Friday, May 18, 2007

pre-school dilemmas

Well, yes, we considering putting Charley into pre-school at age 3. I never thought I'd do it and I thought those who did were just looking for a babysitter. (my apologies to those people whom I may have judged incorrectly). Some of my reasons for considering it are as follows: Charley is active, outgoing, interested, curious, and independent. I think putting him in a structured classroom environment for just half a day for 2 days a week (still debating 3) would really benefit him in all of those areas.

It would provide him with healthy interaction with other kids in a controlled atmosphere and since he acts much better away from me than with me, I'm not concerned about him exhibiting any behavioral problems. He's a good boy most of the time anyway. Second, he would have better exposure to more information = more chances to learn more things and since he's so interested and curious about things, this would be wonderful for him. He's such a sponge right now and I want to take advantage of that and I don't want him to miss out on certain experiences simply because I have to look after Ben a lot or don't have the resources at my house to teach him everything I'd love to teach him. Another reason is that the teachers there have practice with great teaching methods, a song to go with everything you could possibly want to learn, including the days of the week . . . in general, just a lot of things that I wouldn't do a great job of teaching him. Finally, I want to encourage his independent spirit because it's my job as a parent to prepare him for life apart from me and I think that in a way, that starts as soon as you put your baby in a crib in another room.

There are many more reasons that I think this is a good fit for Charley and if it doesn't go well, we can always pull him out and wait another year. Of course the part that is hard is letting him go during that time. I stay at home with him because I believe I can do the best job caring for him and these are very important years of his life when his personality and confidence are being crafted. I also stay home because I love being around my children. However, I don't think it's too long to be apart from me and I am still the main caregiver as far as his personality is concerned. I think pre-school would do wonders for his confidence though. Not that he needs help in that area (anyone who's met him knows he's a confident child), but I want him to enjoy succeeding in a new environment apart from me and our home. I think this will help his creativity, and ability to problem solve and think for himself later on. Those are my thoughts anyway. I hope they're well-founded.

We're still in prayer about the whole thing and about the frequency and are not registered yet so are not committed to anything yet. Feel free to offer any ideas or thoughts, contradicting or supporting. Honest input is always refining. :)


Dana said...

i keep trying to think how to post what i think, and i think the problem is that i don't know how to put what i think into words. but basically, my personal opinion is very dependent on the situation. sometimes i need a few hours to myself, once every week or two would be nice. i have a lot of friends available to me who are willing and able to watch my kids for a short time if i need. but if someone doesn't have family or friends available, then a mom's day out or a preschool of some kind would be helpful for some alone time. now we personally can't afford to pay for any kind of program, and i'm more than ok with that, although i am tempted quite often to put the kids into something for fear that they are bored with me or could learn better with someone else. but then if i really examine what i'm feeling, it's just "grown-up" peer pressure. pressure to keep up with the joneses and whatever activity they are placing they're kids in. i ask myself, "what do i want my kids to remember about their childhood?" that they got to participate in the "latest" and most advanced programs, or that they spent time with me and that i invested my time and energy into their lives? albeit, i may not do it perfectly according to the AA of pediatrics or whoever else "they" may be... but God entrusted these children into my hands (and dave's). people 100 years ago didn't have preschool or daycare and we still got to where we are today (in terms of education and learning and technology) so our children aren't "missing out" on a better future because they stay home with us a while longer. i think it's the exact opposite. when kids are able to stay home longer, we are able to establsih a better more stable foundation for who they will become someday. and what better way for a child to learn than through daily experience, and where better than with his own family, in an environment of love and support. nobody can love and encourage your child the way you do. some parents feel that the benefits of putting their kids into a program outweigh the negative outside influences that may occur. i can't even show the kids the wholesomest of shows without some rebelious attitude being portrayed on the screen. and that's just half an hour of outside influence that is still under my watch, imagine the reprocussions of a few hours a day of unmonitored influence from others (teachers, other kids, other parents). all that to say, if you decide to put the kids somewhere, do so with great discernment as to who will be influencing your children at their most impressionable time in life. there ARE wonderful programs, and wonderful teachers, and wonderful friends out there, i'm just not personally ready to release my son out into the world quite yet. maybe i'm old fashioned or overprotective, but i'd rather ere on the side of caution. heck, i'm leery about sending samuel to a VBS in june... of course that's when the Lord has to help me to entrust my son into HIS hands and remind me that HE watches over him constantly and is sovereign.
that was way long anc scattered, hope it helps more than it does confuse you :)

Leigh said...

Dana, Thank you so much for writing out your honest personal thoughts and feelings to help me as we're trying to decide what's best for Charley. I really appreciated reading them. They really helped me to confirm my own motives and support the direction we are taking.

I wanted to respond to some of your concerns, but it ended up being longer than I think a post comment should be, so I went ahead and made it into a separate post. It is in direct reference to your comment so I'll direct people there so they can read what you wrote.

Thanks again for being open and honest. I hope that what I wrote will help you to understand a different point of view and I hope people who read both views will see that we can both take different, yet equally "right" paths for our children, and still be honoring God in raising them.

One last story...This whole subject in interesting to me because I was recently challenged with accepting a different point of view myself on this subject.

A friend of mine just received her MD and her husband is an engineer. They have put their child in a daycare because they both work and because she feels that God's call on her life is be a doctor right now. Where I cannot agree that this is the best thing for children in general, since I have chosen to stay home, I do believe that she is honestly seeking God in this decision and therefore, it IS the best thing for HER child because to do anything would not be a part of God's will for her family. While that is hard for me to accept, I must accept it in her particular situation because I trust her and her strong commitment to obey God and honor Him.

I'm writing all of this, not to convince you to change your mind about your personal convictions about how you feel God wants you to raise your kids, but to demonstrate that more than one path is often acceptable. There are definitely instances where that is not the case. Anyway, you may already agree and understand all of this in which case, I didn't mean to patronize. I hope anyone who reads this will enjoy it and it will make them think. That's all.

Thanks again!