Q • My son is supposed to enter preschool in January. I've been homeschooling my kids and am not sure if we should allow him to go. Although he has been looking forward to it for a while now, I don't want him bringing germs back home to my other three kids, one of whom is a 6-month-old baby. What are the pros and cons? Exactly how important is it for kids to get the preschool experience?
From a reader • Children who attend preschool show an advantage over kids who did not attend in many areas, especially in disadvantaged, low-income families like ours. We were lucky and were able to send our twins to preschool through a government sponsored program in 2018 before the virus. We were very pleased at all the things that they learned and remembered once they started kindergarten. If you have the opportunity to send your son to an in-person class, I think you will be happy that you did. — E.Y. in Dallas
From Jodie Lynn • Sending your son to preschool is very important, but understandably, many have concerns during this stressful time in our lives on whether or not it's actually safe.
With that said, since he will not start preschool until January you will need to basically wait and see what the latest updates are regarding allowing children ages 3 to 4 to attend in-class preschool settings for that time of the year in your area.
It will most likely be different from state to state and city to city, so try to keep up with what's going on in your area.
The pros are just about endless.
Some of them are:
Preschool provides an excellent experience through interaction with other children in a classroom setting.
It helps young children to be better prepared for kindergarten through interactive games, activities and play.
It builds language, social and vocabulary skills.
Basic scientific and mathematical concepts are also introduced.
Acting games and dance alongs with storytelling, music, rhyming, art and much more help to build self-esteem and teach kids how to strategically change their mindset between playing and settling down to learn.
It provides a true experience in teaching how important it is to sit still and listen and how to follow instructions, which are lifelong skills.
The cons in your specific situation with a baby, is that they do frequently spread colds among one another.
If your state and local healthcare professionals tell everyone to wait on in-person classes until the spring, you can always teach your child at home.
I do want to alert you to the fact that there are many many online classes and helpful tutorials for preschool-age children.
There are also tons of free ideas and DIY classes online.
Since many schools offer virtual preschool classes, your best option is to stay up to date with the current news pertaining to in-person classes as well as visiting your own school district's website often for the latest updates and plans.
Can you help?
I am seven months pregnant and would prefer to breastfeed my newborn but my friends and family are warning me not to do it. My OBGYN says to wait and see. What are other moms doing or in this situation?
Jodie Lynn is an award-winning parenting columnist, author of five books and mother to three children. She and her family live in Wildwood.
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