We become proactive parents the minute we decide we want to get pregnant; beginning with picking up the recommended dosage of pre-natal vitamins, following with parenting methods, baby furniture and so on. We have so many options now a days about everything that we overcrowd our selection process, from which could be the best labor procedures up to what wall colors on our children’s bedroom could represent fun and calm at the same time. As the months pass and our kids grow, the decisions become harder to make, specially when it is about their education.
My son is not yet four but we are already determining academic solutions to fit our lifestyle as a family without trying to affect his future in any way possible. One of our first steps is figuring out wether to sign him up for free voluntary pre-kindergarten offered by the state of Florida or paid full time pre- kindergarten. The word free is pulling most of the weight in the decision process but its making us wonder if the less expensive choice won’t put our child behind later on. On top of analyzing about the expenses and education level of each one, we need to decide what will benefit him more, if spending more time around children his age or for the only few years in his life spending more time at home.
While we have’t finished deciding on pre-kindergarten yet, we are already looking at schools two years in advanced. We gather information by making tours of facilities with kids that are not yet our son’s age, finding out about the tons of homework they will get or about gifted classes even though he hasn’t taken any tests yet. In addition to inquiring about what they will be learning, we stress ourselves with more questions about what the school’s safety procedures are in case of intruders and wether they have bullet proof glasses all around. I sit listening to school principals about what type of classes they will offer and how intense their program is but all I really want ask is: if my kid will have time to play and remember childhood for what it is supposed to be like.
We are constantly trying to make what we think are the best choices for our children’s education, health and safety but we get devastated with the vast amount of information and the short time we have to decide. We are still thinking about VPK schedule and which school he will attend, yet we are already making plans to start a prepaid college fund to use in 15 years from now. I am glad I am spending all this time planning his future so carefully but I also don’t want him regretting me for not having enough time to play with him when he was young. The best solution is finding reliable resources for us to make plans ahead of time and to allow ourselves to enjoy our moments as parents. Regardless of the choices we make, there is no doubt that hugs, kisses and laughter will always be the safest and most valuable lesson we can give to our children.
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