This is Part 2 of my series "Should I Homeschool Preschool?" My oldest son just turned 3, and my husband and I have to decide whether or not to send him to preschool. In Part 1, I talked about the main two reasons why other moms I know send their 3/4 year-olds to preschool: 1) Socialization and 2) Time alone for mom. After talking it over, we decided that these two reasons aren't enough for us to send our son to preschool. Here's why:
When people talk about socialization, they often include kids spending time with peers, learning how to share, and learning how to make friends. It can also include learning how to listen to a teacher and follow directions. So far, socialization sounds great. But what about negative aspects? I'd like to shield my 3-year-old from bad behaviors like hitting, throwing, and talking back. I also don't want him to pick up bad attitudes such as defiance and disrespect for authority. Moms I know who send kids to school are always battling bad behaviors/attitudes learned from peers. Of course he'll be exposed to all of these eventually, but I'd like it to by under my supervision, addressed with a Christian worldview, where I can show him the correct behavior/attitude.
Many of the positive aspects of socialization can also be achieved at home. My two sons learn how to respect authority by learning to obey and respect me. They learn how to share and play with peers by playing together and by playing with friends. We also go to church every week, and the boys get to spend time with peers, listen to a teacher, and follow directions in their classes.
2. Time alone for mom
I admit, this reason for sending my son to preschool sounds sooo attractive. What mom with little ones doesn't want a few mornings off to clean the house, go shopping ...whatever I want!
But, then reality sets in: I have a one-year-old at home, too, and he's not going to preschool. Plus, we're planning on having more kids and homeschooling all of them, so I'd better get used to having little ones underfoot. I need to practice doing everything with the kids during the day and not see it as a burden, but a blessing. After all, teaching kids about real life is one of the reasons we want to homeschool. I want my boys learn how to shop smart, clean the house, cook dinner, etc.
My main coping strategy for having the kids home all day is a strictly enforced naptime (and bedtime, too, so my husband and I have some time alone). My awesome mother-in-law homeschooled her three kids, and she had a mandatory quiet time until the kids were at least 5 years old so that she could have a break. Even if they don't fall asleep, I expect both boys to sit quietly in their room for at least an hour every day. They can play quietly, read, or talk together, but they have to stay relatively quiet and not come out of their room until I come for them. This gives me a chance to blog, nap, work out...whatever I want, it's my time off!
Next week in Part 3, I'll be asking the question, "What about academics??" After all, I've had two posts on preschool and I haven't even mentioned curriculum yet.
Other posts in this series:
Part 1: Why preschool?
Part 3: Academics and currriculum
Part 4: Money and expenses
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