We all know how kindergarten is such a pivotal moment in our children's lives. It's the start of a whole new world for both us and our kids and although it is still a young time of life, it seems so big and grown-up from our child's preschool days, doesn't it? As a former teacher's assistant in a kindergarten classroom, I truly loved the age and grade but there are a few reasons why preschool seems way cooler than kindergarten!
No Common Core Math or Homework
A kindergartener won't bring home anything truly complex but still, Common Core math anyone?
Thanks, but no thanks.
Kindergarteners have assignments and dittos to do or homework to complete. In preschool if you have a show and share or some sort of after-school activity, there's no pressure to complete it unless you and your child want to. Of course, you never want your kid to miss out on an educational opportunity but still, in preschool there's no pressure. It's fun time, snack time, and playtime! Not too shabby!
Teacher and Parent Relations
Preschool is the only time you will have such a close relationship with your child's teachers for the most part. Communicating daily, weekly, or monthly is not unusual in the preschool years but it becomes very unusual unless there is an issue in the elementary years. Preschool teachers tend to feel like family. It's not that you won't ever have a relationship with your child's teacher but as your kids grow, the relationships lessen. I know when it comes time to say goodbye to my daughter's preschool it will be an emotional goodbye.
Your children will be excited about riding a bus to school, but mothers? Well, considering the way people text and drive these days . . . it's not as exciting to us. Accidents happen even when you're behind the wheel, but the feeling of handing your child over to some person you've never met to cart your kid back and forth can be a bit nerve-wracking.
Plus, think about all the teasing that goes on the bus?
In my opinion, there is way too much pressure on children from the start with our core educational requirements. Kindergarten used to be about basic elementary letter sounds, numbers, and socialization. Now it's imperative for kids exiting kindergarten reading. There's something a bit wrong about this developmentally.
In preschool, kids get to play and relax. There is still time for them to develop and that sense of hope that while they may have issues or problems, they are still young enough to move past them without the pressures of academics and the public school system.
You Have More of a Say
Let's face it: paying for preschool can stink, and for those of us sending our children to public elementary school at some point, knowing it's free or with cheap before and after-care, kindergarten means more money in our pockets. This is a plus!
However, when you're paying for something you have more of a say. You can easily up and leave a school if it's not the right fit or put in your two cents when ultimately, you're paying people to care for your child! Elementary schools aren't as easy or possible to switch and when issues arrive, you're dealing with a lot more bureaucratic red tape.
They Seem So BIG in Kindergarten!
There's something about preschool that makes our littles seem so wee and something about kindergarten that reminds us that our little ones are crossing into "big kid" territory. And while not everyone enjoys the early childhood years, there are many of us who do and feel a tad bit melancholy of the idea of our little one moving on up!
As much as I have love for kindergarten and the elementary years, I will enjoy this last year of my daughter's preschool "era" and will always remember these years fondly. If you blink too slowly, you might just miss your kid's childhood. Enjoy it while it's here!