When Grace was three, we attempted preschool for her. I was pregnant with my third and toting around a toddler, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. So many friends used the dreaded "socialization" word, and I felt pressure to have Grace learn how to sit and listen to another adult. So we signed her up...
The first day of preschool--she did great. No tears at drop off, she was thrilled to see us, and she liked some of the activities. The next day, she asked, "Wait, I have to go back?" She was more hesitant the second day and the teacher mentioned she only sat on the bench during the playground time and said, "The other kids are running around too much for me." The night before her third day of preschool, she came out of her room at 10 PM sobbing about how she did not want to go back to school, and I had to rock this little anxious child back to sleep. Thinking that she would have a more difficult time, I had my husband stay in the car with Lissie, while I walked her to her classroom.
Upon arrival, Grace lost it. Now, Grace NEVER threw tantrums, made a scene, or disobeyed us. The teacher kept reassuring me that this was "natural" and I should just go. Being 9 months pregnant, watching my baby crumble with terror-- I broke down crying too. I could NOT do it. I gathered her up, and we sniffled to the car. When I arrived my husband simply said, "Well, if preschool is going to make all my girls cry, we are not doing this again." (Lissie was sobbing in the car too....)
Hours later that day she said, "Some day I'll be six, right?" I nodded and she added, "I'll be ready for school then." How can you argue that?
Many people denounced our decision to pull her, "You didn't give her enough time" or "You should have just let her cry it out" even "She obviously needs to be away from you." But, I knew I was correct. She was not emotionally ready to be apart from me yet. It took quite awhile for her to go to the independent (no mommies allowed) story time, but by the time she was almost four, she did it. She's shy, listens well, and rarely gets in trouble at home (and never out). She already knew the preschool curriculum before we started it, and she is in first grade this year, so academics were not a problem.
Today, we went to a science museum for our homeschool. Several other children scattered about the museum until a presentation on "walking on the moon" started. The employee started asking questions about gravity and space, and my shy little Grace was the only child to know the answers and respond! She was nervous to be the center of attention and she beamed when he complimented her.
Easy Rule #92010 Trust your own parenting instincts- children blossom at different times.
Easy Rule #53999 Watching a 3 year old go "anti gravity" with chubby cheeks: priceless: