Monday, January 24, 2011

To change or not?

Let's briefly digress to a totally different topic. Michael will be eligible for our local school district’s preschool program in the fall. Registration is at the end of this month. I can’t decide if we should switch him or not. Right now Ava and Michael both attend a local high quality day care two mornings a week. For the most part we’re happy with the program although it is expensive.

Pros of switching:

1. Well, first of all, it’s a lot cheaper. I could send Michael all five days a week for only a little over half of what his two days of day care costs now. Given that all these new therapy bills are coming in, paying less for preschool would be nice.

2. He’d be in preschool with his future elementary school classmates and have the opportunity to begin developing hopefully long term relationships and friendships.

3. He’d begin to get familiar with and comfortable with his future elementary school.

4. He’d be following an actual preschool curriculum rather than a daycare. He’d have to be more independent and follow a more structured routine. This would start to prepare him for the transition to kindergarten early.

Cons of switching:

1. Purely logistically, it would be a mess. I’d be dropping kids off at two separate places at two different times and the same for picking them up. They can attend daycare any time between 6:30am and 1pm. The daycare feeds them both breakfast and lunch. So I drop them both off together at about 7:45am and pick them both up at 12:15pm and the school’s taken care of two meals for me. If I switch Michael I’ll need to feed him, but not her breakfast. Then drop her off at 7:45 and drive to the preschool and drop him off at 8:15. Then I’ll have to pick him up at 11:15 and take him home and feed him lunch. Then put him back in the car to pick Ava up at 12:15. If I wait one more year to switch him to the school district’s preschool, they can both make the transition together. He’d still have a full year of preschool at the local school district before starting kindergarten.

2. He likes his current school. He likes his teacher. He likes the more nurturing atmosphere of the day care. I like the idea of more free play and less structure. He’s mature and smart and articulate for his age, but he’s still just a three year old boy and I think he deserves another year of play.

So, there it is. Decision needs to be made in the next week. I’d ask for opinions, but I’m pretty much the only one reading my blog and I don’t know what my opinion is yet. :-)

I’ll probably end up registering him just to reserve a spot. Why make a decision today when you can find a way to postpone the decision for several months? I can always decide not to switch him in the fall. I’d just have to be willing to give up the $50 deposit. Then the question is how many days? Definitely not all five, the question is 2, 3, or 4?

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