Is it weird that Kevin…

Is it weird that Kevin and I aren't interested in the fancy pre-schools around here? There are several, quite expensive, along with several less expensive options. And I'm just not sure why we need anything more in a pre-school except that it be clean, safe, and have a reasonable teacher-student ratio.

The main reason we're even sending Kavi to pre-school (I didn't start school 'til kindergarten myself) is so she'll a) be less bored, b) get more socializing with other kids, c) run around more (she's a little behind in her gross motor skills, I think 'cause she doesn't get enough physical play), and d) get used to the school routine. We're home so much of the time interacting with her, and we tend to default to teaching her things in our play just because we're both teachers. She knows her colors, numbers, and alphabet already -- what more does she need for kindergarten?

If you think it's worth paying more for the fancier places, let me know why?

8:00 - Added to note that she'll definitely be going into public school starting in kindergarten -- that's why we moved to Oak Park mostly, for the excellent public schools here. (Also, rambly old Victorian houses with garden-able yards that we could afford and that were still a decent commute from work.) So while the dual-language pre-schools are definitely cool (we have both Chinese immersion and Spanish immersion available here), if she's going to stop that after a year, I'm not sure how useful it will be. Now, if there were Tamil immersion...

Also, I really like the mixed-economic-class nature of the less expensive schools. Our kids are already going to grow up in a crazy big house, and may even inherit a bit of money from their grandparents someday. (Not from their parents, since we're putting all our money into the crazy big house.) And Oak Park is kind of ritzy. We don't want them to grow up feeling all entitled and such -- money is lovely to have, but my dad came into this country with $200, a promise of a job, and a wife and toddler to provide for. We don't want our kids to grow up thinking they're somehow better than the working class kids in the next town south. Especially since odds are that they're going to be smarty-pants and will have enough ego from that as it is.

3 thoughts on “Is it weird that Kevin…”

  1. I would look for low teacher turnover (which can, but doesn’t always, translate to higher pay and thus higher tuition) but other than that, I’d say you can just go with your gut. I picked Violet’s current daycare by the following standards: nearby; I could afford it; took kids at two and a half instead of two and nine months. (I also visited it and loved it right away and had word of mouth recommendations.)

    I was sort of abstractly interested in the local Montessori school, but it costs literally three times as much for less coverage. WOW. And Violet is learning to write and she’s also taken field trips to the fire station AND to see a new roof get put on a house so what more could I ask? (Seriously, the roof thing was a big deal and all the kids can recognize shingling now, like when it was blowing off in the last big storm.)

    I do know people who have fantastic experiences at super-expensive pre-schools, but it’s all about what you love and what Kavya loves.

    (I love that you keep asking questions that are on my mind already! Your timing is excellent.)

  2. The fancy pants places generally have better teachers and directors because they pay them more.At least, that is the case in the Bay Area.I think the socialization aspect is huge and it really take a qualified early education teacher to do a good job with it. My boys went to a play based school and had a great experience.

  3. We picked our preschool mostly because it had space for River, would take him at 2 years 3 months of age, and Tim’s coworker’s daughter is going there. I mean, I went and did a few days with River there, to make sure we both liked it, but I didn’t have a strict set of standards. The teachers have all been there a long time, but so has most of the toys/ stuff (it’s all clean and in good repair, just not shiny and cutting-edge and new). It’s play-based, which I like. They don’t do time-outs, which is baffling, but they make it work. And, most importantly, once he got used to it (took a week, and he only goes two days a week), River LOVES it. I think he really digs the social aspect, and the fact that he gets to check out/ play with all sorts of new stuff all the time. And, since he’s with older kids (he’s one of the youngest) his vocabulary is just taking off.

    Which is all to say, I think the important thing in a preschool is that you and Kavi like it. I bet she’d really dig it.

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