Preschool and Homeschooling

Pierce will be 3 next week and I hear people around me talking about preschool already. Why? What’s the rush? Why do parents feel the need to get the child out of the home and into school at 3 years old? Isn’t home supposed to be the ultimate learning zone? Are parents just anxious to push the child to get ahead by putting him in school earlier? The child should be learning everything at home that they would at a preschool.

I’ve heard the “she/he needs the social learning” excuse. Maybe some kids do. But, in general, they should be learning how to share toys, take turns, talk nicely, sit still, etc., from their parents. Then it’s simply second nature.

I’ve also heard “it’s structure that my child needs from a classroom”. HUH? Teaching structure starts at birth. It’s called a schedule. A child wakes up, eats breakfast, maybe watches a favorite show (besides Spongebob), plays with mom or dad, then it’s snacktime then naptime. Nap’s over; lunch, clean-up if the room/house needs it, outside play, inside crafts/learning, then dinner. Dinner’s over, then play with family, and bedtime routine. Each of my older kids has thrived on these types of schedules and can predict how their own day will go. Routine and structure provide security and stability, and therefore, a happy and independent child.

“What about learning numbers, shapes, colors, math, and alphabet?” Well, as a parent, we should know all these things; we pass them on to our children. Pierce knows his alphabet, his colors, can count to 15, backwards from 5, up to 10 in Spanish, his shapes and a few other words in Spanish and Chinese. He also knows how to clean his room by himself. He didn’t learn on his own. As a family, we’ve taught him these things.  We’re in the process of teaching him math.

I’m not bragging; I’m proving a point. That’s why he won’t be going to school until Kindergarten and maybe not even then.  Paul and I have toyed with the idea of homeschooling for a couple years. I believe that it very much depends on the child’s readiness to sit and focus. Typically it’s later in boys than girls. And there’s pros and cons to it as well as many “if..” scenarios. If I, as a parent, am determined to do it. If the schools don’t pass my inspection. If my child doesn’t drive me crazy! 😛

I don’t think homeschooling is for everyone, just like preschool isn’t for everyone. Each is an alternative. I don’t think someone is a bad parent for putting their child in preschool. I do know, though, that I’m going to keep my little kids at home and little for as long as possible.