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My Reasons NOT to Send My Son to Preschool

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!

school-boy-pencilTo 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!

Lexie Lane

Lexie Lane is the creator of voiceBoks.com, owner of Social Media Panel, and co-author of the book, The Blogger's Survival Guide Tips and Tricks for Parent Bloggers Wordsmiths and Enthusiasts.

25 comments

  • Good on you! I would be exactly the same as you in that situation! Isn’t it weird how people love to push their views on you? And often, you end up to be the ‘bad guy’ if you have different views!

  • I’ve been on both sides of this situation.

    I put my first child in a church preschool 3 days a week (2 hours a day) so he could get used to being with someone other than me and his little sister. He had been in a couple classes (karate, t-ball, swimming) but only one’s that met once a week. It was actually good for him, he became much more social and learned how to follow direction in a classroom-setting. My 2nd and 3rd I put in full day preschool and kindergarten because I went through a divorce and “used” it as childcare so I could work outside of the home. My 4th (I re-married) I put in preschool 5 days a week (3 hours per day) because I was a stay-at-home mom, doing home childcare out of my home… she had lots of kids to play with but she was severely attached to me and I wanted to learn to let me go a bit. She had a rough week starting but she has blossomed since, I’m very proud of her. My 5th has Down Syndrome and receives 3-4 therapies in-home each week and when he turns 3 yrs old, he will attend the Early Learning Center for preschool and his therapies will continue through that school.

    None of my decisions had to do with money or thinking I was better than anyone else – it was a personal decision, as it should be. It still shocks me that parents compete so much.

  • I sent both my boys to preschool, but thinking back about it I have mixed feelings. I now homeschool my oldest and I wish we would have had more time together when he was younger.

  • My kids went to preschool and got a lot out of it. As long as children are being socialized and stimulated, though, it probably doesn’t matter whether they’re home or in a formal setting.

  • wow $500 month is outrageous, I rather keep mine at home and join some sport clubs or play-dates groups lol great ideas BTW

  • My girls go to Mother’s Day Out at our church two days a week and we love it. It is very economical and great for all of us. It gets them out of my hair for a bit and they get to learn and socialize 🙂

  • Wow, that’s more money than my parents paid for me to go to a private all girl Catholic high school! I’m all for educating your kids, but I’m sure you can teach your son those same things at home for free.

  • My son went to part-time preschool. If you have the time to teach your child at home and he gets plenty of social interaction, I don’t see any problem with skipping preschool.

  • It is crazy how much preschool and daycare costs. My youngest son went to a great daycare and it wasn’t too expensive compared to some of the other’s in the area. They taught him a lot of stuff but after losing my job, I couldn’t afford it any more. I have tried to keep up but I don’t always do a great job. I wish that I had more time, energy, and less pain so that he could get a better education.

  • My daughter went to preschool but I was a WAHM who needed a few hours each day to actually work. If I didn’t need the time she would have been home with me because I think I would have been able to teach her more.

  • Wow! That is so much money! I had no idea preschools were so expensive. Many kids don’t go to preschool and are lucky enough to have great parents (like you!) that instead care a lot about their wellbeing and help them learn at home, so I think you made a great choice!

  • Wow – it was really interesting to read this – the concept of paying for pre-school never entered my mind before. In the UK where I live, we have 15 hours a week free pre-school for every child (aged 3 – 5) usually taken 3 hours every morning, so affording it never comes into the equation. Almost every child uses this facility but I’m sure things would be different if we had to pay the equivalent of $1000 / month! It’s fascinating to think about how different life is according to where you are on the globe. I’m certainly not arguing that the UK is perfect, we have our fair share of social problems, but it’s good to pause and appreciate what we may have been taking for granted.

    • One of my friends had a baby the same month as my son. She goes to preschool and says the same thing. Sometimes I wish we were there 🙂 My husband is actually English!

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