Tuesday, October 16, 2007

It's Almost That Time

I know it sounds crazy, but next month I will have to sign up my older son for preschool. "Registering in November for the next fall is crazy," you might say because it seems so early, unless you have an older child, in which case you may be surprised that I didn't have to register him earlier.

A couple years ago when I started looking into preschools, I was surprised by how early registration occurs. I had certainly heard about it, but I thought that it was happening somewhere else. Fortunately although I registered my son in December since we were a new family (returning students register in November), there was no problem getting him a space. In fact for those fall babies like my son who just miss the cutoff, there didn't seem to be too much of a rush for registration. Things were different last year when we registered him for the 4 year old classroom. Fortunately none of the returning students seemed to have trouble getting a spot, even if it wasn't their first choice spot.

I was shocked by the irony of parents shelling out money to teach their kids basic life lessons like following directions, when they themselves insisted on lining up in the school before the official registration start time. Maybe there should be a refresher preschool course for parents. We can learn things like how to follow directions, say please and thank you, and be courteous to people in the grocery store! In the meantime, both years my son has been in preschool he's had kids join his class last minute. People move. As much weight as we put on ensuring the we register for the right school on-time (or in the case of those who don't follow instructions, early), it seems like our children still get into the classes they need even if they aren't the first choice ones.


Whirlwind said...

The local preschool here you need to register them 2 YEARS in advance.

My kids are now guaranteed a spot at the preschool at the school because I have two children enrolled there now (they prioritize to families enrolled)but it is a small school, so there usually isn't to much of a problem.

Rock the Cradle said...

I live in Brookline, and I'm just not even going there. The Impling will be 3 in February, and by fall, she'll be itching for school, and by then we'll be in Maine (i hope i hope i hope) where there is NO bloody competition.

I hope I hope I hope...

Pinks & Blues Girls said...

When my kids were pre-school age we lived in a very competitive town where the "right" pre-school was very much the-parents-with application-in-hand-as-they-were leaving-the-maternity-ward; the waiting list; the must-attend-if-you-were-going-to-ever-amount-to-anything-in-life.

Well, my husband and I were both teachers at the time, and we just did not buy into all the hype (and expense). We enrolled our kids in a YMCA pre-school program (oh, the horror!), and our kids played and sang and played and learned (in that order).

None of our kids suffered any lags in learning or experiences, and they are now all well-rounded, responsible, productive, happy, creative, intelligent adults.

So I immediately recognized the dilemma that Audrey faced just a couple of months ago when many of her neighbors and friends began the chatter of the "must-have" pre-school. Audrey enrolled her 3-year old son at her local YMCA program, and she could not be happier with her son's experience.

And although I realize that pre-schools may be selected by location, friends in attendance, car-pools, etc., I just don't recall any college application that asked for the name of the pre-school attended.

I think this pre-school discussion merits debate, and I hope to hear from more New England Mamas!

Sharon - Pinks & Blues Girls