Erin said...

As a teacher, I really value play-based learning, which happens at the preschool level more than anywhere else. I also like that children get a preview of the social norms and expectations they will see in Kindergarten (and after).

January 29, 2009 at 10:33 AM  
Blogger The Lindahl News said...

I'm a big believer in preschool! Especially those that emphasize play and hands-on experiences and dabbling in all sorts of art mediums. Developmentally appropriate instead of rote learning. I am so saddened by preschools whose philosophy is to please PARENTS (worksheets, letter and number "drills") instead of learning through play.

I would encourage you to visit a preschool IN SESSION before you sign up for it. And, of course, talk to other parents about the preschool experiences their children have had. Word of mouth is the best testimonial for a successful program!

Good luck!!

January 29, 2009 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger GMS said...

As a teacher, I agree with finding a play-based learning program. Safe, fun and keeping it simple!

January 30, 2009 at 8:43 AM  

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