Today, I present to you one e-book you'll never find me downloading.
[You didn't click, did you? You never do.]
That's okay, I'll tell you. It's an e-book for parents who struggle "with the difficult decision of picking the right preschool for their child."
That's right, folks! This book is chockfull (sp?) of checklists, worksheets, and planners that promise to enable you to find the right child-family-preschool fit. Also included: handy tips for navigating that tricky admissions process!
Whew! That's a far cry from our method of preschool selection. Essentially, Larry and I have only 2 criteria: location (Less than 3 miles from our house? Check!) and affordability (can we still feed everybody? Barely. Check!).
While it has never fit well into our family's budget (particularly the type with waiting lists and acceptance letters), there have been 2 times in our 16 years of parenting that Larry and I felt that some preschool might not be a bad idea. The first was when David was 4 and lay on the sofa talking to himself all day. Brian was only a toddler at the time, too young to really play with; and David had no friends who were boys. His loneliness and his weird behavior worried us (think Unabomber, okay? because we certainly were); so we sent him off 2 days a week to make some friends of the masculine persuasion and to stay out of my hair for a few hours.
Imagine our dismay upon hearing from a happy David after each (expensive) (for us) preschool session, "I played with Lizzie, and Sarah, and Hailey." Money well-spent, eh? But it did keep him busy, and he seemed to babble a little less when he was home alone; and by the next year Brian was old enough to be his playmate, so we were able to stop paying the big bucks for David to make more girlfriends.
We found ourselves knocking on this same preschool's doors 5 years later, however, with Rachel in tow. You know, Rachel - the 4-year-old of plumbing and taxidermy fame. We had a few qualms about dumping her for 4 days a week on her unsuspecting teachers (and Grandpa had to help us out with the tuition); but we were desperate to find something, anything, to distract her from the mischievous housewrecking in which she had been engaging.
[We tried the Marines first, but they wouldn't take her. Scaredy-cats...]
So there you are: no checklists, no worksheets, just a simple "Here's our child, feed her a snack, here's all our money to sweeten the deal" transaction that bought me some much-needed hours of guilt-free peace and quiet. Preschool, if you can afford it, is a wonderful creation, something invented with a mother's sanity in mind. If your child learns something (other than how to burp at snack), great! If he doesn't, who cares? It ain't Harvard.
And it definitely shouldn't cost as much.
[Don't forget - if you want to be considered for this week's book club giveaway, leave a comment on this post by Saturday evening!]