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Old 11-15-2012, 12:40 PM   #1
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Would you put him in PreK?

My son will be turning 3 in a couple weeks. We had a meeting with his IEP team this morning, and while he doesn't qualify for special needs specifically, they would like to put him in a PreK class because his socialization skills with other kids are very lacking and because they want to have a chance to monitor him in a school environment in case they see things they need to intervene with (they only evaluated him for less than an hour one time but there are other behaviors they want to look at still). The PreK class is for kids 3-5yo and it is at our local public school.

The only class they have available is the same class my 4.5yo DD is already in. On the one hand, that would make it SO easy for me to drop them both off at the same time, and be able to pick them up at the same time, and not have to worry about childcare and opposite schedules (especially because the PreK is a free program, so it would save us $$ on a sitter). Also, maybe it will help DS to have his sister in the classroom to "show him the ropes" and make him feel a little less scared? On the other hand, I'm worried that having DS in DD's class will be distracting, for both of them, and DS might not get the socialization he needs because he will be glued to his sister...and DD might not like that. She has been in this class for a couple months and is a social butterfly, and I don't want her to feel like she is responsible for him...if that makes sense?

DS also takes afternoon naps (from like 1-3pm) and this class would be from 12:15-3pm - not sure how that will work, if at all. I might end up with a tiny demon child come dinner time, or I will have to reconfigure a time for him to get his sleep on. Also, DS is fairly well potty trained, but still has an accident or two...the school said they are ok with occasional accidents but the kids really need to be 100% potty trained to attend. He will also be the smallest/youngest kid there, and he has some medical/behavioral delays with eating so he wouldn't be able to participate in snack time.

DS never wants to sit down, is very impulsive, and has trouble focusing and I'm wondering if a more formal school setting may help him work on those skills too, or if it's just that he's too young and he needs time to mature? I really love DD's PreK teachers, and they do a lot of fun projects and she really seems to be thriving (she came home today and counted to 10 in Spanish!), so part of me really wants that for DS too.

So, taking all of that into account, would you send DS to PreK? Would you have any hesitations about putting siblings in the same class? Or would you wait until he was a little bit older and more mature?

ETA: I should have said, they rated him as "Above Average" cognitively, his language and comprehension is pretty advanced for his age and he already knows his shapes/letters/numbers etc...so the school thing would strictly be for socialization and behavior and not because I feel like he will be behind academically.

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Old 11-15-2012, 12:53 PM   #2
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Re: Would you put him in PreK?

I would have no reservations about putting him in, even with all of the little potential bumps (sister, naptime, age variations) as long as he was comfortable with being away from you. My daughter is a pretty independent person, but at 3 she wasn't ready to be away. At 4, she leaves me behind without a second glance.

Your son will adapt as long as he feels secure.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:00 PM   #3
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Not at all. The social will come. And you don't want to hold your daughter back. Especially if she has adapted so well.
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:06 PM   #4
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Re: Would you put him in PreK?

Last year my DD who was 5 and DS who was 3 went to preschool together. My DD went from 8-3, they did pre-k work in the afternoon. DS went from 8-12. I had concerns about them being in the same class, but it really worked well. The teachers said DD let DS be his own person, and do his own work. They played together and separately. My DS would be an absolute nightmare to be around if he didn't get an afternoon nap though. Maybe you could just try it out for a couple of weeks, and if it doesn't work out then no big deal?
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Old 11-15-2012, 01:27 PM   #5
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Re: Would you put him in PreK?

My son is and was similar and I put him in a preschool class at 3 because of how he was for socialization. In retrospect I am not sure if it helped much. He is 4 now and is the same way. I don't think it would hurt to try though. I didn't have the option of having dd and ds in the same class so I am not sure how that would have worked out. At least it doesn't cost you anything to send him. That is a big plus.
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Old 11-15-2012, 03:37 PM   #6
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I think I would try it. If it's a problem you can always take him out, but if you refuse now and change your mind it'll probably be tough to get back in.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:37 PM   #7
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Re: Would you put him in PreK?

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Originally Posted by mibarra View Post
I think I would try it. If it's a problem you can always take him out, but if you refuse now and change your mind it'll probably be tough to get back in.
That's a good point, I didn't think about that.

My gut says that he really needs it, but my gut also is telling me that he just isn't "ready" to handle it yet. Plus, he's had two potty accidents in the last two days... I guess we still have two weeks to think about it, but I'm tempted to wait until maybe the first of the year and give him another couple months of maturity and go from there?
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Old 11-15-2012, 11:03 PM   #8
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Re: Would you put him in PreK?

Could you possibly even wait until next school year? I assume your DD will be in Kindergarten then? I'm not sure how it works where you live, but in Ohio the "cutoff" for school is September 30 so if the child is not 5 by September 30 they have to be tested if you want them to start kindergarten early. Our preschools follow the same "rule" so if your state is the same you should still be able to get him into 2 years of preschool before kindergarten if you start next year. I had considered starting my DD1 in preschool last year which would have made her 2 yo turning 3 in November, and I chose not to. This may seem like a silly reason, but I just feel that once you start school for the rest of their lives they (hopefully) will be in school or working. I don't regret not sending her, and she'll still have 2 full years of pre-school before she goes to kindergarten. I also wouldn't be crazy about putting one kid in school with the other or missing/adjusting a nap time schedule that works. Missing the nap especially may negate any benefits you might see if he were to be in class at a time that worked better for him. Maybe talk to your pediatrician? To be honest the behaviors you describe seem somewhat typical for his age, though you mentioned that the school system has some concerns.
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Old 11-16-2012, 06:04 AM   #9
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Re: Would you put him in PreK?

For me personally, with what you said, no I wouldn't enroll him this year. I don't think socialization for a not quite 3 yr old is a big deal. Not a bad thing but not something they NEED. I value nap time too much to disrupt that - that is the biggest thing for me (in our house).

BUT if your gut says do it, then trust your instincts. You kmow your kids and their needs better than anyone. Your gut is probably more accurate than anything any of us could tell you.
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Old 11-16-2012, 08:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kileysmama
Could you possibly even wait until next school year? I assume your DD will be in Kindergarten then? I'm not sure how it works where you live, but in Ohio the "cutoff" for school is September 30 so if the child is not 5 by September 30 they have to be tested if you want them to start kindergarten early. Our preschools follow the same "rule" so if your state is the same you should still be able to get him into 2 years of preschool before kindergarten if you start next year. I had considered starting my DD1 in preschool last year which would have made her 2 yo turning 3 in November, and I chose not to. This may seem like a silly reason, but I just feel that once you start school for the rest of their lives they (hopefully) will be in school or working. I don't regret not sending her, and she'll still have 2 full years of pre-school before she goes to kindergarten. I also wouldn't be crazy about putting one kid in school with the other or missing/adjusting a nap time schedule that works. Missing the nap especially may negate any benefits you might see if he were to be in class at a time that worked better for him. Maybe talk to your pediatrician? To be honest the behaviors you describe seem somewhat typical for his age, though you mentioned that the school system has some concerns.
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