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PreK: A waste of money or worth the investment?

November 18th, 2008 at 09:46 am

I'm contemplating on enrolling my four-year-old in PreK so that she can have a feel of how kindergarten is going to be like next year. I have mixed feelings about it because it's $72.00 a week, and I don't want to lose out on $288.00 I can be saving a month. Then again, I keep trying to tell myself that it's never a waste of money when it comes to your child's education, but is PreK really needed?

15 Responses to “PreK: A waste of money or worth the investment?”

  1. kdmoffett25 Says:

    Our PreK here was a glorified daycare. It wasn't worth it. Now, my daughter's PreK at the local college was definately worth it.

  2. gamecock43 Says:

    I took a child development class in college and they said that preK and kindergarten kids are more advanced than kids their age who dont go...but by second grade the kids have lost all that advancement. Or the other kids caught up. Regardless- it was impossible to determine which kids had gone to early education and what kids had not.

  3. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    I am highly in favor of PreK, but:
    - half day is enough
    - your costs seem much too high, ours was on the order of $5 / hour (all these were church schools).

    I am not a member of any of the churches, but chose based on the teacher that I met and felt was the best fit for my child.

  4. monkeymama Says:

    I'd say it depends.

    It depends on the kids, it depends on the intensity of the Kindergarten, it depends on what you can offer them at home, and it depends what the programs can offer that you can't.

    Depends, depends, depends.

    If the reason you want to do it is because of studies or what other people say though. Eh. These are not reasons to put your kids in PRe-K.

    My personal experience has also been that the showier/more expensive is not always the best. (Actually, rarely is).

    In a nutshell, my spouse and I are very brainy and made brainy kids. So academically I could not fathom why anyone would put their kids in PRe-K and pay thousands for academics (I know you didn't say thousands, but around here, people pay $1-$2k/month for the showier pre-K programs).

    BUT, as with most brainy people, we have always struggled socially/emotionally.

    Anyway, we would have put our older child in pre-K when he was age 1 because he was ready. (I kid you not). But we were pretty anti-Pre-K/anti-daycare before kids and we immediately had a second child, so wasn't really in the cards financially. We finally could afford it just before he turned 3. He THRIVED. We found a place that made up for all that we lacked. My spouse was not very social and does not like messes. So he goes somewhere where they get really messy and he plays all day with all sorts of different kids. Dh gets a break. Win-Win.

    We looked at a lot of places and I was not impressed with the majority of preschools where they did flashcards and cookie cutter art work. Ugh! Not what 2 & 3 & 4-year-olds need! BUT, if their Kindergarten is intense (& most are these days) might not be the worst to ease them in, either.

    My younger son started the same place at age 2.5 - more for him than us. But he also THRIVED. If he was first I don't think we would have considered it until age 4. If that. He's just a very different child - more like us - more what we expected.

    We also don't have family nearby. I could see skipping the Pre-K thing mostly if we had more family nearby (more socialization with cousins and such - more time with extended family, etc.) I actually consider their preschool setting their second family more than anything.

    Anyway, I could see very well rounded children not really needing a Pre-K program. & I could see parents with socially well adjusted kids who just don't *get* how to teach their kids academically, etc. who would maybe need it. But I would just consider carefully what the needs of your child are, and if there are more frugal ways to meet those needs.

    For us, kids would have fared quite well academically, pre-K or not. But I think they will both manage the social and emotional aspects of school much better with their pre-K experience. IT just gave them something we couldn't provide on their own. & I can't put a price tag on that. Was a little expensive for us, but worth every penny.

  5. princessperky Says:

    Prek is mostly a break for parents IMO, but then I am a homeschooler. (and if I could get that break with quality care/trusted folk once or twice a week, free..yeah I prolly would take it)

    I firmly believe that preK is the year you aught to try to see what your kid knows and what they want to know..you might surprise yourself at how wonderful learning can be.

    the edge of ANY kid is lost when formal schooling is started..or you could just not join the schooling system and retain your edge Smile...

    Socially speaking, have you ever met a 'nerd' or outsider in schools? Chances are you have (who are the jocks poking fun of if no nerds are there?) So it isn't the home vs school that makes an outsider, some of us are just not the party animals (or at least not every day of the week)

    On the other hand if you have no chance to be around others that is a problem, humans are social animals.

  6. mom-from-missouri Says:

    You can do the PreK thing on your own at home.

    Make a schedule and stick to it, and practice sitting in a chair for certain activities. Learn the colors, counting and alphabet. Part of PreK is for these reasons.

    Another aspect to PreK is socialization. You may already have that--if you belong to other activities such as library story time, Sunday School, play dates with other kids their age....Focus on learning to share, take turns and on how others feel.

    PreK is more of a "modern" thing, from the 50's or so. For years families got along without it. But, you can also argue look at some of our schools now compared to what they used to be.....

    Some families need it, some dont.

    You might also explore Parents As Teachers in your area. They often have monthly play/learn group activities.

  7. whitestripe Says:

    isn't kindergarten meant to be getting your child ready for school? why would you get your child ready for kindergarten?

  8. Koppur Says:

    Hi there. I read your comment on Ima's blog Re: Spam. One of my fave dishes is Span wrapped in rice and seaweed form a Hawaiian rstaurant...you don't happen to know the sauce they use for that, do you???

  9. noxqsez Says:

    To Koppur:

    Spam Musubi is also my favorite. Have you ever been to L&L Drive Inn?? They have some awesome Spam Musubi, and Kalua Pig.

    Depending on where you go, the sauce varies. But I usually put 1/4 cup soy sauce and 1/2 cup brown sugar.

  10. noxqsez Says:

    To Whitestripe:

    That was my initial thought on kindergarten, but my father-in-law was saying that she has to know how to write their first and last name, say her alphabets and numbers, and also have to recognize the letters and numbers. So, i'm kinda freaking about because I don't want my daughter to be rejected from kindergarten because she can't do those things......

  11. Koppur Says:

    Thanks so much....I never thought of brown sugar... Smile I've never been to Hawaii...I've had Musubi at a Hawaiian restaurant we love....now I need to make it at home Smile Thanks again!

  12. princessperky Says:

    Any kid can learn to write their name and such in way less than a full day, you do know how to write don't you? Why not explore letting her try?

    Next time you make a grocery list try telling her the first letter of each item.

    Next time you take a bath name the tub toys and the letters they start with (or body parts as you wash up and their letters)

    Next time you take a walk look for all green items and see how many also start with G.

    Don't worry if at first she doesn't get it, it takes time and repetition, the point is explore the world!

  13. noxqsez Says:

    To Princessperky:

    Thank you for your suggestions!! I really appreciate them. She does know how to write her name, but sometimes she likes to "act" dumb =/ I sometimes feel that I don't have the patience anymore to try and teach her. She's 4-years-old, and she's already in the rebelling stage *grr*

  14. princessperky Says:

    Kids all do that, don't worry about it, kids were designed to learn, they just want to choose when, so let em.

    So long as the day is full of learning opportunities a kid will learn, I promise.

    Right now I have a daughter who is 5, and I am about ready to strangle her with a wet noodle, but...I know this too shall pass, she will move on, we will manage. (my older son for example has been amazingly compliant this whole week....)

  15. whitestripe Says:

    wow. we must have different systems. most kids here learn all that in kindergarten and mostly in grade 1.

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