I was at the beach when a little boy right around my son’s age, came running towards us as he tried to catch a ball his dad had just thrown at him. Before we knew it, we (the 4 year old, my son, the boy’s dad, and myself) were chatting away. It had been a great conversation when suddenly the boy’s dad asked, “does your son go to preschool?”
It turns out, this dad is actually a work-at-home dad, who at some point couldn’t help, but mention his 5 bedroom home in a gated Mission Viejo community here in Southern California. If you’re an Orange County resident, you know that people here just love to talk about money and the things they have. In fact, just to side step a bit, I think I’m going to tell you a funny story …
A few years ago, I went out with this guy who was really gorgeous. We went out to a club and we saw a woman staring at him for such a long time. It was too obvious and she surely didn’t care, because I think she was actually quite drunk. Anyway, long story short, I dared him to flirt with her. He walked over and the first thing she asked was, “so what kind of car do you drive?”
He smiled, already knowing how she wouldn’t react and said, “my dad’s old Malibu.” Within seconds she walked away.
Don’t get me wrong, not EVERY living person in the OC is like that, but just come and visit and I’m sure you will understand what I’m talking about.
Anywhoo … back to this dad at the beach. We started talking about our sons and I could tell he wanted to really push on the preschool subject. “So my son goes to Montessori, which my wife and I really love. He goes every day because I really need my own time away.”
Then he went on to say, “you should put your son in school because it will be good for him. He will learn a lot. My son already knows another language. Can you and your husband afford about $1,000 a month?”
Oh no he didn’t!
To be honest, I did consider it because I know my son could benefit from the social skills he would gain. Somehow though, I feel like preschool is such a competition around here. If I made a dollar for every parent who asked me whether my son is in preschool or not, I would probably be able to afford it! There are places that might charge less than $500 a month for preschool, but not anywhere close to me at all. A thousand dollars a month for my 3 year old to go to school! That’s college for many people! Not to mention about as much as some people pay for their mortgage! That to me is just so ridiculous.
I know many parents who do put their kids through preschool because they have to work. Others might do it just to get a little time off. That’s perfectly fine, but neither of those apply to me.
I asked about the activities and the various things that are taught in preschool. Learning letters, shapes, numbers, preparing to read … I sit and have sessions with my son every day, which helps him learn all those things already. He goes to Gymboree classes every week, which allows him to interact with other kids. He goes on play dates and plays soccer. So what else am I missing?
Please do share your thoughts regarding preschool. I’d love to hear them!