My daughter has turned 2 this August. Sometimes it feels that time is slipping out of my hands too fast but if I look at her day schedule it seems like a long journey. As a Mom I have to think hard how to keep her engaged or introduce new ways of learning and fun moments for her. It all seems like a maze puzzle so intitally I had thoughts to put her in a nice playschool by 2 years of age. I even attended few baby shows and orientation at nearby playschools but then dumped all my plans. I have also explored for mother-toddler programs only to realize that most of such programs are meant for the age group 18-24 months. As a diversed option to engage her I now look out for some weekly dance/music and planning to try one.
I somehow couldn’t decide or makeup my mind. Moms around me enquire and suggest that I must enroll her in a playschool however I get varied opinions and school of thoughts. And I’m still undecided.
In Delhi-NCR the age criteria for Nursery is mostly 3.5 years+ so the next year she will be anyways going to playschool only. And have you ever explored the playschool’s fees, well I must say the fess are exorbitant for a 3 hour schedule 5 days a week! I know that not everybody sails in the same boat and that’s the reason most of the playschools offer admission starting from 18 months and children are happily going there with satisfied parents. And there are a number of very good preschools around us that have open enrollment yearlong with pro-rated fee structure but still a deeper thought is utmost necessary…
Non-refundable registration fees
Daily hassle to pick and drop your child to school
Fear of falling ill during rainy season, dengue season, holidays around the festive season, and shorter days during winters and so on!
I believe it all depends from parents to parents: a child to another child; I’ll tell my child’s take on some of the important factors for preschool readiness:
Separation anxiety: She is a big-time kangaroo baby; even I never got a chance to leave her for long. So no matter whom she plays with, she needs me around her. And I don’t want her initial days at school to be a stressful event for me. Though I guess this happens with every mother but one must know the intensity that varies from one child to another.
Potty-training: Frankly I can’t rely on a school maid to ensure my girl is diaper-cleaned the moment she spoils the diaper. What if she doesn’t inform anyone or is hesitant telling this to anyone except me? She understands the basics but will take a little more time to be trained in potty.. I want she achieves atleast average range in this important milestone.
Communication Skills: My girl is very expressive but still converse in her baby language that only I can understand (mostly). Indeed she is learning new words everyday but as a Mom I can feel and judge her readiness about expressing to others something that she wants, like or doesn’t like, love or scared of. For me, her communication skills are the most important factor to decide if she is ready for a pre-school or not.
Self-independence: I guess I’m not the only one with a fussy-eater but this remains a big challenge when you think about a playschool enrollment. Many people advocate that preschool teaches the child to develop a schedule but in some corner of your mind you want your child to show some readiness in it. Yes most of the schools boast about homely supervision and caring environment but a Mamma’s mind always doubt whether you child will get the adequate attention that you aim for! Somewhere you feel that you need a little more time.
Pre-school is not an alternative for a daycare or maid’s salary. It’s not mere a matter of 3 hours but a continuous school-affair thereafter. It’s not only about waking your child early in the morning and packing meals/snacks for her but also about moving her to a systematic and patterned lifestyle. Though I crave for some ‘me-time’ but I also want her to enjoy her liberty for few more months. School life is a different world that we introduce for our children where they find new colors, fun, friends, engagement, passion and discipline but it all ends up on the ‘readiness’ that must come from both the parents and the child.
My girl is socially active and smart. She loves to sing and dance and is fervent in learning new things and the activities that a child gets to do in a preschool. I mean she has good points to begin her playschool but she stays at home with me and I try to keep her engaged on my own. And I have read somewhere that few moments of boredrom are actually good for the children’s creative mind and experimental learning and they learn to think out of the box.
I guess I have my answer, no matter what I or anyone else thinks about it. Winters are here, days are getting short so I might have some luck with the shiny afternoon excursions with my little girl. Apart from this I’m not prepared for anything else as a mother.
When did you enroll your kids in the preschool and how was your experience? Do you think that’s important at the age of 2 or if it’s too early?