The preschooling dilemma

Growing up, I always felt that school was very uninspiring and not challenging enough. My school years were fun, but the Indian curriculum was burdensome and left little room for creativity. Whatever 'useful' knowledge I picked up during that time was from reading tonnes of books and watching documentaries. I'm also not in favour of burdening children with loads of schoolwork from a young age. Little Dude is only 17 months, but I have already thought about delaying his formal schooling as long as I can.

That's why, this blog post in the Huffington Post caught my eye. I don't want to put my child through
preschool if I can help it. Now, this post weighs the pros and cons of preschooling in the American context, but it is relevant everywhere. For a stay-at-home parent, there is the option of skipping preschool altogether, but that's where the dilemma comes in. If I do that, will I be doing enough to educate my child and provide enough resources for building all the necessary skill sets? I say it is possible, but social interaction and skill-building exercises play an important role here. The parent should be willing to spend enough time in 'educating' the child and that time should be exclusive. It's not so important, in my opinion, to spend money on expensive 'classes' but they must make efforts to teach them through a variety of techniques, especially play.

In the Dubai context, I'm already having nightmares after reading this news article about how tough it is to get children admitted in local schools. I'm bracing for what will come but I don't like the idea of 'interviewing' preschoolers and unnecessarily creating pressure situations for them. I would like to skip the whole playschool/nursery part and move on straight to kindergarten after my kid is at least four years old. There's some hope there as the minimum schooling age is probably going to be raised next year. Fingers crossed!

(Pic: By daveparker (Flickr: [1]) [CC-BY-2.0 ( or CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons) 
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Richa said...


Thats completely a new perspective. Many parents these days are in a rush to get their kids as small as two years into play schools.

Even I have a son who is 14months now and live in UAE and have no idea about the good schools here or the admission criteria. And the high amounts of registration fees and the long waiting lists to secure your child a place in a good school scare me.

Tarana Khan said...

I know! Planning to write another post to help clear the confusion.

Anonymous said...

That's exactly what I believe in. My son is 26 months but doesn't go to playschool though people around me or my friends have been pushing me to put him in school.He only attended it for a month and that too in India. I have bought some toys that help in development or made some at home using DIY's and make him do numerous activities with them so that he doesn't lack behind. He is an avid reader and I feel proud I introduced him to reading at this young age. He is clear with some words but he can make sound of the words he cannot pronounce. This is the main advantage we have as stay at home mums! Thankfully we have a good set of friends who have children, in that way he doesn't miss out on socializing.For other days I take him to play areas or for play dates. I've also heard that schools in Dubai do not take direct admissions unless they have attended a nursery atleast for one term. Can you please let me know if it is true?

Tarana Khan said...

You've got it all figured out, and in the best way possible! I try to keep my toddler busy at home too, but we don't have much of a social circle here, but I try to take him out to the playground everyday. I'm not sure about that rule, because now the age for KG in Dubai is three-plus. We plan to start his schooling in India, anyway, so haven't done much research.

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