With my son turning four this year he becomes eligible for a free program called VPK, or Voluntary Pre-Kindergarten. I’ve been resisting the idea for months.
I found out, in some more detail, about this program back in December. Basically any child that meets the age requirement can attain a VPK voucher, in which they can use towards any accepting preschool for three hours a day.
I’ve come to the realization that I need to accept that my kid needs to go to school sooner and I cannot delay it any longer. It’s time for me to start researching preschools.
Deciding Whether To Send Our Kid to Preschool
My husband and I have always been in agreement that we didn’t want to put our kids in daycare or preschool. We wanted our kids to enjoy their childhood as much as possible and not have to worry about so much of the stress that comes along with schooling.
But hearing that it’s free and only three hours a day made me think twice. And then twice more. In fact, my husband and I went back in forth about it for a few months. Sometimes we were on the same page, then one would flip back to the other side, sometimes we’d convince each other back and forth. It was a mess.
We had good reasons to resist too, plus a bunch of excuses on my end. Things like, he’s not full potty trained yet and he won’t listen to me. But mainly, fears, like “what happens if he pees himself?” or “what happens if he comes home with a bite mark?”
This mom became paranoid since pregnancy. And this mom discovered some anxiety. I don’t even like the idea of letting other people take care of my kids. I’ve only accepted two people, my mom and my mother-in-law. And that’s to an extent (no offense to them because they’re both amazing).
Finally, recently, we decided that he is in fact ready. And that I’m having a lot of trouble accepting even the idea of him not being under my control. I struggle with not having control but I need to let him spread his wings.
He’s been excited about wanting to go to school since he got his first backpack at 18 months old. He’d put it on, open the door to his room, blow me kisses, and tell me he was going to school.
Now that he’s reached an appropriate age, he’s even more excited. I don’t know what he’s really expecting. In fact, I’m not too sure myself- TEARS!
Resisting The Denial
But I keep reminding myself, this will be good for him. This will not only be a transitioning stage for when he does go to real school for a full six hours but also a transition to understanding the structure of education.
The boy is stubborn and distracted. I have trouble getting him to focus on trying to teach him anything because he’s trying so hard to be silly or prefers do be doing something else.
Sometimes I even wonder if he has some ounce of ADHD – I know he doesn’t though and no autism either. He’s a toddler, he just wants to be having fun all the time. And he’s shown me that I’m really not cut out for being a teacher or for homeschooling, I do not have the patience!
Beginning The Search
So today, I decided I’ve procrastinated enough. A lot of schools are already booked by now and that makes my search that much harder. So I sat down on the computer while they napped and started making a list of all schools I could look into around us that accept this VPK voucher.
I searched their website, did some google searches, and posted on facebook groups (twice) asking for recommendations. I built a long list of about forty schools. That sounds like a lot but once I narrow down availability, things I do not like about the school (such as religious teachings), proximity, and the school’s philosophy that list will get shorter.
As organized as I like to be, despite my heavy procrastination, I set up my list in a spreadsheet. In my rows I had acceptance of VPK voucher, availability, name, proximity, phone number, full address, notes and pros and cons.
Just from my beginning searches, I called two schools. One was booked but adding students to the waitlist, and the other with available slots. Coincidentally, this one is just outside my neighborhood, is bilingual (which we are), has great resources, and is one I would pass by and joke about my future kids going to when my husband and I got married.
It's Just the Beginning
My next step is to continue researching to find backup schools and schedule visits. I’m actually excited now, not as nervous as I was before.
I even sat my son down tonight and told him he would be going to preschool in a few months and he was thrilled. I’ve been a little teary about it already but seeing him excited makes me happy, and more teary.
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My name is Paula and I’m a mom of two scrumptious cuties. Thanks Mommy Blog became a project for me to help guide other new moms and current moms through any of my own personal experiences and struggles. My hobbies include singing, doing jigsaw puzzles, baking, designing and trying to stay creative.