Recently, I was talking to my friend about why we chose not to put our children in a day care or preschool programme. The Smarter Preschooler: Unlocking Your Child's Intellectual Potential by Renee and Mike Mosiman explains our thoughts exactly. Some excerpts:
"We urge you to create an intellectually stimulating environment, but not an intellectually demanding one... In an intellectually stimulating environment, a preschooler's mind is best sharpened through age-appropriate enriching activities under the guidance of a loving parent... activites that incorporate learning through play... Although experts continue to debate the proportional influence of genetics versus environment on intelligence, all agree both contribute to a child's intelligence. Even Richard Herrnstien and Charles Murray, who argue the case for the genetic influence on intelligence, agree that about 40% of your smarts are a result of your environment... Interestingly, observation alone is ineffective to develop the brain: there must be active engagement. For example, rats that simply watched other rats in an enriched environment did not show much increase in brain size... Seeing may be believing, but observation alone does little to increase brain matter."
In the chapter devoted to "Why Not to Send Your Child to Preschool", they cite the following issues: behavior problems, labeling children, class size, compartmentalization (of child's education), parental attachment, peer dependence, cost, variety of experiences (lack of), mom may have more education, too much school, no one cares like you,