It was only last year around this time when I started to go really crazy. Stress? Work? Nope, pre-k applications. For all the stress and rest less nights and WE still didn't get in it would have been hard for me to hear from another parent to relax however the truth is as one parent to another, try to b.r.e.a.t.h.e. Erica Young, my extraordinary friend who is my sounding board on many of my education quandaries, answers all my questions on education sums it all up with this honest post. And my story by the way is that my son did get in after being on the wait list and if he had not, 3 pre -k openings at very affordable programs (what I pay now for a part time sitter) came up. All in my neighborhood, excellent teachers and up my alley on budget.
As the pre-k application deadline looms over NYC, I am able to sit back and relax. I am busy dealing with the kindergarten application stress. :) Ha-ha. But seriously, sit back and relax. The fact that you are stressing about a pre-k placement shows that you are in fact an active, concerned parent, and you hope little Jimmy goes on to an Ivy League school. The exact (or any) pre-k won't matter. As parents, WE are the foundation of success. We will read books with our children, we will put our tablets down, and we will read a book in front of them. We will take neighborhood walks and point out letters on signs, and talk to people and demonstrate good manners and how to be social. We will sing songs. And laugh. And be silly. We will teach them how to be people. And that my fellow parents, is the foundation of early childhood education.
But what about writing?! And reading?! Doesn't Jimmy need to be able to do all of these things?! Sure he does. And he will. My daughter is in a public school pre-k this year and I am shocked at the level of expectation. Writing letters. Counting objects. Writing sentences. Using inventive spelling. She is 4! Is she doing these things? Sure. Some of them. And sometimes she is excited to do her homework, and other days, not so much. But I have every confidence in the world that when she enters the world, she will have these skills. These things can be taught. But while I enjoy her time in the classroom, I always keep in mind that it is up to me as a parent to expose her to world. Teach her to respect her peers. Respect her elders. Appreciate art. Enjoy a good book. The basic skills will come in time. And if needed, extra help is always available for these subjects. But I have never seen an after school program for appreciation/respect/etc./you get the idea.
So parents, let's focus on teaching our children to be amazing people and worry less about what school they are in. For the record my daughter didn't do a 2s program. Or a 3s class. She hung out with me, and then me and baby brother, and then jumped right into the big, bad, public school. And let me tell you, she is absolutely fine. She can share the crayons. She can write her name. She can raise her hand. She can also participate in classroom discussions. She has amazing thoughts and ideas. She is an awesome girl. And so is your child. Don't let a pre-k rejection define who they are. They are yours and you will help define who they are and who they become. You are already doing a great job.
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