Sunday, September 02, 2007

Universal Preschool?

This article basically says that schools are tools of indoctrination and standardization, and that they serve to remove children from the family. And that daycare/preschool is doing it at an earlier and earlier age. I think this is interesting, and probably true for the most part, but how do you survive outside the system? Read more of the Confessions of a Bottom Feeder article, I guess.
I was thinking of enrolling C in a co-op preschool, which is run with one teacher and the parents take turns helping out, one day out of three per week. Well, the afternoon class filled up, and neither one of us is a morning person (C slept until 10 am today, for example, and usually sleeps until at least 9). Mind you, he used to get up at 7, but that was when he was falling asleep at 7:30, something that hasn't been consistent for about a year. He doesn't settle down easily, and neither do I. I have a really hard time getting it together to get him in bed earlier than 9:30, for some reason. Time in the evening just slips away, and suddenly it'll be 10:00 and we're just getting in our jammies.
Anyway, about the school -- on the one hand, I was wanting him to have a chance to play with other kids regularly without having to drive all over creation for play dates. On the other hand, the concept of school scares me, particularly with how active C is. I worry, though, that we're not covering things that we should just because I am really bad about spending a lot of time on the computer while C watches videos from the library. I don't spend a whole lot of time talking with him, even when I'm not on the computer, because I tend to space out a lot, and worry a lot, which I hated my mom to do and now I'm doing the same. Argh!
Anyway, I understand that people are worried about preschool separating kids from their parents -- however, I think people forget that most kids already are separated from their parents most of the day, often starting at a few weeks old, in daycares.

There's a kid in our apartment complex that we have gotten to know who spends probably 9-10 hours per day at Kindercare. I don't know how this is any better than a public preschool. His parents talk about how smart he is, how much he's learned there (he's 5 and knows how to add and his letters, and some words). And how great it is that in his all day kindergarten that he's starting (a Catholic one), he will be learning social studies, science, math, and reading, among other things. In Kindergarten! This kid will also be in the before- and after-school programs there, so he will be there on the campus of the school most of his day. He gets up at 6 am to get ready for school, and doesn't get home until probably around 6 pm. He goes to bed at 8 pm. So he's with his parents probably less than three hours, much of which is taken up with getting ready for school, getting there, getting home, getting ready for bed, eating dinner, etc. Needless to say, we don't think we'll see much of him except on weekends (and Sunday is for Church).
I don't know what my point was. Just that kids are already mostly separated from their parents most of the day, with or without public preschool. Making it mandatory, however, does really seem wrong. I think even Kindergarten should be optional. It is here -- you don't have to file a "declaration of intent" to homeschool, or any paperwork, until your child turns 8, which usually happens in second grade. That is, unless your child has been in school before, then I think it starts in kindergarten.