Friday, May 20, 2011

To School or Not to School...That is the Question.

It is actually too late to still be contemplating as places for preschools are filling up fast but I still can't decide whether to send my little one off to school or not. Baby H won't actually be required to start school till September 2012, however the competition to get into school is quite stiff so sending her to preschool would definitely give her an advantage over the other children when we send in her application for school next year.

Apparently, since the school is so sought after, the fact that you may already have siblings in the school is no longer an advantage. Heard this year, the school had received 120 application from siblings asking to get into FS1. They had only like 80 to 100 places on offer. The school is now able to pick and choose who they would accept which would be the best of the best. Boy, was I lucky with Cheeky M. If he had to be assessed 2 years ago, I could guarantee he would not be accepted as he wasn't even able to talk back then. He was among the few that skipped the assessment and immediately accepted because he had a sibling already attending that school.

A friend of mine took her son for an assessment recently. He is a little cheeky fellow but I've always thought that this child was one very smart cookie. He could count to 100 assisted and unassisted could do up to 30. They asked him to string beads, count, identify colours and shapes. He did it all just fine. However when it came to his conversation skills, they thought he was not at par as he wasn't as articulate as they would prefer and was mixing his languages together (he is bilingual) in one sentence. So he was rejected by the school. In his defense, the boy wasn't even 3 yet, and won't be 3 for the next couple of month. IMO, he did an amazing job for a 2 year old!

That got me really worried. Baby H will be turning 3 this December. She doesn't even know her colours and shapes yet. All animals are either a sheep, cat or dog to her. I'm haunted by the fear that she will fail miserably for the assessment if she isn't sent to preschool to prepare herself.

However, the thought of forking out almost AED30k on preschool makes me choke. That on top of the extra AED30k I have to fork out to top up the older childrens' school fees!  That would be AED60k altogether. Significantly more than what I had paid for my two university diplomas and degree course. Cost of graduation included! Gosh, now I feel absolutely faint.

ADD told me to skip the preschool and just teach Baby H myself. He said it's about time I put my Early Childhood Education diploma to good use. I could do that, but I doubt I have the discipline and consistency to do it especially that without having extra help at home, I'd be too distracted with the house chores and the two older kids. But it's a thought worth considering because I really do enjoy teaching small children. To be there and watch them learn and discover new things is a joy and also a learning experience that words just fail to describe.

So I'm on a cross road here. Should I just close my eyes, dig deep into our pockets and put her in a preschool which may or not may not guarantee her a place in school the following year OR should I not put her in preschool, try to teach her myself and just risk her chances of getting a place in school the following year? The answer is....I dunno, I dunno, I dunno.

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