Today is Sunshine’s preschool graduation. Well, she’ll keep attending until the end of June, but today her preschool is hosting a little graduation ceremony for all the children going on to Kindergarten in the fall. Sunshine, who loves special occasions and is very excited about Kindergarten, has been reminding us about her grad for the past two days.
When my husband first suggested preschool a couple years ago, I was dubious. We’ve always planned to homeschool our daughters, so I didn’t see why we should send them to preschool. Then, in the space of a couple weeks, several families from several different groups of friends all raved about the same preschool. The preschool was really close to us. I knew Sunshine would really enjoy it, and that would give me a couple afternoons a week to study (since Lily napped during that time).
We registered Sunshine for two afternoons a week last year. And I was right: she LOVED it. At the same time, she was taking swim lessons and gymnastics and a music class, but I soon noticed that preschool was her favourite activity. She brought home lots of art and talked about her friends and sang songs that she’d learned there. She enjoyed some cool opportunities, like exploring a local beach and hosting the guinea pig. And I enjoyed the quiet house while she was out and Lily was napping.
Sunshine ready for Wacky Hair Day at preschool
This year, we put Sunshine into preschool five afternoons a week. I liked the fact she has a consistent schedule—every day we have to get ready to go at noon. That seems to work great for our little social butterfly, who is ready to go to preschool nearly every day (including Saturday and Sunday if she could). Lily no longer naps, but I’ve discovered that, like me, she’s a bit of an introvert who needs some quiet time during the day. While her sister is at preschool, Lily enjoys reading books, playing in her room, or colouring. Sometimes, we go grocery shopping or paint together, but more often, she wants to do something by herself.
This was especially apparent to me during Christmas break. The first week was fine; we had Christmas stuff going on, plus the girls were sick for a couple days. The second week was… well, not fine. Most of Sunshine’s little friends had returned to daycare. She still had another week off, but there was nothing going on. I ended up with two grumpy girls: Sunshine was bored because she didn’t get her social time and Lily was upset because she didn’t get her quiet time. I soon realized I needed to plan some activities for Sunshine and some quiet time for Lily.
Sunshine holding a painting of Rapunzel she did at preschool
For September, Sunshine is registered in Kindergarten and Lily is registered in daycare at the same school. I have one year left to finish my degree (and seven courses to take in that year), so having them in full-time childcare makes sense. Lily, after seeing Sunshine go to preschool for the last two years, is very excited that it’s her turn to go to “school” too. And Sunshine, hearing her friends talk about Kindergarten, is also excited about it. We’ve toured both of their schools and they frequently talk about September.
I have mixed feelings about Kindergarten, just as I did about preschool. I’ve seen that preschool has been good for Sunshine, and I’ve learned more about her by sending her there. If we do start homeschooling her, I know some things I’ll have to keep in mind to help her thrive at home. Right now, we are taking each school year one year at a time—what works best this year for each of them and for our whole family. Sooner or later, I still believe the answer will be homeschooling, but for the past two years, preschool has been a good thing.
Did your children attend preschool? How did you make that decision?