R.L. SAUNDERS

writer attempting real life in the middle of everybody else's vacation

Boogers for Jesus

on December 6, 2011

We pulled Number Five out of preschool after half a year. But it wasn’t even preschool, per se. It was pre-preschool for three-year-olds, which is more like daycare. I know he needs to interact with other kids, but at what cost? And what’s the mad rush to get kids sent off to school, anyway?

He was picking up more bad habits than good ones, and he was getting sick all the time because there’s snot and drool everywhere in a preschool classroom. That’s just the way it is.

Sure, he’ll acquire a few key skills (sharing, for example) a little later than some other kids. But I’ll also know he isn’t getting kicked in the nads by that tiny, innocent-looking devil girl who attacks when the teacher and aide are otherwise engaged during drop off and pick up.

I already miss those few peaceful hours every day. Very much. But even I couldn’t keep sending him just for that reason, knowing I wasn’t completely comfortable with it anymore.

I’ll also admit that pre-preschool was a little too churchy for me. And I know, I know: YOU SENT HIM TO A GODDAMN CHURCH SCHOOL, RHONDA, WHAT DID YOU THINK WAS GOING TO HAPPEN? But I did ask about the religious aspect of the curriculum and got the impression that it wouldn’t be so, well, religious.

It’s not that I’m afraid to expose my son to Christianity. It’s a big part of our culture and I get that. So I guess my Jesus beef, if I really even have one, is that the churchy stuff seemed like it was to the exclusion of other things. He came home singing about Jesus loving him, and asked me if every book in the house over an inch thick was a bible. But he wasn’t singing about letters and numbers, or about taking care of the Earth, or about the periodic table of elements, or whatever. It doesn’t mean that stuff didn’t go on; it just means I didn’t witness it.

Speaking of witnessing things, where my other kids went to preschool (far away from Key West), parents were encouraged to observe. They even built a giant Mirropane window so parents could stay and watch all day if they felt like it. And I did, so shut up.

But at Number Five’s school, I just didn’t feel like I knew what was going on. Does he have friends at school? How often does he get time out, and what are the infractions? Is Spongebob on A LOT or only when I happen to be there picking my kid up before the full-day kids start the second half of their day? Because I can park him in front of Spongebob at home. For free.

Am I just a total bitchmom who wouldn’t be pleased with any program? Maybe. Probably. Either way, though, Number Five is stuck here with me for the second half of the pre-preschool year. If he’s going to watch Spongebob and/or sing about Jesus, he can do it at home. Without some kid wiping infectious boogers on his arm or kicking him in the package.
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16 responses to “Boogers for Jesus

  1. My soon-to-be three year old goes to a Parents Day Out once a week. The only reason we do it is so that I can volunteer at our zoo that day. I’m in agreement. It’s not preschool. Not.

  2. Bonnie says:

    I still feel guilty for putting Jillie in K @ 4+ yrs. instead of keeping her out one more year. She barely made the cutoff date. Is this why it took her 25 yrs. to get her BS degree?!

  3. Steve W says:

    Great post. Figure out your RSS situation so I don’t have to take the effort to see if you wrote something. I’m a very busy person, mind you….

  4. HA! Awesome post. We rushed to send our oldest to preschool a little too soon as well, and it was a Presbyterian preschool — and way too much bible-pounding, not enough real-world education for our taste. Now we send both our kids to a Catholic school — and that was a tough decision, but when the public school system sucks, forcing a 35:1 child to teacher ratio, doesn’t offer art or music curriculums, it ended up being a very good (and compared to other options: moderately affordable) decision. They attend church once/week — but there isn’t a ton of hard-core Catholic-bible-pounding. In fact, my 1st grader had homework about Kwanza & Hanukkah yesterday. Color me pleased. We were grateful we did the research on the various schooling options in our area… may want to just take the next half-year to do the same. Visit schools — ask if you can just drop-in with #5 for an hour to see how they roll — if it’s a good school, they will allow that.

    • rhondasaunders says:

      Thanks, Kelli! I’m still figuring out this blogging thing.

      The problem here is that we’re on a small island and our choices are very limited, especially for 3-year-olds. But the good news is that next year he can attend an awesome charter school and it’s literally in our back yard.

  5. Kathleen Zavala says:

    Rhonda four times I went through the same thing. You are on spot he can learn at home and already has friends and siblings to interact with. Pretty sure they teach him enough. Also great parents to stray him from the bad. Keep it up I enjoy your blogs and miss you.

    • rhondasaunders says:

      Thanks, Kathleen. The other siblings are so much older that he’s sort-of everybody’s baby. I wanted him to have to get along with other little kids who don’t fall for “cute.” But he can do that next year.

  6. Roberta says:

    Great job!! Appreciate your standing firm to your instincts.

    • rhondasaunders says:

      Miss you, Roberta! If you do the email subscription (top, right) you’ll get an email when there’s a new post. Not sure I should post on FB every time. I don’t want to be pesky about it.

  7. Sally_Oh says:

    We homeschooled throughout. No regrets, no bad habits picked up outside the house. Just mine and my husbands. Contrary to popular belief, kids don’t need to be “socialized”. When people asked us — aghast — what we would do about our children’s socialization, we answered, “That’s the very thing we are trying to avoid.” Chuckle. Nobody had an answer for that one.

    We took them on play dates, had a group at our house for awhile with a nanny, sent them to Kathy Kilroy’s house for awhile to be with five or six other kids… they went to Laurie Kjos’ homeschool school for a couple of years. All good: we knew the teachers, knew the other kids, knew the other parents and it was a really good experience.

    They are 19 and 20 and can socialize with the best of them. They are unafraid, meet new people easily. Really cool young men.

  8. Nostrikethat says:

    This has to be the best post title in the history of post titles.

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