Here’s a question:

Are you sending your kiddo to preschool? Or, did you send your kiddo to preschool?
Why, or why not?

Would funding make a difference to you? (Like, if you had it you would but you didn’t so…?)

Hm hm hm.

We weren’t, but then we discovered fantastic funding so we registered, but we recently found out that we just might not be eligible after all.

My thoughts:
– If it were free, it seems like a great opportunity for Jem to learn a formal kind of flow/structure through a different voice, as well as engage in group activities (learning to listen, waiting his turn, etc.)
– The above is the too often ‘slippery slope’ which leads people away from homeschooling (our plan is to homeschool all of our children)
– I won’t have a vehicle and the school is on the other side of town. Granted, it’s a small town and I definitely need the exercise. However, walking all that way with two kids, turning around, then walking it again, especially as the prairie winter sets in, well…?
– But if it were free…!?
– Some of his little buddies are going (c’mon, I know, they can hang out other times…)
– He already knows his letters and sounds and is beginning to work with words. Would he just be bored? And when this guy is bored, would he just be stirring things up?
This post (as with most of her writing!) was encouraging and inspiring, and a reminder that we can totally do great things at home.

Alright. Just wanted to throw it out there. (Note: not looking for a grand debate or anything, I know some people feel pretty strongly one way or the other on this kind of thing. For us, we never thought it would be an option and we had no interest. The option promoted the interest, and now I’m just trying to really think it out so that I make the best decision.)

Oh…and if you could comment by Monday morning…. 🙂

20 Responses to “preschool?”
  1. Katherine says:

    Ok so I know we chatted briefly about this at the splash park the other day, and I meant to say it then. I agree all your thoughts, having buddies there, learning structure from a different authority etc. But when it comes down to it I realized that one of my main reasons for wanting to hs is (bear with me I am not sure how to put this into words well) or has to do with the fact that it is too peer focused. Yes there is a teacher, but all I have to do is watch my son for 5 minutes with his friends and he throws caution and self-control to the wind. I don’t know if that makes sense, but I have always felt I would at least hs for the elementary years because I feel that in those young years parental leadership and guidance from someone that knows and loves them best is just better. Teaching our children to learn self control at a young age is huge priority for us, we feel it will impact much of the rest of their life, and I feel like maybe preschool would be a step backward. Maybe not too, T could possibly thrive, but I think we are going to stick with our gut on this one and I just thought I would share that with you. May God grant you wisdom, I know you only want the best for your children and many of my friends have sent their kids and they all love it and they have great kids, so please no one think I pass judgment, I certainly do not.

    • Dea' says:

      Thanks Katherine! I really appreciate this (and welcome lots and lots more comments from you and everyone else!)

      One thing interesting is that, in my mind lately, I’ve separated this from HS’ing. Like, “Hm, yeah, let’s send him for preschool and pre-k and then we’ll homeschool…”. But wait a sec…I suppose this IS homeschooling! Oh yeah! 😉

      I keep thinking I’ve decided, then I TOTALLY switch. Ai yi yi 😉

      I wish I could discern if the whole ‘self control’ thing (we’ve seen the same in Jem) would be enhanced or pushed-back with this. It’s common knowledge the Jem is…busy (and intense…and energized and…). Hmm….

      Another thing I’m noticing is that when I think of the ideas I have for preschooling at home, I get that super excited ‘tummy churning’ feeling. I LIKE the thought of doing it, but want to be sure he’s not missing out on anything else that could be beneficial.

      Anyway. Blabbing on…. Thanks for commenting! 🙂 (and great seeing you the other day!)

  2. Katherine says:

    It’s a tough decision, I know and it is hard when you feel that really both are good options. I have never separated the two things in my mind, but I realize that many do, and I have definitely re-thought the preschooling thing many times as a result of conversations with mums in town who do both.
    There will always be choices that we have to make for out kiddos and every choice comes with it’s limitations. Maybe school would be great for them, maybe not, sometimes we just have to pray for wisdom and then go with what we feel God gives us peace about. God gave your children specifically to YOU and Jer for a reason and He knows that you are the parents best suited for them and whatever decision you make before the Lord if you feel it is right, then go for it.
    Sorry for all these opinions, I will stop now 😉

  3. Brenda M says:

    Dee, have you met with the teacher to see what kind of program/expectations are in her thinking? It may be a more organized social experience for Jem at this point, rather than actual academics. =)

    Since we only had one, and since we were out of town on an acreage when he was Jem’s age, pre-school was a good plan in our thinking. The first day that I took D, I was standing just inside the doorway looking around — and he was already half-way across the room. He turned around, looked at me and with some incredulity asked, “You’re not staying, are you?” Let’s just say that one of us had a harder time that day than the other… =)

    You’ll choose wisely, I’m sure. And that choice may include more than one experience — who knows? Whatever you decide, I’m confident that you’ll make the best of the experience for your little man.

