Based on several things, we decided to start looking for a 2-Day (Mornings) pre-school for Devin. We're beginning to think it's truly in her best interest.
Since infancy, Devin has exhibited a preference for variety and tactile stimulation. Although true to some extent for most children, she seems happiest when we're doing a variety of activities in varying places. Also, she gets very little interaction with peers. Gymboree is great, it's been perfect for the last year and a half. But, it's focused on movement and games...not cooperating, sharing, etc...
My friends either don't have kids, have older kids, or have infants. I have a few playdate Moms, but we're all so busy.
We're also thinking ahead to the winter. When there's even less to do, since so much of our days are spent running around outside.
Pre-school at this age is a luxury. Actually, I buy into (partially) the notion that kids don't really need pre-school at all. Some force-feed the rote learning, maybe to impress the parents...not sure. And, many of the Parents Day Out programs are more like day care.
Then there's the cost. It's not enough time for me to up my hours...so I'll be working part-time still. Although Mike said he would let me work 30 hrs, if it helped. (It's so wonderful to work for the small company!!)
We visited this one today:
Devin and I loved it. She was so at ease...even the Director commented on her disposition during the tour. We saw all the rooms, kids at play and books. WOW.
I'm drawn to their philosphy of open learning. Each morning there is an hour of open-play. Teachers also structure concept learning for each individual child. I like the 6:1 ratio, as well. Also, it's non-sectarian and attracts a wide variety of cultures, races, religions etc...AND, they celebrate nature & talk about respecting the enviornment daily.
For $2500 a year for 6 hrs a week...it should be good.
The elementary and middle school are upwards of $15,000/year. Yikes.
I just wonder if Devin would like it. And, be happy to go there. She seems excited about the idea and talked about "going to preschool" all morning. I keep telling her that if she goes to preschool it's, "bye-bye Mama." I *think* she gets it. They offer a week-long process to adjust.
PS..This led to a public vs. private debate with Matt & me last night. No official outcome yet! The banker just sees $$$$$$.