It wasn't an easy decision. I went back and forth on weather we should send her to preschool. Academically, I know she really doesn't need it. Sure, there will always be something new that she could be learning, but I am confident that she will have what she needs heading into preschool next year. Socially, she does fine as well. We participate in enough activities with other children that she has plenty of opportunities to practice her social skills.
So really that just left the fact that I knew she would enjoy the experience. And while there is nothing wrong with allowing your child to participate in something for simple enjoyment, it just didn't seem to be the right decision for our family. And there are lots of things that went into the final decision.
I won't stand on my soap box for long here, but I will share a few of my thoughts on where America is on early childhood. I really think that we have been brainwashed into thinking that our children NEED to go to some form of education early on. For some reason, according to our society, just being an attentive stay-at-home parent isn't good enough for our children anymore. Yet, for centuries before this, it was the norm that preschoolers stayed at home. Why all of a sudden do they need an education in a classroom setting? When I tell people that we won't be sending Peachy to preschool, they usually say, "That makes sense. You have the education background." And while, yes, my degree is in education and I have taught preschool for many years, that doesn't mean that a parent with any other background can't teach their own children. The things that a child needs to know before entering kindergarten can easily be taught while going through your normal day. Colors, letters, counting, sorting, patterning, can easily be worked into the daily chores and activities around a house. You don't need to sit down and write a single lesson plan to talk about each of those areas. Ok, I am done now.
Please don't think that I am looking down at any of you who are sending your children to preschool. Some kids do need it. Some parents do need it. Will there be days that I will wish I had sent Peachy to preschool. Yes. (And I know because I have already had them!) But, I just am frustrated with the idea that everyone NEEDS to go to preschool. I don't want stay-at-home parents to feel that if they don't send their children they will enter kindergarten behind.
I am hoping to share some of the things that we do this year as we do preschool at home. I have already ordered the ebooks:
And I purchased these sets of sensory alphabet cards:
I have a good stock of construction paper, regular paper, glue sticks, writing utensils, and picture books on hand. I am excited for the year ahead and seeing where it will lead us!