Wednesday, April 16, 2008

david can read

I am not a mommy who brags about her children, everyone already knows they are awesome :)
Seriously, I had an interesting discussion about preschool at sorenson this w/e. I understand why republicans may not want to fund pre-K education, however the preschool teachers are essentially subsidizing our children's education since they are paid so little. Then I chatted with an ed of a preschool at a party who mentioned that one of her teachers had received a Habitat for Humanity house (yes the teacher works full-time). We were both in disbelief.
I maintain that preschool education isn't affordable for middle class people. Chris and I hve made significant sacrifices for our boys (in addition to not paying on my variable interest student loans from law school). These sacrifices make sense to us and as you can tell from the title of the post my 4 year old is getting a lot out of it. He reads EVERYTHING! He read the word neighborhood earlier.
My kids will be able to compete because of our priorities and sacrifices, its the other children though that I worry about. I want their classmates to be able to start at the same start line. Without valuing pre-K ed, Virginia students will have significant disparities among them caused only by economics.

3 comments:

Duane said...

I'm no expert on the matter, but the concluding statement gave me pause:

"Without valuing pre-K ed, Virginia students will have significant disparities among them caused only by economics."

I think the word "only" is causing me some discomfort. From everything I've read, parental involvement makes the largest impact. What remains is primarily the means and motivation for parents to take an active role in their child's education, as you have. So we have parents:

1) With means and motivation
2) With means, but not motivation
3) Without means, but with motivation
4) Without neither

I contend that #2 and #4 aren't easily amenable to public policy, but if our social programs could target the third group we might make a world of difference.

Jennifer said...

Duane,
You are right, I speak in hyperbole. I think those parents who are motivated will find the means, there are programs available.

Parental involvement is key.
I worry about children whose parents dont even know- not because of motivation necessarily.

Or those whose parents give up if a barrier is placed in front of them ($6000/yr for preschool may be a barrier).

I wonder if policy will be able to affect those who dont know or think it costs too much but may be interested.

Great point, thanks.

Anonymous said...

I can add this example for folks to ponder, Jan and I sacrificed by her quitting her job to be a atay at home mom on just one salary, that being a cops salary.

In doing so we could not afford nor really need professional child care/nursery/pre-school but in doing so our son did not get the training and education that child care provides. We applied for the pre-K program but we made too much and there wasn't enouhg room.

(This could be another commentary on the sad state of affairs that now a 5 YO is expected to be as smart as a 6 YO or they are considered behind...).

So when he went into kindergarten he was behind. Now we felt bad because we didn't home school him. It took a year of special classes to get him caught up and the worries and stress that comes along with that but no he is doing great.

So then, our daughter gets to the pre-k age and we applied to get her into the pre-k program. She is tested, our situation looked into and thank goodness she was accepted. Now when she went into regular K she is doing great.

Had my sone been accepted he wouldn't have been behind and we wouldn't have had to deal with that situation for a year.

So, is it beneficial? Yes. Should it be considered part of the school budget? Yes, IF every single child is allowed to attend and there is not financial test that would exclude certain familes. If taxes are funding it everyone should have equal access.