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Struggling with preschool

Number 1 is four years old now and a friend of ours down the street (a licensed teacher) is offering extended kindergarten/part-time preschool.  She has been going for about a month but in the last two weeks she has missed seven out of ten days due to an out-of-town trip, child illnesses and the like.  Today is the first day she has gone back in a while and I tried to prepare her for it as much as possible.

She has been saying that she wants to stay with me and that she misses me and that she misses her younger sister, which is a sentiment that is echoed by number 2 about number 1.

True to my word, I walked her to school a little bit ago but something surfaced that had been brewing in me for a week or so.  The thing I wonder is: should I be taking her to preschool for the socialization/learning aspects or would it be better for her to stay home with me?

I originally wanted her to go to preschool because I would ask her things like “Do you want to learn to read?” and she would say no.  On top of that I don’t really know how to teach her to read so I thought that a trained teacher would know how to to do that.  She also used to say that she wanted to have friends so I thought that she would like the socialization aspect.

She has made a friend (there are only four kids in this group and only one other is a girl in her school) but we could see that friend at other times.  Should I take her out of preschool and set up play dates with other kids her age.  That would save some money, extend her time at home where she feels safe and has time with her sister.  I want them to have a strong relationship since there will be no other siblings for them, it’s important that they be close.

One of the positives about going to preschool is that I get to spend time alone with number 2 and have some distance from number 1 which helps both of us appreciate the time we have together.

The bottom line is I am struggling with sending her to preschool as much as she is struggling with going and so I am left wondering if this is the right decision.

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