If you have a child between the ages of 2 and 5, you know you have an important decision on what to do for preschool. It’s a decision that I struggled with…should I homeschool or send them to a private or public preschool? I saw benefits to both, but which one was really the best?
I have 3 boys, and two of them have gone through preschool. Since I always seem to do things unconventional, we decided to try out both options! We homeschooled AND we tried out a church preschool. 🙂
When my oldest was 2.5, I started doing preschool at home with him. In fact, after starting preschool at home, I began blogging about it here! As a former teacher, I was so excited to start teaching him at home. It was awesome! We did so many experiments, crafts, and activities together. After teaching him for a year, I wrote my eBook, The Preschool Journey, which is a preschool curriculum geared to help children prepare for Kindergarten.
We followed my curriculum and used activities found on Pinterest to shape our preschool at home for 2 years. My son has a birthday in the fall, making him one of the older kids in his grade. Since I knew he had third year of preschool ahead of him, I began to pray about changing up what we do for preschool. He is a fairly social kid and has no problem playing with friends, but I wanted something else to work on social skills and learning with other kids his age. After talking to my neighbor, she told me about a great church preschool in our town. I was a bit hesitant to sign up since I enjoyed our time homeschooling. I felt a tugging on my heart that he needed something different this year, so I signed him up for preschool three mornings a week.
From the start, it was awesome. He’s had an amazing year and has learned so much. He grew a lot socially, spiritually (since it’s a Christian preschool), and academically. Also, having a teacher relationship has also been good for him. I’m so thankful we decided to make this change for this year.
I’m also glad that we spent two years homeschooling. I am currently homeschooling my second boy (who is 3). We have had a blast doing preschool at home this year and he is very eager to learn.
Here are my thoughts on the benefits to both options:
- create lessons to meet the child’s needs
- relaxed schedule
- time for in-depth studies with a topic of interest
- know exactly where they are at academically
- work at the child’s pace
- scheduling appointments is easier
- opportunities to sign up for classes (Kindermusic, gymnastics, etc.)
- more time to build the parent-child bond or sibling bonds
- lots of time to do messy, hands-on experiments
- more time at home and less time driving around
- tuition is free 🙂
Public or Private Preschool:
- opportunities to interact with peers
- structured schedule
- less pressure on you for their academic achievements
- learn how to thrive without mom or dad 🙂
- opportunity to improve social and emotional development: sharing, playing with others, solving problems, speaking in front of peers, and communicating needs to the teacher.
- more variety of materials to learn with (like books, math manipulatives, learning games, etc.)
- can make a child more motivated to learn
I know it’s tough to decide what to do. There’s a lot of social pressure to send your child to preschool, but you don’t have to feel bad about homeschooling your child. YOU decide what’s best for your child and it may change from year to year (like it did for us!). If you decide to teach preschool at home, just know that it’s a wonderful way to give your child a rich learning experience.
Now it’s your turn…what are your thoughts? What would you add to these lists?