I’m a national board certified teacher who taught in Bellevue School District for the past ten years, so I’m definitely a believer in education. You might think I’m a little biased…
Getting involved in a toddler group when your child is too young for preschool is something many parents do. I’m convinced that it’s the best kind of school available for kids.
Here are some reasons why I think it’s worth every penny and every minute.
1: Student Discount
Most toddler groups are connected to a local community college, so when you enroll, you get a student ID card. That means you get discounts on things like Amazon Prime. You can also earn a credit or two simply by attending the toddler group with your child.
2: Giving your child your full attention
It’s valuable one-on-one time with your child. Each week, you’ll be able to explore the world through the eyes of your little one without distractions. For those of you with multiple children, you understand why this is so valuable.
There are built in ways to document your child’s year. We keep a journal of how our kids are developing, including hand prints, and what my kiddos’ favorite things are. Busy parents don’t usually have time for this type of documentation and reflect on all of the new ways our kids are developing. I love writing about what I enjoy about them at each stage. The kids also make a craft each week which is great for mailing off for Grandma to hang on the fridge.
4: Parent Ed
I cannot stress this one enough! Toddler group is taught by experienced preschool teachers who have so much to offer. Weekly topics like nutrition, tantrums, potty training, emotional development, and family traditions have been some of my favorites. Everyone has a chance to participate and the resources are amazing. Our toddler group even has some evening classes for parents, where authors speak about child development. There are also hundreds of the books available in the classroom library.
It’s so good to be able to talk to a professional about the little things that seem too trivial to bring up to a pediatrician, and be assured that your kid is completely normal. When bigger issues come up, the educators have a HUGE list of resources and referrals, too.
Moms can be some of the loneliest people. It’s tough being home-bound to a nap schedule that is ever changing. I have made so many friends through our toddler group. My kids enjoy getting together with their friends from toddler group outside of class as much as I enjoy the chance to chat with other moms. It’s always great to have mom friends who know what you’re going through!
So, I guess my answer is, no, five months old isn’t too young for school. They are learning as soon as they pop out! I feel that the learning is as much for me as for my kids anyway. Best of all, there is NO standardized testing!
Do you live near Kirkland, WA? Check out Lake Washington Toddler Group! http://www.lwtg.net/