|Affiliate Notice: Many of the posts on restingmomface.com contain affiliate links. By shopping through my links you allow me to contribute to my family income while being a stay at home mom. I appreciate your support!|
When you become a parent the focus is on the daily grind of raising kids. I do a lot of this too. With parents who were elementary school and college educators, I was thinking about schooling options earlier than most. For some people education options are pretty simple and for others they are complicated.
In our case, sadly our house puts us into a strange place in the school boundary map. It leaves us with a great public school for the lower grades and with less than stellar choices for junior high before we get fed into a so-so high school.
To prepare the kids for their later years of school our family is big supporters of sending the kids to preschool. There are a few options for this for each age, but ours is to go with a home-based preschool. So, for the 2017-2018 school year, instead of enrolling in free transitional kindergarten, Boogie will spend his last year before kindergarten in the preschool he’s attended for the last two years.
As much as I don’t enjoy writing a check for another expense, I chose to pay for another year of preschool for a few different reasons. Here is a quick #fridayfive list of reasons why it seemed like a better option than enrolling him in free transitional kindergarten:
The main reason I chose to pay for another year of preschool is that Boogie’s school’s student to teacher ratio is about six to one. From what I know of the state licensing program they run under there are mandates that they must follow. Teacher to student ratios in the past have been the same as they are now.
For the T-K option, I’m not sure what the ratio will be, but I do know it’s a full sized classroom of children with one teacher and a whole bunch of aids. I’m sure they are fully qualified, but I don’t know them and I don’t know their teaching style so it’s got me a little nervous.
It’s a home-based pre-school that we’ve been involved with in one way or other since my almost eleven year old niece was two and a half. Each teacher has a degree and their own great personalities. The mix of the three teachers that rotate through each school week make for an entertaining and educational environment that Boogie seems to be thriving in.
If it’s not broken, why fix it?
Curriculum is a very important part of why I chose to pay for another year of preschool. I do have faith that the public school knows what it’s doing. However, I know what to expect next year because of experience. Each week has a theme and they work on letters in a certain pattern that (from experience seems) to stick with the kids.
Boogie started to go to preschool as a two and a half year old and during his repeat year of the three year old program he’s really gotten better in his coloring skills and letter recognition. I know from past experience the four year old program will work on that base of knowledge and add writing into the mix. I know from speaking with the Kindergarten teacher at the public school that the T-K class doesn’t work on writing until about halfway through the year, but if I remember right the four year old program at Boogie’s school does it earlier in the year.
There is something to be said for the interest of the parents in their kids education when money is involved. My intention is not to offend anyone with this comment. It shouldn’t make a difference on our behavior when it comes to sending your kids “free school” versus “pay school”. Yet, having money involved gives most parents more interest in how each school day goes.
I went to public-private school as a kid. A strange description, I know, but I was a military brat and went to Department of Defense elementary schools. It’s more clear to me that it fits as public-private because there were requirements to attend. DoD schools are considered public schools, but in reality the only kids who attended had a connection to the base in some way.
This meant that the school mimicked private school in that:
- there probably no homeless kids
- there was an extremely low population of low income kids
- parent involvement in the daily life of their student was high
Knowing that my career path is leading me to be a public school teacher of some sort I feel horrible for my opinion of public schools. I hate admitting this, but if I could afford to send both my kids to private school like the public-private ones I attended I would.
The jump to Transitional Kindergarten from Boogie’s current program I think would be too big of a shock. I’m sure he’d adapt eventually. I chose to pay for another year of preschool because I feel like he’s going to get more one on one work where he is now. I did the math in my head. Three days a week with a smaller group gives him better chance for personalized education.
Part of me wonders where he will measure up to the TK kids. We know a few who will be applying for the TK program. In Kindergarten we will get to see the difference. My gut says that the softer entrance into full time school will be better for Boogie than the immediate transition.
Keeping Him Little
There is a part of me that wants to keep him little. With his current school I’ll still have him home with me two days a week. I like that extra time with him that I would lose out if he was in the public school. Bootsie and I had that and I want to give him that too!
He’s going to have six years at the public school near our house. With kindergarten thru fifth grade already in his future, why would I want to add a seventh year to that?
From this list you can see why I chose to pay for another year of preschool instead of enrolling in free transitional kindergarten this year. I hope my reasoning gives you a a little bit more information about the difference between the two. It may not be possible for everyone to pay for preschool. Truthfully it’s not something we really can afford either. Future in my sights though, it was a choice that I couldn’t make any other way.
What are your thoughts on Transitional Kindergarten versus preschool? If you could afford it would you send your kids to private school?