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Colleen Williams ENG 112 April 23 2013 Megan Keaton

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To Preschool Or Not To Preschool? Many parents have trouble deciding whether or not to send their child to preschool. This is a common thought on all parents mind's. It is hard to choose what path they want to send their child down. For some parents it is a necessity to send their child to preschool. Some researchers believe preschool is the only way to go, while others believe home school will mold your child to your liking. This is a big topic for parents, I think it is best to have a compromise, if possible, go to preschool three days out of the week and home school the other days. Sending your child to preschool gives your child interaction with other children and adults, while home schooling gives your child an individualized form of education. This paper will discuss the benefits of preschool and the benefits of homeschooling. Home schooling can be very beneficial to the child and the parent. The child gets an individualized form of education that can help them succeed. If parents are able to home school their children they can have a relaxed environment, that helps the child learn and grow in a way that is individual to them. In preschool everything is about the whole group, not each individual child, where one can get individual help, the teacher still has to do what

Williams 2 is best for the whole class, and that may not mean helping one child for a long period of time. This is why home schooling a child for preschool is so good, the child can be developmentally on track (or ahead) with the other children and they are getting exclusive attention from their parent or caretaker. "Many parents feel that city schools - or any schools - don't provide the kind of education they want for their kids" says Perlstein, a writer who interviewed parents about urban homeschooling.(Perlstein) That is the beauty of home schooling for preschool, not only do parents get to spend time with their children, their children also get the exact type of education their parents want for them. Cohen, one of the authors of American Baby magazine says the main focus for preschool is to "let kids be kids". Some preschools now are too into the academics, they do not let kids have time to let their imagination grow and their creative side to blossom. This is something you can make sure happens at home. As Apel and Masterson (authors of Beyond Baby Talk: From Sounds to Sentences : A Parent's Complete Guide to Language Development) put it, the child's education should not be "dictated" but it should be "guided".(Apel and Masterson) Guiding a child's education is the way they not only academically grow and get ready for kindergarten, but they also creatively grow, which helps them more in the long run. If homeschooling is the route a parent takes another benefit is that the parent instills their own morals and values upon the child. This is important to many parents. Whether it be religious beliefs or morals the parent is molding the child to their liking and that is very important. As far as interaction with other children goes, this is a downfall of home schooling, although parents can enroll their children in home school groups, they are not getting that much interaction with other

Williams 3 children. Another downfall of home schooling is the lack of a schedule and set in stone rules, and policies. The lack of those things can be detrimental when it comes to going to kindergarten. Preschool can be a very great thing for children too. Some parents need to put their children in preschool in order to go back to work. Although homeschooling is very beneficial, preschool can be too. In a lot of ways preschool is better than home schooling and vise versa. Preschools have rules, procedures, and policies set in place, so the children get used to a routine, this is good for preparing for kindergarten. Preschool also has trained professionals taking care of your children. Schipani, one of the authors of American Baby Magazine says "Preschool teachers have the dual job of continuing to stimulate social growth while also preparing them academically for the rigors of kindergarten." (Cohen and Schipani) Having a trained professional teaching a child might be better for them because some teachers could do a better job than a parent can. Beth Kanter an author from parents magazine states "There is increasing evidence that children gain a lot from going to preschool". If the parent finds the right preschool Kanter will very well be right. In current times kindergarten can be very competitive, children need to be ready to face starting school full time and they need to be on track so they don't fall behind, the best way to do this may be preschool.(Kanter) Children get plenty of interaction with other children, and adults. They learn how to make friends, and be a caring, and sympathetic person when they have the

Williams 4 opportunity to be around other children. Having interaction with other children can also help problem solving. If a parent home schools their child the child does not get the opportunity to be around a lot of other children every day. This could be detrimental to their social growth in the long run. Kanter says that "every child should have at least one group experience before he starts kindergarten." That is very true if a child has never gotten used to other children they could end up a problem child for the teacher.(Kanter) Earnest Boyer the author of Ready to Learn: A Mandate for the Nation, says "Kindergarten teachers firmly support the high-quality child care. When we asked what would 'most improve' the school readiness of children , the second most popular suggestion teachers made was 'preschool education'." This says a lot if the kindergarten teachers are saying that preschool is important there must be something to it. Preschool gives children structure and helps them with their academics.(Boyer) The best thing for every child would be a compromise. If it is possible for the parent to home school the child two or three days out of the week and for them to put the child in preschool two or three days out of the week, the child would get the best of both worlds. Many preschools have the option of a Monday, Wednesday, Friday schedule or a Tuesday, Thursday schedule. This way the parent could keep them developmentally on track at home and then when the child goes to school they are on track there as well. The interplay of both methods would make a rounded preschool education, the child gets the structure and social interaction at school, and they get the special attention, and help at home. Their parents can

Williams 5 cater to their learning style and help them with the work from school and the teachers can help them learn how to follow instructions, a routine, and their being amongst their peers will help them with problem solving. Parents can always ask the teacher for the work they are doing the days the child is not there and they can do it as their home school curriculum. The next step in the process would be looking for a preschool for the child to attend for two or three days out of the week. Parents can schedule tours of most preschools and ask them questions. Kanter suggests asking questions like "What is the daily Routine?", "Does my child need to be toilet trained?", and, "How will the teacher let me know about my child's progress?" This will be the best way to find out what preschool is the best for the child. (Kanter) Also as Apel and Masterson pointed out make sure the teachers are "guiding" the child's learning process, if they are "dictating " it that could be detrimental to their academic growth. Sometimes when schools are dictating the children's learning process it looks great on paper but the children are less creative.(Apel and Masterson) It is best to have an even mix of creativity and academics, for the child to be one hundred percent ready for Kindergarten.

Williams 6 Works Cited Apel, Kenn, and Julie J. Masterson. Beyond Baby Talk: From Sounds to Sentences : A Parent's Complete Guide to Language Development. Roseville, CA: Prima Pub., 2001. Print. Boyer, Ernest L. "Quality Preschool." Ready to Learn: A Mandate for the Nation. Princeton, NJ: Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 1991. 47-64. Print. Kanter, Beth. "Why Preschool Matters." Parents Magazine. Meredith Corporation, Feb. 2007. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. Website. Perlstein, Linda. "Why Urban, Educated Parents Are Turning to DIY Education." The Daily Beast. Newsweek/Daily Beast, 30 Jan. 2012. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. Website. Schipani, Denise, and Ilsa Cohen. "What Your Child Should Learn in Preschool." Parents Magazine. Meredith Corporation, Apr. 2008. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. Website.