What is with the preschool fad?? - FamilyEducation
What is with the preschool fad??
09/07/2007 at 17:14 PM

This has bothered me for quite sometime.  Why do we have children if we are so anxious to ship them off somewhere?  They are making school longer (all day kindergarten) and making the demands so much more for kids, and to make it worse I have noticed every mother on the block is putting their child into preschool at the age of three!  WHY?  They are children, let them be children. Let them play and experience and have imagination, keep them home with you for as long as possible and ENJOY them.  They are going to start real school soon enough.  These are the years they learn morals and values and a strong relationship with the parents.  What is the need to rush them off and risk not having that?  Is it you want your kid to be the smartest? I don't get it, I think my children will be just as smart.  Now is the season for parenting when they are young, once they are gone, they are gone!

It's definetely not mandatory to have children go to preschool.  It is an option for parents who need a healthy break from the stress of constant care and the child is opened to new things and ideas in a group environment.  My daughter is an only child and I wanted to expose her to other kids for the chance to build friendships and just plain have more play time.   I took her out a couple of times for trips to see my mother before she passed away and I don't feel it was any problem.  Preschool is not mandatory and I can understand your heart's desire to enjoy your time when they're little. 


I can completely understand the need for a healthy break, but why can't you join a play group where you are there with her and keep an eye on her but still get your healthy break.  I don't think people understand what goes into their childrens minds when they are not around. Do you know all the families and their lifestyles at the preschool?  I worked at a day care a long while back, and it was run by very nice, good people.  The children new stuff about sex and just obsurd(?) things at the age of five, that I didn't know until I was probably 15 (which I thought was really young), because they picked it up from other kids.  Your children retain the most that sets with them for life before the age of 5.  Do you really know what they are picking up from other kids?  


Also, since so many families have two working parents, preschool = daycare. Then those families that have the choice to keep 3 year olds at home with a parent feel like they're not keeping the little ones "on track" with those children who have already entered school.

I do think good preschool programs offer some real advantages over strictly staying home. Depending on your familiy and neighborhood, they may have more structure (a daily schedule, following simple directions), more socialization opportunities, or exposure to different experiences (music, art materials, etc.)

This is not to say it can't wait until 4 years or whenever a child is deemed ready. But it's not the worst trend in the world.



   I agree with chicagomom.  Everybody has their different reasons for sending their kids to preschool.   Some parents may do it to do it for reasons that benefit themselves more than their children,  or for the desire for their kid to be #1 in elementary school. 

   I absolutely agree that kids are forced to grow up too fast.  So many kids are away from home way too much starting when they're very very young.  But I wouldn't overgeneralize and give preschool a bad rap.    Preschools around here are 4 hours total a week.   For children who are with a parent 24/hrs a day,  the right preschool can expose a child to beneficial things that a parent or playdates can't give them.  Plus,  they may have a ton of fun.     Just because preschool might not have been popular in the past,  that doesn't necessarily make it bad.   


Did you know that 80% of our learning happens in the first five years of our life? and most of that in the first three years. Children need more to explore than their own home environment and the social interaction with other children is a vital part of this. A lot depends on the nursery of course. We run a Froebelian nursery where the children dictate their own learning. Children not only use parents as role models but also other children.They are often more inclined to do something another child is doing than what an adult tells them to do, or shows them. I have never heard a swear word in our place and because the children are not forced to do anything they don't want to do, we have very few conflicts. Our nursery is an international centre and we have visitors from all corners of the world to see how we work. Visitors are always impressed by the standards the children have achieved when they visit. Our children love coming to nursery and are very well adjusted. It does make the transition to school easier for them too as they are already used to sharing and mixing. Children who have never had a nursery expoerience tend to find it difficult to share unless they have siblings.Yes it's great being at home with Mum, but there is a big wide world out there for them to explore. It doesn't mean them growing up too fast, but learning more.


Preschool is certainly not a fad.  It in some areas of our country, it has become a necessity for families where one income no longer supports the family structure or lifestyle.  Consider your self lucky that you have the luxury on not having to work and can stay home and raise your young children.  Please get down off your soap box and stop criticizing those mothers who agonize each and every day because they are not you!!! How shallow can you be??? Please know that because preschools and day care centers are a necessary evil in todays world, supporting them and making sure that they strive for excellence by giving children what they need would be a better advocacy for all of us!