  4. thismama says:

    I think that I am pretty much on the far out spectrum in that I have no plans for preschool or kindergarten at all (gasp!). Most of my reading and research, and my own experience as a teacher, had led me to the place where I feel like the best learning they can have for their early years is through play and work with their parents. Oh, we do art and I read a ton with them, but rather taking a letter and learning about it for example, we are just choosing to have them learn through life. (I am actually working on a blog about this so I will just stop so that this doesn’t turn into a whole blog:).
    On preschool itself, I have thought about the social aspect of it and the learning to listen to another voice of authority, but I, like Katherine, have observed the peer-focused nature. And in a culture that is rapidly becoming peer-based, I guess I just don’t feel like the benefits will out weigh the other.

  5. Lola says:

    I sent Anna Kate to preschool for the fall session when she was three and a half. She absolutely loved it and had a great time. I pulled her out in the winter because of the walk in the snow but also because we wanted the freedom to go places and do things. After I read Hold on to your kids by Gordon Neufeld I was quite sure I would be bypassing preschool and kindergarten all together. I agree with Katherine and Marissa… for me, especially here, the peer based culture is too strong and my children need to be focused on family right now.

    Kids don’t need to be learning letters and numbers at three, four, five… they need to be learning love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Oh boy, I’m trying… and not always succeeding… But I have read nothing but good things about delaying any sort of formal education until children are seven and that encourages me even as every. single. person. in. Nova. Scotia asks me how my kids are liking school.

    • thismama says:

      Oh Lola, I am so glad that we have each other to remind ourselves of our shared thoughts!:)

      • Dea' says:

        Me too!! It’s so funny; I can’t help but feel (with all of these comments) that sense of, ” Well YEAH. *Obviously*. Of course!” Haha. (BTW, for those who haven’t read ‘Hold onto your kids’, it’s well worth it to grab a copy)

        We’ve decided we’re staying at home. Our plan is and (and has been since they were born) to do homebased education, so we’re going to begin with that. I am still hoping for the funding as it can help with some other things as well (like sports and such).

        One thing I’ve noticed with Jem is that he is busy. He’s busy in the mind, busy in the body; an overall industrious boy. I’m planning on doing two days of week of more ‘formal school-type’ stuff with him here at home, even though he’s only three and even though I don’t ‘have to’. He’s very eager to connect with letters and words and the natural world (bugs, fire, plants, though not so much with numbers, which is fine). I think if I can help him gain some skills with a few of those foundational things, there might be less, um, finding ladders to climb onto the roof or chickens to haul in toy tractors 😉

        (That said however, i’d still love to see some of those articles or thoughts on the delayed education….)

        Jer is pleased with him at home, but strongly believes that Jem is ready (and should) to begin building these foundations now. So, combining husband and me and books and town and friends and thought…away we go!

        THANK YOU for all of your thoughts. Please continue to share as you see what works with your kids and what you learn along the way. It’s going to be an adventure!!!

  6. Sara L says:

    I think I would have made the same discision. We do preschool and kindergarten and then homeschool and it works for us. But I totally agree with keeping the home family based. So important. I actually have delayed learning till the kids are 7 though also. If they’re interested in things, we go with it. But once they put the brakes on, I back off. There’s plenty of time in life that we need to be pushed or push ourselves to get stuff done. It’s nice to have them run at their own rhythem and see what pace they set for themselves. L was more focused on play and needed that time. K wanted to learn, but only certain things, I waited till she was 7 and she went from not reading to reading Narnia in 4 months. She was just ready. E is more self motivated and will probably learn younger. N will likely wait till he’s 7, perhaps even 8, I’m cool with that.
    Did you know delayed learning is also important for their eye sight? Most children are not ready to read small letters at the age 5/6, but once their reading you can’t really tell them which size letters to read. Their eyes are better able to handle it around the age of 7/8. Interesting eh? I think it might be why so many people need glasses now. We’re so focused that we must be better parents if our kids are smart younger that ‘we’ (as a society) push our kids when they’re so young! Enjoy your time with him not reading anyways… you can no longer spell in secret code once he’s reading… haha!

