What's the best way to spend $6000 on preschool for this kid?
January 15, 2014 8:13 AM Subscribe
We have two choices for morning school for our daughter, who is just turned two. Happy School is walking distance, 2hrs/day this year and 3hrs/day for the next three years after. It's a fairly structured ordinary preschool (one hour of library/circle time, one hour of playtime is a typical day) and $170/month. Flower School is 30 minutes away for 3+hrs/day and is a open-ended play school with lots of outdoor garden and art time that costs about $670/month. Our daughter has had trial weeks at both, and somewhat prefers Flower School. She came home worn out and chatty from her days there. The Happy School's teachers have given us short answers (She played a lot today) when we pick her up, while School B sends a daily short newsletter and thoughtful answers (She liked watering the plants, can you let her try at home).
posted by viggorlijah to Education (31 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Given the $6,000 a year difference, we're not sure which school to choose. A complication is that our daughter is a very sociable, pleasant and generally compliant child who is very bright. When bored, she doesn't act out, she just gets sad and quiet. She is about 1-3 years ahead on every milestone currently. People mistake her for a bright 3+ often because she's quite tall and verbal.
Happy School will not skip grades, and the classes are age-segregated. Flower School is a mix of ages, but because it's new, mostly 3-year olds now. They have said they will support her learning at her speed. We live in an apartment, so Flower School's garden is a big plus for us.
Home has plenty of toys, books and older siblings, but we really really need the 3-4 hours of peace and quiet to get work done (both parents work from home) because she is exhaustingly active and intense so homeschooling preschool is not an alternative currently. We have a great housekeeper who takes her to the playground in the afternoons as well.
Basically - should we stick with the cheaper and closer Happy School and spend some of the $6000 each year on other activities to meet her needs, or should we commit to Flower School instead? $6000 is a lot to us, but we can sort of manage it if it would make a big difference to her.
My husband wants to know if preschool/kindergarten as just childcare for a kid like her is fine, and I want ideas on what we could provide outside of Happy School for her, or if (especially from parents of similar kids) if a flexible supportive school like Flower School is worth the money.
(And in advance: no, we are not delusional pushy parents, she is not reading Shakespeare in her cot and yes, we understand kindergarten is about social skills most of all, but this is a kid who is teaching herself to read at two and will spend 45-minutes absorbed in a single activity and who will also cry over having to share a doll with another 2-year-old.)
Apologies for the wall of text, we are really stuck!