Thursday, January 19, 2012


I want my son to go to school next year. I might be the only one who feels that way, though. He'll be 4 in July, and we live in a city that offers free Universal Pre-Kindergarten (UPK) classes for all 4 year olds in the district. Our assigned neighborhood school isn't great, but another elementary school in our neighborhood is considered excellent, and I'm prepared to do what I can to try and get him transferred into the better one. I didn't think I'd be able to do that until kindergarten, but it looks like they just added a pre-K class, so I might be able to get him into the preferred school right away. I'm planning to start making calls next week, and official registration happens in March. We're headed down this path, I'm leading the way, and it seems I'm just dragging everyone else in my wake.

I started by talking to my husband about it. I worry, he told me. It seems so early to send him out into the world. Even for a half day preschool class.

Umm, it's full day, I told him. 9-3 if he gets into the school I want him in. 8-2 at the other one.

My husband grimaced.

I took my boy for a walk past one of the school playgrounds. That might be your playground next year, baby! When you go to school! Won't it be fun to play there?

My son squinched up his face and began to whine. I don't want to go to school! I want to stay home with you forever and ever!

We visited my mom for the weekend, and I told her about the dilemma. When I mentioned the 6 hour school day, she winced.

I guess I'm the only one looking forward to it! And it's not because I want him out of the house. Actually, we'll miss him here. He plays a great little leader role with the 2 year olds! My job might be harder without my helper.

But I used to teach UPK, and here's the thing: It's FUN! It's a play-based curriculum, and they do lots of amazing literacy activities (I'm very familiar with the district curriculum from my previous job), and develop pre-math and pre-science skills, and he'll get to socialize with other kids his age in large and small group activities. I remember my UPK classroom so fondly, and my boy is exactly the type of kid who will thrive in that environment. I want to give him the chance to do that. Does he need preschool? Probably not. But I think he will love it. Once he gets used to it.

So I'm going to make those calls next week, prepare for battle to get him transferred to the better school, and show up at registration in March with my boy's hand in mine. If I'm wrong? I'm wrong. It's never to late to learn something new, and make a better choice. We're not going anywhere, and he's always welcome back! But for now: it's time to get ready for school. And if I have to be chipper enough to bouy the whole darn ship about it, well then, that's just what I'll do!

Pre-K! Woohoo!


  1. Oh, I'm a big believer in this. My kids' daycare does a pre-K curriculum in the 3-5s room (they follow the Creative Curriculum) and I think it's AMAZING. Plus, if he's going to be iffy about school, this is a nice way to ease him in before he gets to those years where attendance is mandatory. Good luck!!

  2. put him in school, there's no reason not to. this coming from a parent who has a homeschooled child and a public school child. DO IT.

  3. Your enthusiasm is infectious! It's pretty common in Japan to send four-year-olds to a full day kindergarten program, which sounds exactly like the UPK you're describing. They're at school even longer than my daughter (who's in an American first grade) and all the kids I know who attend the schools *love* them. If we're still here next year, I might enroll my youngest daughter.