Facebook Pixel

Pressure to Get into the "Right" School Now Starts in Preschool

By HERWriter Blogger
Rate This
Parenting related image Photo: Getty Images

In most parts of America, gone are the days when a mother just sent little Johnny off to the neighborhood school for the first time at the age of five. Most parents think pre-k and even preschools are prerequisites for entrance into a "good" elementary school now.

Today, there are charter schools, religious schools, private schools, and even homeschool options to think about. And choosing a school the parents like is half the battle. The kid still has to get in first.

Even at some of the top public schools, there are not enough spots for all the children who want to attend. This was the case during open enrollment for the Penn Alexander school, a public charter school in West Philadelphia, this year.

Parents started lining up 24 hours before the doors would even open to accept their application. The low teacher-to-student ratio, an excellent reputation, and a substantial subsidy from the University of Pennsylvania helped to create the frenzy for the 60 open spots for the upcoming school year. More than 100 parents applied.

But getting into a "good" school isn't all about luck or standing in line like it's Black Friday. Some parents know the testing and psychological evaluations many private schools engage in can be detrimental to some four-year-olds' chances for admittance. This is why tutoring, (yes ... tutoring), for the three- to five-year-old set is on the rise.

As reported on Yahoo.com, Joe Nativo, CFO of North American Kumon, told The Boston Globe Magazine that most of the company's growth is in the "Junior Kumon" program.

In this preschool-designed program parents can shell out hundreds of dollars each month so their prekindergartener can learn math and reading skills to fare well on entrance exams and in the rigors of private school classrooms.

Some parents now believe that five-year-olds should already be reading by the time they reach kindergarten. And tutoring, flash cards, and expensive DVD programs may be forcing this important milestone to happen sooner than later.

Add a Comment3 Comments

We live in NYC and competition is fierce but there is a happy medium between cramming/tutoring and home flashcards etc and "hoping for the best"! We used the Smarty Test Prep app for our family iPad and part of it you interact with your child and a small part they can do on their own...but the key here is it's really fun and covers all the information on the standard entrance exams making the kids at least comfortable with what is given to them when they are in a new environment taking the test.

January 29, 2012 - 1:29pm
EmpowHER Guest

Penn Alexander is a Philadelphia district school, not a charter school. Please correct.

January 27, 2012 - 9:52am
HERWriter Blogger (reply to Anonymous)

Thanks for your comment! The school name is Penn Alexander school. Here is a link to it's website: http://www.pennalexanderschool.org/ Both Yahoo and WPVI-TV verified this as well.

February 3, 2012 - 7:11pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


Get Email Updates

Parenting Guide

Have a question? We're here to help. Ask the Community.


Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!