Behind the Screen: Do kids have to go to school?

Behind the Screen

I’m feeling so confused these days as I try to contemplate whether I should enroll my daughter in preschool.

She’s going to be 3 soon (I still can’t believe it!) and it seems as though I’m totally out of the loop when it comes to school stuff.

I used to feel that anything before the age of 5 was really just glorified daycare. But as I see my daughter getting really excited about the 2 hours a week we spend at a local park district playgroup, I realize she wants and craves instruction from a teacher and someone other than myself. I do spend time with her and pretend to do school work with her, but she talks on and on about the playgroup and the teacher and how she wants to go to school.

My dilemma is where to start.

I had no idea just how bad it is in the city in terms of competitiveness. Today I randomly called a few places and they all said the same thing, “We take applications a year in advance”.

WOW.

School was the last thing on my mind last year when my daughter was just learning to speak clearly and figure out how to color. I mean I couldn’t think that far ahead. All the “good” places are full and some aren’t ever going to have space according to one admissions representative that I spoke to. Can you believe it? They have admissions and financial aid and stuff. Sounds like college to me. Oh and one of the places I looked at is charging at least $10,000 a year half day preschool. I guess if I had the money it wouldn’t be a big deal, but then it makes me think that if I don’t spend money am I not giving my child the best that’s out there?

I wonder if I keep her at home, will she miss out? Especially now that I’m preoccupied with the new baby.

The other issue is whether you go private school or public school, full-time or part-time. It just boggles my mind.

It also doesn’t help that I’m SO indecisive and we may be moving to another part of the city in a few months.

Do any of you have kids that are in preschool? Is it a good idea?

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