To preschool or not to preschool?

(18 Posts)
ladybirdees Sun 16-Feb-14 21:28:29

My ds has just got a place at a private preschool starting in sep, he'll be 3 in oct. I'm in a real dither about whether to send him or not. I'm a SAHM and have a 8 month old too. I guess I feel like perhaps its a bit unnecessary to send him in sep because he'll end up being in preschool for 2 years before he goes to reception. Is that a bit much? I'm doing the whole SAHM thing so sending him there is not because we need childcare and I love the time we have together. However, i don't want to cling on to him and if he'll benefit from it in ways i can't provide then I want to send him. I just can't seem to find much independent evidence on it all and want to do what's right for him. Basically I've probably over thought this but would be grateful for any advice or experiences from others who have been in a similar situation.

how many hours would he be going for? Both mine did their free nursery hours from age 3 and then started school around age 4½years.

ladybirdees Mon 17-Feb-14 10:43:04

Well it's 9-11.30 5 days a week. That's ok with me if I think he'll be gaining something from it.

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Mon 17-Feb-14 10:46:36

We only did 2 mornings the first 2 terms then 3 mornings and in the last 2 tends did 4 mornings. I didn't want her to go everyday. (It was 9.15-12.15 though)

I wasnt sure initially but it was an amazing pre school and I'm glad she went. I wouldn't I'd she hasn't enjoyed it and I personally didn't want to do 5 days. We enjoy our days out too much !!

thats the hours my 2 did at that age and they really enjoyed it and did messy things that I would maybe not do with them at home. They also got to play with other children, do baking, sort their own snacks and pour their own drinks. They made volcanoes, went on nature walks and got lots of outdoor play time. It would also give you some 1-2-1 time with your younger child.

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Mon 17-Feb-14 10:47:42

Arg phone typos. It's good preparation but not essential to go everyday for 2 years unless you want the break. In which case it won't harm them!

It was expected that ours would go for either 5 mornings or 5 afternoons and it worked out fine for them. It is amazing how quickly those 2½ hours pass.

Bumpsadaisie Mon 17-Feb-14 10:52:46

My DS is the same age as yours - 3 in Oct so doesn't start school still Sept 2016.

I am going to start him at a nursery here (he will be in the preschool room as he will be nearly 3) at the start of September. But just two mornings a week at first. (He does also go to his grandparents so he will also have a day with them).

For 2015-16, when he will be rising four or four plus, I might look at a preschool attached to a local prep school which can offer swimming and other activities.

My advice would be don't start your son five days a week, go into it gradually with one or two mornings, then increase slowly.

My daughter only got up to doing her full 15 free hours in the Easter term immediately before starting school. She's been fine.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Mon 17-Feb-14 10:55:22

It's not essential, but our dd benefitted massively from pre school. She's done a year of 3 mornings a week and a year of 5 mornings a week.

She's come on lots in that time - in confidence and independence mostly. She plays very differently when she's with her friends in school compared to being at a toddler group with me, and I think it's been really good for her. I have absolutely no worries about her starting school in sept, and I know I wouldn't feel like that if I'd kept her with me.

Also, several teacher/ta friends have said to me that you can really tell the difference in reception between children who have been to pre school and those that haven't. I can believe it, seeing the change in my dd. I'm sure the others catch up, but I would rather make that transition easier for her.

5 mornings a week is really tying you'll long for a day at the out, a potter round a different town centre, swimming and the park, a cost to more distant friends. 11.30 pick ups are awful. We had 11.45 and you could get nothing done.

Also they are absolutely awful for getting your younger child to nap.

DD1 only did 3 days when DD2 was a baby (and 4 and finally 5 just before she started school). Even so DD2 never had a nap on preschool days. She was just dropping off as she was bundled into the car and she wouldn't sleep once DD1 was home.

Preschool is great, DD2 did nursery one day a week from 18 months (I loved the mornings peace and afternoon with DD1) she loved the company of other children. However, it really does defeat the object of being a SAHM if the only whole days you get together are weekends.

Sorry, for the errors my DDs bounced in and interrupted blush

noblegiraffe Mon 17-Feb-14 11:05:42

It will be lovely for your 8 month old to get that 1-1 time with you that second DC often miss out on. The older one will probably love the independence and having something special that just he can do.

And if he doesn't like it, you don't have to stick with it.

Queenie72 Mon 17-Feb-14 11:06:16

My little boy turned 4 in December and started preschool attached to our school in Jan. I was really worried about him going 5 mornings as had only done 3 at nursery age 3-4. He loves it so much, Already I can see the change in him. I spent hours agonising over whether to send him but I can tell already it will benefit him enormously when he starts school , confidence wise as well as socially and educationally. Also means I get to do do groups etc with my little one and spend some one on one time with him and then me and ds1 have time together in the afternoon while ds2 sleeps!!! Also as it isn't law they have to be in pre school am sure they will be amenable for you taking him out the odd Morning if you want a day out ! From seeing it first hand anything you can do to give your child a head start educationally wise is a bonus also means the transistion to school will be easy.

ladybirdees Mon 17-Feb-14 11:08:46

Thanks for your replies. Well, we have a nanny for 2 mornings a week so I do get some time with my youngest anyway as he gets taken out to a playgroup or other. She comes to me and picks him up so selfishly that's a lot easier for me than it would be getting everyone up and out the door to take him him to preschool. I do love our days together so I'm reluctant to give those up but I don't want him to miss out on something fun and important. The preschool have said they will be flexible if I don't want to bring him in all 5 days but I get the feeling its expected that they do the full week, and I would pay for that anyway. It's the guilt I guess I'm struggling with... guilt if I keep him at home with me if he'd have more fun or development going to preschool and guilt if I send him off too early when we could have that extra year together. I never thought being a mum would be such emotional turmoil!

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Mon 17-Feb-14 11:16:11

I know very few mums who did 5days that first year (lots of sahm here) but we chose a pre school that was happy for them to go 2 mornings initially.

If everyone goes everyday apart from one its more noticable.

Maybe day you won't do wednesdays so you can get a break midweek?

Some pre school is certainly beneficial but there's no need to go 5 days a week for 2 years!! We went to the beach, countryside, daytrips or at home days every week.

Once eldest is in school you're restricted to the school run. That's 2 years away! No need to tie self into it early. Being a sahm gives you so muchbfreedom to do things with your children yourself.

ladybirdees Mon 17-Feb-14 11:24:50

Starballbunny, I think you've described exactly what I'm worried about. My life being more stressful for no real benefit and I do feel very lucky to be able to be a SAHM.

This preschool is attached to a school we want him to go to and although I can ask to send him next year instead they have said he'll go on the waiting list and its unlikely he'll get a place at that point. So we'll probably have to rethink his schooling if we turn this down. I can't help but feel a bit manipulated by that but I guess that's the way of these things.

Ho humm....

GoodnessIsThatTheTime Mon 17-Feb-14 11:30:43

You can go to a school having not gone to the attached pre school.

The school we chose had an attached pre school but we preferred a different one due to staff and conditions.
Lots came into our school from a variety of pre schools.

Nocomet Mon 17-Feb-14 12:00:53

Yes, I got a fair bit of pressure to send DD1 and DD2 to preschool more days a week than I did.

I did a lot if smiling and nodding. I resisted the temptation to tell them that DD2 thought nursery was far more fun (she used 2 of her free sessions for her day at nursery, until she went to school) and we kept Fridays for us grin

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