We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Saturday, January 4. 2014
So why the push for it?
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
We definitely viewed pre-school as glorified babysitting, but it allowed us to both work, so it served a purpose.
Call a spade a spade. The government is providing a service so families can have two wage-earners, paid for by others.
I noticed the article said social skill improvement was not noted in the studies. I definitely saw some differences between kids who went to pre-school and those who did not in my sons' kindergarten classes. It diminishes over time, however. Humans are social animals, we learn to adapt when we have to.
Why the push? A boost for educators seeking new grant money, teachers' unions and those parents seeking freebies. Trust me. It's the one-on-one interaction between parents and child that builds skills in infants and toddlers. Expecting a pre-school program to help the disadvantaged overcome the lack of parenting skills is a waste of time and money. Most of those children still have to return to a home void of TWO adults who read aloud to them, help them learn eye-hand coordination, reinforce counting skills…even TALK to them, for goodness sake. The Great Society. Right.
Ahhh...funded by others to allow for two wage earners. That right there is key. How about we work to reduce costs, i.e., taxes on families and reduce wage pressures so more families can manage their families with a single wage earner and a spouse that manages the home and child affairs. That would seem to me to be the optimal solution. Preschool seems to me a treatment of a symptom not a solution to a problem.
A society where more families care for and raise their children themselves seems to me a healthier society than one that outsources much of that responsibility with both parents dealing with the stresses of work and family management. With all these parents working there is much less available energy to devote to social capital like involvement in schools and various community volunteering that is so important. When everyone is working you end up having to outsource much of what should be locally managed to professional government managers.
Why? Because of all the voters they'll gain by giving free babysitting services. As a taxpayer, I deeply resent having to pay for taking care of other people's children while they're both working and making a lot more money than I am.
To all you doubters: maybe you are going to do the education of the wee ones at home, yourself? Because today, when you send your child to kindergarten, his peers that went to pre-school will know most numbers, all letters, many will already be reading. They will know all shapes, colors, sizes. They will know some American history.they will know addition and subtraction.
If you are teaching them all this at home, great! If not, they are going to be lost in kindergarten, and may not ever catch up to their peers.
This is the truth no one is talking about...
Our kids were lightyears ahead of their peers when they arrived at kindergarden and it had nothing to do with the few hours a week that they'd spent in pre school. They retained their advantage all through their school years, and it wasn't just an academic advantage. We had made a study of child development and gave them what they needed to thrive.
So many factors influence child development but it's parents who determine what those influences are. I know that the quality of the home environment is the most important factor in a child's early development. No school, no matter how good, is going to make up for a deficient or non nurturing home environment.
Uhhh, yes that's what most good parents have been doing for pretty much ever. Why do we all of a sudden need a government run program to do that less effectively?
Yes, Jack, that's what we'd do. Part of it is our lack of trust in the educrats and the teachers' unions
There is a popular theory within socialist circles that by providing single mothers with free babysitting services, they are free to work more and therefore be in better position to escape "poverty."
Of course, the subdization of unwed mothers has been disastrous for the family unit and economic prosperity in general.
Well, they'll all be unionized, won't they? The purpose of this is to extend the membership and power of the teachers' unions.
Ding! We have a winner. More union dues-paying members and hence, more $$$ to the Democrat party is the ulterior motive.
Let me take this opportunity to apologize to Melissa Harris Perry Lincoln Franklin Roosevelt for her inappropriate, callous, sophomoric and silly play on words she performed for her racist home boys at the expense of a child who had the misfortune of being adopted by a rich white family. Biatch!
Once Again - the push is from Social Workers who 1) don't want to go to the trouble of placing at-risk kids in foster care 2) know that their tiny clients are better off at least part of the day in a setting where abuse can be detected. I know this because one of them told me so. Pre-school is not for kids with 2 working parents, it is for kids of single mothers with live-in boy friends who might murder them.
It's a triple winner:
(2) Taxpayer-funded daycare.
(3) Government benefits for babysitters.
I can only speak from personal experience, but my 4 year old Grandson is in "pre-school" - a private pre-school run by three former elementary school teachers. Backed up by a Grandmother who is a former teacher (we pick him up everyday for a couple of hours), two involved parents and an older sister (by 13 years) who are constantly involved with him daily. You'd swear that you were talking to a seven year old, he can count to 50, do very simple arithmetic (7+2=9 kind of thing), has a huge vocabulary for his age (according to his pre-school instructors/teachers), can spell simple words and his writing is improving almost by the hour.
Does this prove pre-school is a good thing? No, not in and of itself. However, the backup provided by involved parents, siblings and Grandparents is producing a very agile mind - isn't that what it is supposed to be about?
Raising a child is a system and involvement beyond the basis schooling is an important part of the pre-school experience. I'm not talking about "It Takes a Village" kind of nonsense, but family involvement - perhaps "It Takes a Family" would be more appropriate.
Again, speaking only for myself, the Mrs. and my approach with our own kids (all four adopted) was that you have to stay involved in your childs upbringing as a backupto pre-school. We didn't do so bad considering that we have two Doctors, a Marine Corps (now retired) Command level officer/fighter jockey and a State Trooper. :>)
As a junior on college I took a class in Sociology of Education, since I intended to teach after receiving my degree. A hot topic of discussion was whether teachers were "professionals" (like lawyers) requiring professional testing and admittence to a regulated organization, or tradesmen (like plumbers or electricians), thus entitled to organize unions. When I spent a year student teaching, the union argument had begun to strongly prevail, thus the quality of teachers (and teaching) dropped to that of the lowest common denominator. In the high school where I taught, I saw highly-regarded "union" teachers who had almost NO grasp of their subject matter. So, I went to law school and became the professional that I really wanted to be and ended up teaching several law-related subjects to non-lawyers, part-time.
Unions are the bane of good education and the primary reason our children, in general, are so poorly educated----unless parents work hard to provide a good foundation to overcome generally poor teachers, taking interest in what is taught and how, reading and doing arithmetic and spelling at home, providing exposure to all manner of intellectual subjects with trips to museums and art galleries and just flat spending time with your children.
There is no such thing as "quality time" (a feminist construct developed to assuage guilt over dumping the kids off at day-care, so you earn enough to drive that BMW), just time spent with kids.
Take kids away from their parents and you can indoctrinate them into become good little drones for the State, even to the point of snitching on those same parents they no longer recognise as having any special relation to them whatsoever.
Worked wonders in the USSR, Nazi Germany, and a host of other socialist paradises.