    • Lola says:

      Oh hi Sara Lynn. I miss you as my neighbor. I wish I still had you to talk to over the fence.

    • Dea' says:

      Yikers about the eyes! Oh man…. I would be all over waiting a bit on our kiddos, but I just haven’t been able to convince J. Actually, he was drilling Jem on numbers on a little chalkboard during his 2nd birthday month! THAT brought a discussion 😉 I think he’ll step back as more boys join the gang and he sees the differences and the fact that we actually have years of learning and opportunity ahead of us. But, for the moment, Jem is that groundbreaking firstborn and I’m praying we all make it! 😉

  7. Anonymous says:

    No, I wouldn’t do it. I think my little ones should be at home with their Mama & Papa soaking up the love and socializing with bro. Nothing can be better than home with purposeful work and play to do. That being said it’s a very individual decision for each family to make. I don’t think there is a right or wrong way to do it across the board.

    I see you’ve made your decision. Glad for you.


  8. Becca says:

    oops, hadn’t meant for that to be anonymous.


  9. Kmarie says:

    Love this. Reminded me of my strong convictions. I was NOT happy about kidlets in school but I need Philip’s help to homeschool as I am the LEAST scheduled person EVER. But you reminded me of all my convictions. I have allowed my mother and everyone around me to tell me what to do. No more. THis post reminded me of why I need to homeschool again. Sara Lynn and you may have to give me some extra support! ( Sara L we don’t really know each other but you have kids my age- I could use some curriculum tips. I would also love to know who your facilitator is as I am phoning a home schooling board tomorrow and pulling my kids out.) I loved it when Juils home schooled but I allowed myself to be bullied back into traditional school.
    Dea, could I borrow that book really soon?
    Thanks! My children have tons of anxiety from school. Yes, they loved some aspects but it is soooo peer orientated. Every day after school they want play dates or the newest toy and they are exhausted:)
    Loved this!:) Thanks!

  10. Sara L says:

    Kmarie, deciding on your homeschool board depends what type of homeschooler you wish you be. There are several (Wisdom for example) who are very hands off, yet suportive of parents. If your children need extra space to finish off a grade, etc, these guys are great. I’ve heard a lot of good about them. However, I didn’t choose them. I went with Center for Learning in Okatoks. I’ve found them super supportive. The facilitator that comes to Three Hills is super popular and has a lot of students here.

    Personally I’m not anti-school though. I think for some family;s it’s the best option. I think the greater issue is parental involvement. Homeschooling just gives you so many more options and oportunaties to spend time with your kids. Speaking of which, all mine are up now and I need to do just that!

    Lola, I miss our chats too. I need a good birth chat again!

    Deanna, my parents homeschooled us and did a lot of research on all that too. I didn’t learn to read till I was 7 🙂

  11. Sara L says:

    oh, Kmarie, I have oodles of curriculum ideas! There is *so* much out there. You’ll hafta stop by sometime 🙂

  12. I agree with so many of the comments above. I have reconsidered the idea of preschool this week as some of Rilla’s older friends have begun attending. But when it really comes down to it, I believe that with some organization and purpose, we can do the same educational things at home, but with the added benefit of knowing my daughter well, being able to go at her pace, not having to deal with the needs of a bunch of other kids (well, not as many, anyway!) and all of that. But one of the biggest things to me is definitely the negative aspects that being in a peer group does. I would rather have the ability to guide my daughter through these early interactions with peers, not toss her in the mix with other kids who influence her in a myriad of negative ways, without the protection, guidance, etc of a parent. I know that sounds crazy overprotective or something but I remember the harshness of other little kids when I was that small, and I don’t remember anything positive learned from the experience. I do remember that I learned early on (by 3 or 4, when I was in preschool) that my parents were not going to be there to guide me through life’s trials; I was on my own. Not something I want to put my own children through.

    • Uciha says:

      I love these printables! So cute! And all your deretsss are fantastic. I especially love the mini cheesecakes and mini trifles! And the napkins oh my goodness!! So much attention to detail!!!

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