Yesterday, I wrote about the loving care that the boys have received and how I have taken help from both in-home daycare and nannies. I’ve been very lucky to have things line up well with minimal effort with both of these options AND have great experiences.
I haven’t been so lucky with preschools.
When George turned three, it was clear he needed a little more structure than daycare was providing–Sunshine just isn’t a preschool and that is okay. I started taking him to a co-op preschool in our area and we (and I say WE intentionally) went from January to May.
This didn’t work out for us for many reasons. George wasn’t a fan and never wanted to go. And it was WAY too much work for me to take on, which is really my own fault. I was trying to make a round peg fit in a square hole. I also felt insecure as a working mom for the first (and only) time. Even though I was meeting all the minimum requirements of the co-op, I still got underhanded comments from the other moms for not doing more. Not a great environment. I feel yucky just thinking about it.
When we found out we were moving in June, I looked into a few all day preschool/daycare combo programs in Charlotte but wasn’t thrilled. They were either religious or WAY too academic–doing sight words at three? Hell no. Luckily, no co-ops presented themselves. Ha.
And even though I’ve gotten some comments from well meaning folks about the boys not being in preschool right now (eh-hem), it has worked out SO well for them. They are together all day. The nanny teaches them letters and numbers. They go to swim and music class. I’ve felt no need to put them in preschool this year. That said, George needs some exposure to school before kindergarten. Remember how I talked about compromise in yesterday’s childcare post? I had to give on one of my “want-ums” of non-religious education in favor of the boys having more time together and easier on me because of location (less time in the car means more time for other tasks!). Sigh. Welcome to the South.
I had to remind myself that “be flexible” is also one my strategies for attaining work/life balance!
So, if all goes well, George will go to the church preschool around the corner starting in September four mornings a week. The nanny will take him and pick him up. The boys will still have a ton of time together. I will not spend over an hour in the car a day. Its a great play based school that looks like SO much fun, but I am anticipating a lot of Jesus conversations. But hey, it will be a learning opportunity for all us. I feel good about the compromise overall. Now, let’s just hope George wants go…
Have you struggled with preschool options/decisions?