Sunday, September 30, 2007

Little Donkeys have Big Ears

My kids are enrolled in a pre-school. They had their first day a few weeks ago. It's a one day a week, mother/father's day out type of school. And it's at a local Christian church.

It is around a tenth of what my friend pays for daycare each week. It's less than it would be to pay a high school teenager to babysit, per hour. It's been around for over 35 years and is accredited. We have friends of friends' whose kids went there and loved it. We had to send in all the vaccination forms and everything when they enrolled.

The teachers are so obviously kid-focused, they are almost too sticky sweet. They have both been teaching at the school for over ten years. The entire school is focused on play and different experiences for the kids. My daughter, goose, has so many paintings that have been sent home (after one month) - we won't be able to save them all. My son found a Thomas book/engine the first day and was hooked. They're interacting with other kids, which was very important to me.

In my mind, the Christian part is the only down side. When you walk in the building, they have posters on the wall about things like honesty, kindness. These are good values (in my mind) to teach children.

But in the orientation for parents, they mentioned that for three year olds, they will be spending ten - fifteen minutes in the sanctuary with the minister. What one can teach a three year old - I have no idea. With my experience with three year olds, just getting them to sit still or reasonably still for five minutes would be a miracle.

None the less, I was uncomfortable. Yes, we knew this was Christian based, but in my mind there is a difference between singing songs like "Yes Jesus loves me" and talking about the bible. Or talking about how your parents are going to hell because they don't go to church.

And this, btw, is my fear. That my three year old will come home and ask me why I'm not going to church.

I was discussing this with my husband the other day. Goose and Noggin were running around their play area at our home. In a few months, I'll have to make the decision to try and enroll them at a local Unitarian preschool instead. Which may not be as reputable. And they may have a fifteen minute sermon for three year olds as well (though I highly doubt it).

After I got to my line "the last thing I want is for my kids to ask me why we're not going to church", noggin turns to me and says "Mommy,go to church!" with a huge grin on his face. It was pretty funny, I don't think he knew what he was saying. None the less, it wasn't so bad, so maybe they can continue with this preschool next year.


C. L. Hanson said...

I feel for you on this one -- sometimes you have to make compromises for your kids when you have limited options. It sounds like a good idea to go have a look at that other school, though.

Freckle Face Girl said...

I went through the same thing when I was looking for a daycare. It is a bit difficult to have someone teaching their idea of religion to a young impressionable mind. I went with the one that wasn't religious based, but one day I saw the teacher getting Lexi to kiss a picture of Jesus on the cross. It is everywhere & will probably just open ideas & questions for you to deal with. :)

Aerin said...

Thanks chanson. I will look into it.

Stories like FFG's are a little terrifying though (in the sense of, if grown people want to kiss a picture of the cross, that's their deal. But don't ask my child to.)

It's a dilemma.