I have been teaching preschool aged kids for 10 years and have a son that is almost 4. My son has been going to school since he was 3 months old. He is reading small words, writing his name, letters and numbers, counting to 30. He loves it and so do I! I have seen children in kindergarten that can't do any of these, and they struggle. Kids that go to preschool have a better chance to succeed once in regular school because they have the basic knowlege of learning, they experience being away from home and how to handle it better, they develop lots of friendships. Although they do tend to pick up some bad habits from other children, with the right directing you can work on those issues. I think preschool  is a wonderful early experience for all.



I have to say that I can understand both sides of this discussion. I have 4 kids aged between 13 and 7. None of them went to preschool, I am one of those Mums that want to keep my kids home as long as possible. I did worry that my eldest had missed out on something and would either be socially inadequate or unable to follow directions when she started Kindergarten (half day). I taught her to read well and write before she started school and she was in the top 3 in her class. She adapted instantly and I was hugely relieved when I would volunteer in her class, to see that her behavior was excellent and she had no social problems. It made me see that I had made a good decision for our family and I didn't worry about the subsequent kids.  I am of the opinion that teaching  our kids is firstly a parents responsibility, and made sure that each of my kids had a good basic education before they started school . Each one of my kids is different and maybe my last kid would have benefitted from preschool, but at that point I didn't want to pay out hundreds of dollars each month. I am grateful that I had the choice, every family is different and everyone's needs are different. 


In Britain, Children are offered free pre-school places from the age of three because we know how important it is. Keeping your chilldren at home is optional but the majority of parents take up the option. I don't know what these pre-school places are like over there, but here, council run nursery places at least are excekllent. The children definitely benefit from the experience. My own children are now grown up and didn't have the chance to attend preschool. I wish they had been offered that experience. By the time our children leave nursery at 5, they are confident young learners ready for all that school can throw at them. Our nursery works on the Montessori, Froebel and Steiner principles. It is also an international model of excellence. Kvmom, you have a very blinkered view of pre-school. If you don't need it then fine, don't belittle those who take advantage to help their children. I hope you don't regret it.


I started sending my daughter to preschool 2 days per week when she was 2yrs old because she desperately needed to interact with other children. Myself and my mother were her primary caregivers and so she hadn't been around kids her age much. Then I went on to work in childcare and started taking her with me when she was 3 and 4. This wasn't everyday of the week as my mother still watched her sometimes so she could spend time with her. When she started Kindergarten academically she was fine. Socially she had a lot of problems. She talked a lot in class, had a hard time following simple directions, and interacting with the other kids. The teacher would tell me that the other kids would be finishing their morning work and she would still be un-packing her book bag. (poor thing) I feel like I should have sent her to preschool more when she was 4yrs old to better prepare her. She is fine now and when I told the first grade teacher what had happened in Kindergarten she was shocked becaus she didn't have those problems with her at all. So my daughter learned a lot from Kindergarten but she struggled through it. She's now in 2nd grade and doing fine.  I think half a day preschool for 3-5 days a week would benefit most children. They usually catch up even if they are not sent to preschool but it takes a little time.


It's kind of sad. It's true that the best place for a young child to be is with his/her mom. But society and school districts are making it hard for us to keep our kids home. If we do, they do seem to be lost when they get to Kindergarten. Having them go to pre-school 1/2 days 3 to 5 days a week at age 4 does seem to be a neccessary evil, almost. They need to interact, line-up, be independant in K-5. Most kids who have grown up in daycare already know that by K-5. Just like a writer before said, cherish every moment and hang on to all the time you have with them. Do what's best for your family.


im just wondering is pre-school free or do you have to pay a fee my little girl is 2 and i dont no anything about it how do i find infomation out , i dont no any one who has children x


If you are in a larger (US) town, there is probably a Head Start program.  I really like Head Start, and it is free, especially  designed for lower income families.  They have a really excellent program for 4 year-olds, and another program if your child has special problems called Early Head Start.