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Getting kids off to good starts

July 26, 2005|By: WENDY LEECE

This week, we asked our parent panelists: Next year, the Newport-Mesa

Unified School District will provide expanded preschool classes to

children at College Park Elementary School and Pomona Elementary

School, two of the community's poorest performing campuses, although

it did not get additional funding. Do these classes help prepare

students for school? Should the district try to start even more?

Pre-schools aren't the best. Mom is.

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I would rather see the tax money go for a learning center where

English would be taught exclusively. There would be greater gains for

all students in our schools if we addressed this problem instead of

opening more government preschools.

Kids need those early years to bond with mom, or anxiety problems

may surface later. I haven't seen any longitudinal studies or

district data showing conclusively that those who attend preschool do

better in school or later in life. It is wrong to spend general fund

money for these preschools at underperforming schools.

It really boils down to whether you think mom does a better job

teaching her little tyke than a professional caregiver in a

tax-supported government school .

I vote for mom.

It's always easier for someone else to teach and discipline your

child, so it's easy to see why a free preschool program is popular.

Again, it's the government deciding that parents are incapable of

determining and providing what's best for them. Feminism has done so

much harm to discredit mothering that many mothers feel inadequate.

They think they are giving their child a head start by getting him or

her into preschool. Feminism's pushing moms out of the home into the

labor force is another reason kindergarten through 12th-grade systems

are expanding government-backed preschools.

Dr. Brenda Hunter, in her book "Home By Choice," argues that no

one can replace the care a mother provides. Children learn character

traits from mom they can't learn as well in a room with 15 to 20

other kids -- love, patience, kindness, self control, sharing and

perseverance, to name a few.

If mom can't be there, a relative or sitter in a home day-care is

a better nurturing environment. Although there are exceptions, such

as children of single parents, kids belong at home with mom until

kindergarten. Some 4-year-olds are ready for a private preschool a

few mornings, but not full-time.

But obviously the local and state education bureaucrats, who love

to grow government with our tax dollars, think there is merit in

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