When Sweet Pea was little we decided to send her to preschool at our church. We felt it was important for her to get used to a classroom setting that didn't involve mom teaching her, before she started kindergarten. Social, we knew she would need no practice at making friends. None whatsoever. She was a social butterfly from the start and has always been able to make friends wherever she goes. Turns out she could have jumped into Kindergarten the next year without ever stepping foot in the preschool, and she would have done just as well.
Adorable Sweet Pea on her first day of preschool. I'll have to be sure to get Babydoll dressed this cute for her first day photo this fall!
That said, the following is why we are not sending Babydoll to preschool somewhere else in the fall. When I break down how much of the 2.5 hours of preschool was actually spent learning, it falls far short of the active learning time I do with my preschoolers at home. For instance there is getting ready for and walking to snack, eating snack, cleaning up after snack, bathroom breaks, getting bundled up to go outside, waiting for everyone to finish bundling up, going outside, playing outside, coming in and taking all that stuff off again and putting it away. more bathroom breaks somewhere in there, small-group time at play/learning areas like kitchen areas, drawing, sensory, blocks, cars, etc (which can be found throughout the day at any decent daycare); and all the transition time and waiting for children who are not paying attention (which I'll admit was sometimes Sweet Pea). We do more in our 1.5 hour block of preschool than regular preschools (not all I'm sure though) accomplish in 2.5.
Bulletin board area
Some people will ask us how she'll make friends. If we're not paying for preschool, we'll be able to sign her up for things like ECFE classes for kids her age, gymnastics classes, I don't think I'll do dance again... I don't appreciate the direction most studios take them as far as costuming and dance styles. She'll continue to make friends in Sunday school, and we'll have to be more diligent about scheduling play dates for her.
I firmly believe that she will be more than ready for Kindergarten when she starts in September 2012!