Summer School for My Child: Thoughts Are Needed

Is year 'round school the right way to be competitive (even starting at preschool age)?

Summer is approaching, and that means that my husband and I have some decisions to make. Here is our quandary. 

Our daughter, who turned 3 years old in January, has been attending a daycare/preschool since she was about 2 1/2 years old. We enrolled her so she would have less mommy and more social interactions with kids her own age. She adjusted very well. We started out 3 mornings a week. Then we progressed to 3 full days. She again did very well. She has now been going for a full week and still loves it. She has made many friends there. It is sometimes difficult to even get her to come home.

Here is our debate:

I have been a stay at home mom since she was born. I am now considering going back to work. So, do we want her to have structured learning/play all year round and stay enrolled for summer school, or take a break from classroom learning and just play at home? Summer means pools, sandboxes, water parks, swing sets, amusement parks, family time, etc. That is what summer is all about to me, but we want what is best for her, in the short run and long run.

We are now faced with making a decision as to whether to keep her in school for the summer or let her be at home. I see benefits of both options. She has definitely benefited from the world around her in school. She has certainly thrived in a structured play environment but is there such a thing as too much school?  She will be enrolled in preschool starting in the summer (they transition at year end). She will be able to go into pre-k in January 2013. Will she lose what she has gained if we keep her home? Will she get burned out from school and have a bad feeling about school when she gets into kindergarten and older if she stays enrolled? Thus our quandary.

We would love to find out about what other families (working and non working families) are doing for the summer. What do you think?

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Laura Cofman April 24, 2012 at 03:14 PM
Sharon-thank you for sending this to me. I will check out the responses. I have not had a chance in the past few days. My daughter, Samantha, has been home from school not feeling well.
Laura Cofman April 24, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Rick-Thank you for your comments. Interestingly enough, I have been told that Samantha (aka Sammi) has TOO MUCH mommy. I am a very involved mother. She is my only child and I am perceived as an older mom (in my mid 40's). I am very tied in and tuned in to her comfort, emotions, etc. I originally enrolled her in September 2011 to help with separation anxiety and to eventually prepare her for Kindergarten and beyond. Can she have TOO MUCH mommy? Daddy travels 2/month for one week at a time.
Laura Cofman April 24, 2012 at 03:24 PM
Thank you, Karen for your feedback. It has been a difficult decision because I do know that it can set the tone for our relationship and also for future perception of school. I want her to have a passion for learning and a passion for family. Before I had a child, I was (and still am) against someone else "raising" my daughter. I want to have a strong influence on who she is and who she becomes. I do think that the influences at school can be good but I do want her thrive at home and away from home. I am sorry that you had to go through being a single mom but it sounds like you did a great job.
Laura Cofman April 24, 2012 at 03:27 PM
David, Thank you for your reply and the compliment. Unfortunately, there are moms in the world that are not involved with their children and provide the love and support that all children deserve and need to thrive in this society. I believe that if all parents could make the right sacrifices in their lives for the children, the world would be a better place to be.
Laura Cofman April 24, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Susan, I want to give my daughter, Samantha, everything she needs to be successful. I define success by being happy with who she is and her decision in life. My concern with keeping her out of summer school (which is when she will actually start preschool). Her birthday is in January so they wouldn't transfer her until now. She will be on the older side of her classmates and she progresses through school.


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