More Preschool Ruminations

Reading this blog post really resonated with me.  Though I am so thankful that preschool admission in Berkeley is nowhere near as insane as I’ve heard it can be in NYC or San Francisco, sometimes I wish I had fewer choices like my friends in the suburbs who tell me they just pick the closest one!

My boys will be 2 1/2 this fall and ideally, they won’t start preschool until next fall when they’re 3 1/2.  This is mostly to save money, but we’ve decided that if our top choice preschool calls us and says they have two spots for this fall, we’ll take them even though it would about a 50% monthly increase over what we pay for daycare.  The problem/anxiety-promoter is what if we don’t get our top choice preschool for next fall?  We have a second choice that we’re happy with, but it’s also really popular and we don’t really have a great third choice!

I initially loved a very play-based school that wasn’t that hard to get into when I visited on a sunny day, but when I went again on a drearier day, several things made me reconsider, including some offputting comments by a teacher.  Having grown up on the east coast attending fairly rigid schools, I guess I’m not as play-based as I might wish, but I am definitely not into “work” at preschool either, though I had initially been very drawn to how “cute” orderly children could be before I realized it was a bit creepy and unnatural to me.

So where does that leave us?  A bit burnt out on visiting preschools, sort of hoping we’ll get a spot in our top choice school for this fall so we don’t have to worry about it, and dreading finding a 3rd choice if we don’t!


2 Responses to More Preschool Ruminations

  1. Larissa says:

    Hi Lynn, I’m kind of glad I had the preschool decision-making taken out of my hands. It’s made it easy for me to accept the things that aren’t perfect. If the school you were thinking about talked about “work”, was it Montessori or Waldorf-inspired? I know Montessori talks a lot about work, but it’s usually in the context of practical skills, not math drills. My kids do “work” at school, and it’s made our home life more interesting—they can peel and chop vegetables, help make muffins, clean their own table, etc. I think orderliness is part of keeping track of a bunch of kids, and at least at my boys’ school, is balanced by a good amount of chaos. Just some thoughts…good luck!

  2. Thanks for your input. It’s always helpful to hear from people who have been through it. The “work” schools were Montessori, but I’ve visited a range of them – from strict to inspired. I really like the practical skills, but since we do a lot of that at home, it doesn’t feel as important to me that they do that at school. One “strict” Montessori was bragging about how their kids read and do multiplication, which made me realize that that is just not what I’m looking for in a school and also not a parent community I want to be part of. Our top choice is a Reggio school and is project based, which I really like since we are definitely not organizing projects at home right now … at least not yet!

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