Thursday, March 27, 2008

What Do YOU Think?

Presales of the new book are going great, and I'm starting to look ahead to the next few projects, now that this one is at the printer.

I have one book halfway done; it's about preparing our children for uncertain times in our economy. I will enjoy finishing that book, but most of the research is already done, so I need a new topic for the book after that.

I had one idea which was recently brought to my mind again by a writer who needed some info from me for an article she was writing. Said article just came out, and reading it has made me think harder about the topic: preschool. I'm thinking of expanding on "Preschool Pressure or Preschool Peace." What do you think? Is this an issue that needs further discussion?


Susan said...

I can't get over the vast numbers of people who think of preschool as "school" that is necessary. Even young homeschool moms who are committed to laid-back natural learning, even they feel the need to explain away why their children aren't doing seatwork and formal schooling. Maybe it's what we're used to in our own growing up years, but I thought preschool was completely optional. Younger moms don't see it that way, and any nudge you can give them in the direction away from school for the wee children would be a good thing.

Amy said...

I completely agree! I feel very badly for young mothers today and all the pressure they feel to place their children in a formal education setting.

Barbara Frank said...

Thanks, ladies....your wisdom is appreciated :)

Crimson Wife said...

I think it's a generational thing. I'm 31 and pretty much everyone I knew growing up attended preschool regardless of whether or not their mom was employed. Now it was a couple of mornings per week and not the 5 days/week that's standard now. But still the cultural expectation was that you had some formal schooling prior to kindergarten.

Barbara Frank said...

CW, how do you feel about that? Was going to preschool an advantage for you? Is it something you want for your own children? Why or why not? Just wondering...

Crimson Wife said...

From what I recall, the preschool I attended was not very academic. It was a lot of singing songs, creative art, story time, and dramatic play. The main point I believe was to learn how to interact with kids the same age. It also allowed my mom the chance to run errands with just my brother (who was an infant at the time) in tow rather than both of us. That made me jealous as a young kid but now that I'm a mom of 2, I can certainly understand the desire to do so!

My oldest was in daycare part-time from 9-20 mos and then full-time until shortly after her 3rd birthday. I hated it but we really needed my salary and especially health benefits at the time. Fortunately, our financial situation improved and I was able to come home.

My DD went to a co-op preschool for a couple morning per week for 6 mos. Then we moved and there were no preschool slots available. We started doing pre-k at home while looking into local kindergartens. We didn't like our options and homeschooling was going so well, that we decided to give a try for kindergarten. We started that formally back in August.

I'm now 100% sold on HS at least through elementary school but my DH is still a bit skeptical and wants to take it 1 year at a time. He *has* committed to this upcoming school year, which is a positive sign :-)

majellamom said...

I think it is an excellent topic to expand upon.

My husband and I both attended preschools...both our mothers stayed home (his mom still does, my mom returned to teaching in a public school when I went to 1st grade) There is a LOT of pressure for us to be sending our oldest to preschool (she's 3 1/2)

First of all, most families in our community qualify for Head Start. I have been asked frequently for the last year if my daughter is in head start. I also get a lot of "when will you send her to preschool" even though she is still too young to be accepted (outside of head start).

Increase this pressure from people around town with my parents both being public school teachers and completely against me homeschooling, and it makes me one stressed out mom about the preschool issue.

I have been doing "home preschool" with my eldest this year...mostly craft projects and a comprehensive preschool workbook from Sams Club.

We have also found that in our area (rural farming communities) a lot of what used to be taught in Kindergarten is now taught in preschool. When I went to preschool it was mostly playing and crafts...I think hubby's preschool experience was similar (although he spent a lot of time in the naughty chair) and it was in a rural preschool. Now, kids generally are expected to know their colors, shapes, alphabet, and have some reading and writing skills (write name, read name, that sort of thing). While I am sure that many kids did go into Kindergarten with these skills when I was a kid, it was not an expectation because not everyone sent their kids to preschool. Now, it is an expectation that kids have done preschool, and even those moms of little ones who live too far out in the country to bring a kid to preschool several times a week are expected to do some sort of home preschool.

I would love to read more of your thoughts on the preschool issue.

Barbara Frank said...

Thanks, CW, for sharing that. Tell your dh we started out "one year at a time," too...who knew we'd still be at it 20 years later? But homeschooling just worked so well for our four kids.

MM, I appreciate you taking the time to share your story. Things have changed so much since I had preschoolers. I'm sorry you're under so much pressure. I hope it gets easier for you.

Isn't it ironic that HeadStart was established for at-risk kids whose parents couldn't or wouldn't care for them, not for the general public? Studies have shown that any headstart these kids get evaporates by the third grade, and at that point they're already burned out on school.

I will be writing more on preschool in the future...stayed tuned! In the meantime, have you checked out this site?