I don't want to put DD in preschool ..m

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Registered: 03-31-2003
I don't want to put DD in preschool ..m
5
Mon, 03-31-2003 - 10:53pm
Most of my neighbors have their kids in preschool or will be putting them in when they turn 3. My daughter Jade will be three in July and my friends think I should put her in preschool so she is ready for kindergarden. I don't want to put her in preschool because I want to teach her how to read and write in Spanish before she starts school in English. Do you think this makes sense? My mom taught me to read and write in Spanish by the time I was 4 and then put me in a bilingual school. But I figure as long as she can read and write it she can go to regular all English school when she is 5. Right now she speaks Spanglish. A mixture of Spanish and English. She understands both languages perfectly. I read all books to her in Spanish but I let her watch television that is in English.
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Registered: 03-28-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 4:16am
I'd say it depends what your goals are... if you just want her to be able to read and understand Spanish, and speak to others in Spanish, then it may be enough that you speak Spanish to her at home without her going to a bilingual school. But that's going to require that you're consistent in speaking Spanish to her at home, and that you give her as much exposure to Spanish outside school as possible. If she goes to a bilingual school, I think she'll be more fluent and have a more accurate grasp of Spanish, since they'll spend more time on the grammar and spelling, she'll get more reading and writing practise, and it will improve her vocabulary, since they'll talk about things at school that you might not discuss at home.

What you do about preschool is up to you--I think there are some advantages to going to some kind of preschool--you learn how to play with others, to share, to wait your turn, to keep quiet while someone else is talking, to solve problems with peers, etc... not to mention learning to survive a day without mom! But then again, those are all things she can learn just by being with friends, and things you can teach her at home... and even if she's not as strong in some of those areas as some other kids in kindergarten when she starts, I'm sure she'll catch on to all that and adapt quickly once she starts kindergarten. You're right in that if she goes to English preschool now, her English will become very dominant if you don't always speak Spanish to her. But if you do speak Spanish to her, and preschool is in English, I'm sure she'd continue to do well in both languages. Lots of kids learn a language through having one language at home and one at school / daycare / preschool... although if only one parent speaks the minority language, then I think they have to be pretty consistent and spend lots of time talking and listening and reading together in order to keep the dominant majority language from taking over. But it can certainly be done!

I'd say go with your gut feeling--are there other reasons you'd like to keep her home for another year? Don't let friends pressure you and tell you your DD will have problems in kindergarten because of it. But if you're willing to do everything in Spanish with your DD next year, I wouldn't be afraid of her being in an English preschool. But I also think if you're serious about her being fluent in Spanish, that she'll benefit from a school that teaches Spanish / English when she starts school later on. Just my thoughts...

Good luck with your decision... let us know what you decide...

Heather S

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Registered: 03-28-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 4:17am
...and welcome, by the way...nt
Avatar for yannie2
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Tue, 04-01-2003 - 8:45am
Welcome and I totally agree with Heather! don't let anyone pressure you into doing something that you don't want to. and also, if she does go to an English school, then yes, her English will most probably become dominant, especially if you live in the U.S.(which I assume you do!) If you decide to keep her home for another year,speak Spanish-only to her and read books in spanish only and listen to spanish tv. try total immersion for her so that her base in spanish is bigger than her English one. Of course, if at all possible, try for a bilingual school, but that is not always poosible. remember that bi-trilingualism is an unestimable gift you are giving your child!

Keep us posted, Yannie, mom to 4, French/English

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Registered: 03-30-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 4:51am
Welcome! I agree with the other posters. Although preschool does offer advantages in socialization and other skills, I wouldn't let myself feel pressured just because other kids are in preschool.

I would caution against setting reading in Spanish first as an established goal for her before starting preschool or kindergarten. Too much pressure! Everyone develops at his or her own pace. Any exposure to Spanish now is like an investment for the future - even if she doesn't end up reading Spanish first.

HTH!

Tina

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Registered: 03-31-2003
Wed, 04-02-2003 - 10:15pm
Thank you for all your responses and for welcoming me to your board.

I have been speaking only Spanish to my 2yr old since birth. I always read Spanish books to her or translate English ones into Spanish. My DH also does the same. My two older kids on the other hand speak to her in English. We did not make an effort to speak Spanish at home for the older two and they are terrible at Spanish. I feel guilty because I had the power to give them the advantage of a second language, and I didn't use it. But ever since Jade(2yr old) was born, since so much Spanish is being spoken, the older kids are picking it up.

One of the reasons I don't want to put her in preschool this year is that I think 3 is too early. I feel that she should not have the pressure of my classmate can do all her ABC's and I can't. I also feel it is my job to teach her the basics. I put my older son in preschool when he was 4 for 2 reasons. First because he had some serious social issues. He didn't want to play with other kids and would growl at everyone and second because I went to work and back to school. Jade is a very social child. She will play with all kids. She plays with neighbors or cousins on a daily basis. We also read books and color and build things on a daily basis. I joined a club called the Brighter Vision plan and they send me a kit every month that includes a book,tape and workbook with stickers and we do that once a week. I pretty much have agreed with DH that we won't be sending her to preschool. Maybe when she is 4.