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Thread: PreK Issues...Sorry So Long!

  1. #1

    Question PreK Issues...Sorry So Long!

    I need some help/advice:

    DS was born December 8th - right after the Dec 1st cut-off in New York State. At 2years-9 months, he started Montessori half-day preschool at a local Catholic school. He has flourished there. We love his teachers. The head teacher even agreed that he would be ready for a full-day Montessori experience in her classroom in the fall. With a new baby coming in June, this was an idyllic situation for us.

    Then this week I had the rug pulled out from us. The head teacher called me at home to say that the Catholic school has not been supportive of her educational philosophies and that she was tendering her resignation on Monday. The assistant teacher would also be doing the same, and the two will be moving to an early childhood center literally right across the street from our house come the fall. They will both stay the remainder of the school year, but all the Montessori materials in the room are their property, not the school's, and that for next year the school will just try to shift all the remaining Montessori families into the traditional preK rooms next door.

    I am not thrilled with the Catholic school in general beyond the Montessori class, so we knew we would not be staying long-term. We are happy to follow our beloved teachers to their new site, but there is one problem: we need a full-day pre-K option since we will have a new baby, and the site doesn't have its full-day license next year. In NYS, it takes 210 days to gain the full-day childcare license, so next school year is up in the air for us.

    Since DS is December 8th, he is still not going to be eligible for universal pre-K for 2013-2014, so we need to find another school that has voluntary preK for his age, level, and is full-day. (Sorry if I'm being redundant!)

    That being said, there is another Catholic school on the opposite corner as the Catholic all-girls high school where I teach. (I live 30 minutes from where I teach.) Several faculty/staff have their children in the preK there, and they offer full-day for PreK3 and PreK4. One of them kindly wrote an email introducing me to the principal, who responded (even though they are on break this week). The principal replied and said DS was only eligible for the PreK3 program since he was after the cut-off date.

    DS uses vocabulary words like clumsy, commotion, definitely, actually, etc. He knows how to sit at circle, stand in a line to walk to specials, and has been potty trained since he was 2. I'm worried that moving from a mixed-age classroom to one with 3-year olds that may not have been in any kind of day care or preschool situation will render him bored, disengaged, unhappy - or worse - acting out because he is not stimulated enough. I've asked the principal to have my son evaluated for the PreK4, and she pushed back about the DOB issue.

    There are very few alternative options for us, because of location, schedule (full-day), and DS's age. We know he will spend 3 years in preschool before kindergarten because we eventually want him on the older end of things than the younger when he gets to K/1st, but for next year I feel a crunch to find something and an option that will allow him to continue to flourish and develop the foundational skills for reading, writing, and math success later. I know I probably sound like a crazy person, but this is just one of those "I want to do what's best for my child" crises, and spots in preK fill up fast so there is a time element here (not to mention I'm 7 months pregnant too!).

    The pregnancy hormones are not helping me out here, and DH puts his hands up in the air and tells me that since I'm the educator, this is my realm of expertise, but that doesn't mean I know what we should do in every circumstance!

    Here are my questions for you wonderful people:

    • If this was your situation - what would you do?
    • What have you done?
    • Moms of babies right-after-the-cut off dates?
    • Moms of traditional preschool settings - what have your experiences been?
    • Montessori moms - ever had to shift your child into a traditional pre-k?

    Thanks for taking the time to read this, and thanks in advance for your responses!
    Last edited by babykenny; 04-06-2013 at 02:23 PM.
    Me (34), DH (36), DS1, DS2 & 1 Angel (1/17/2012)



  2. #2
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    That is a hard situation no experience or advice.



  3. #3

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    I'm no help, but I didn't want to read and not reply. My 4 yr old is starting the summer program at his new preschool next month, so we don't have experience with a 3 yr old in preschool. He has only been in daycare previously. I do know how hard it is to find an opening at a preschool you want, that has full time slots, etc., etc. I had a heck of a time finding a place that I love, he loves, and that I don't have to leave my full time job twice a day to get him back and forth from preschool/daycare. Not to mention paying for both! It truly is a pain! I hope you find a perfect alternative!
    ~Andrea~


  4. #4

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    Thanks Lindsay and Andrea.
    Me (34), DH (36), DS1, DS2 & 1 Angel (1/17/2012)



  5. #5

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    Why does he *have* to go full day? If I were you, I'd be inclined to move him w/the teacher you love.
    *Coming from a mom w/a boy right after the cutoff (making him the oldest in his class), who has younger twin siblings, and who will be doing 1/2 day traditional pre-K next year*



  6. #6

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    My thoughts are this - you say that you want him to be one of the youngest now and worry that he will act out if he is not stimulated with the 3 year olds, but these will be his peers in K/1, since you say you want him to be one of the oldest once K/1 starts. IMO and IME, a child can be just as unstimulated at the K/1 level as he would in pre-k. If in the near future, you plan on holding him back, I would do it now to see how he does.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by mla View Post
    Why does he *have* to go full day? If I were you, I'd be inclined to move him w/the teacher you love.
    *Coming from a mom w/a boy right after the cutoff (making him the oldest in his class), who has younger twin siblings, and who will be doing 1/2 day traditional pre-K next year*
    After i posted above, i realized i should have explained is point....thanks for asking it! The new place where his teachers will be going has hours that are staged later in the morning than where he is now (9am start time, my first bell is at 7:56am) so it would be impossible for DH or myself to drop him off and make it to work. My mom will be taking care of our new baby, and she already has a neurological disorder (and my demanding 80 year old grandmother living with her), so I can't overwhelm her by being taxi driver and caregiver to a 2 month old baby, 3.5 year old, and 80 year old! She will inevitably burn out in a short period of time.

    i also see a therapist, and we've discussed at length his readiness and the benefits of having his own thing in a full-day setting. It would minimize the power struggle between DS and baby, and minimize my moms stress level and give him better encouragement to eat better than my mom feeds him, academic stimulation versus watching tv. Plus, that would give us an hour together in the car everyday...

    if only this country afforded us working moms an ample maternity leave...but I sadly just don't have that option. DH and I both have to work, and I carry our benefits, etc.

