Lately, the hot topic of conversation among my mom-of-toddler friends has been preschool.
Now, I don't know where Claire will end up going to kindergarten. We've got a lot of great options in our area with a highly-rated public school, a public charter school, our parish school, and, of course, we're hearing about more and more friends homeschooling.
But, I do know that she won't be going to preschool in the fall. The biggest reason is definitely cost. Our parish preschool is $300 a month for just two days (aka four hours) a week! But also I really like our life the way it is and I don't want to change things just yet.
I love seeing Claire and Maggie's sisterly bond forming. I know Maggie would miss her big sister if she went to school (which means I would have to work harder to entertain her.)
I like not having a lot of places to be at a certain time. I like that we can just drop everything and do fun stuff when we have visitors. The days where we can wake up, realize that it's a rare sunny January day, and abandon our plans to play at the park are numbered. I want to make the most of them while we can.
We're still going to do music class, which the girls both adore. Claire will also start Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a montessori-style faith formation program. It's two hours, one morning a week (so basically half the time as preschool) for $90 a year. So....pretty much a no-brainer.
And while Claire is at "school" Maggie will
be forced to run errands get to spend some quality time with me.
Part of me is thinking we should do some sort of preschool lessons at home. I've heard good things about "letter of the week" programs like this one or this one. At the very least, I could get some letter and number workbooks.
The other part of me wants to embrace the whole just-being-a-kid thing for a while longer. When Maggie is able to join in, most likely starting this summer, we'll be able to do basic art activities like play dough and finger painting so much more often. Maybe I should just stick to checking out lots of quality picture books from the library and summoning my reserves of patience for toddler board games and baking help?