    Quote Originally Posted by i.<3.cheesysmiles View Post
    My thoughts are this - you say that you want him to be one of the youngest now and worry that he will act out if he is not stimulated with the 3 year olds, but these will be his peers in K/1, since you say you want him to be one of the oldest once K/1 starts. IMO and IME, a child can be just as unstimulated at the K/1 level as he would in pre-k. If in the near future, you plan on holding him back, I would do it now to see how he does.
    Cheesysmiles: you have a really great point, and last night I read the article linked in the other post in this group about redshirting for kindergarten. Being a teacher who has read the new academic standards for prek and k, the more I think about it, the more I'm starting to realize that prek3 would be better suited. He'll be going from half day to full day as it is, and traveling a farther distance, so I think that will be enough of a transition. I looked at their daily schedule, and moving from the Montessori model to a traditional prek structure will also be a transition, along with new teachers, new friends, etc. And the kids will be his age....you are right!!!!

    My original mentality is/was that he would just need 1 year in a new school to hold him over until his teachers get their full-day program up and running. So it would be going from a mixed age classroom to a 3 year old classroom, then back to a mixed age classroom. That's all.

    i tend to worry about these things, but it comes from a place of wanting to really think it through. Thank you for helping me work through the details of this transition. It is a big deal for us to have DS in a good place, and I know children are resilient, but our children are our most precious things in our lives, right?!?!
    Last edited by babykenny; 04-07-2013 at 01:16 PM.
    Me (34), DH (36), DS1, DS2 & 1 Angel (1/17/2012)



  8. #8

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    We worry so much about these babes of ours don't we?! And, like you said - being pregnant doesn't help!

    I agree with cheesysmiles...and think all of your replies to her reply () make perfect sense.



  9. #9

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    I'm super hormonal and pregnant, I guess. I had a big meltdown today after church, and it was not good. I try to make too many people happy and am a perfectionist, and just feel overwhelmed with life right now...
    Me (34), DH (36), DS1, DS2 & 1 Angel (1/17/2012)



  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by babykenny View Post
    I'm super hormonal and pregnant, I guess. I had a big meltdown today after church, and it was not good. I try to make too many people happy and am a perfectionist, and just feel overwhelmed with life right now...
    We really do worry about our children, and pregnancy hormones make it worse.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by i.<3.cheesysmiles View Post
    We really do worry about our children, and pregnancy hormones make it worse.
    Thank you for responding with compassion. I needed a bit today...
    Me (34), DH (36), DS1, DS2 & 1 Angel (1/17/2012)



  12. #12

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    Another thing to take into consideration is that his day is going to be longer next year with a full day schedule. So perhaps keeping it "lighter" for him with the PK3 class will be beneficial when he is adjusting to more time in the classroom?

    With Olivia, she missed the Sept 1st cutoff here by a couple of months, but seemed very ready for a preschool experience. We found a "bridge" class that is 2 mornings a week for 2 1/2-3 year olds where they didn't have to be potty trained. I debated her PK3 experience for next year - 3 or 5 mornings a day since she loves school and does rather well there. We decided she will have plenty of time in school and opted for the 3 day program. (We do have the option to extend to 5 days at any point if we feel like she needs it). I didn't even consider full day for her for next year - I am a SAHM so we didn't need it, but I wouldn't have thought twice about it if I did work.

    And if it matters, I was a kindergarten teacher, so I have a bit of an education background. Not that I am an expert by any means, though!! lol Good luck with this tough decision - I think it is just human nature to second guess ourselves whenever we make an important decision in our children's lives.


    Anne (37) DH (37) Olivia (4) Harrison (1)

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by preciousnd98 View Post
    Another thing to take into consideration is that his day is going to be longer next year with a full day schedule. So perhaps keeping it "lighter" for him with the PK3 class will be beneficial when he is adjusting to more time in the classroom?

    With Olivia, she missed the Sept 1st cutoff here by a couple of months, but seemed very ready for a preschool experience. We found a "bridge" class that is 2 mornings a week for 2 1/2-3 year olds where they didn't have to be potty trained. I debated her PK3 experience for next year - 3 or 5 mornings a day since she loves school and does rather well there. We decided she will have plenty of time in school and opted for the 3 day program. (We do have the option to extend to 5 days at any point if we feel like she needs it). I didn't even consider full day for her for next year - I am a SAHM so we didn't need it, but I wouldn't have thought twice about it if I did work.

    And if it matters, I was a kindergarten teacher, so I have a bit of an education background. Not that I am an expert by any means, though!! lol Good luck with this tough decision - I think it is just human nature to second guess ourselves whenever we make an important decision in our children's lives.
    Thanks Anne!!! I completely agree with your thoughts, and am grateful that I've had a chance to think this through here with the input of people in my same boat! The way you explained a lighter, longer day hits the nail right on the head! He's going to be in school for enough years as it is!!!
    Me (34), DH (36), DS1, DS2 & 1 Angel (1/17/2012)



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