two years old

My son just turned 2 years old. One of the questions that we heard a lot at his birthday party – and in the months leading up to this little milestone – was when we plan to put him in preschool. The first time, my husband and I glanced at each other somewhat awkwardly. We hadn’t even discussed it. “Uhhh…we’re not.”

NO PRESCHOOL? I could practically see the judgement pouring from fellow parents’ eyes. What’s up with everyone thinking that kids need to go to preschool nowadays? I’ve seen the First 5 campaigns. I’ve read the reports. I understand that preschool gives kids a head start. But what if I’m giving them a head start? I left my full-time job as soon as my son was born so that I could be home and foster his development. As a former school teacher, I feel pretty confident in my ability to help him count and recognize colors. Plus, we’re not exactly rolling in cash. Paying someone else to educate him just doesn’t fit with our lifestyle right now.

But what about socialization? We do worry about him getting the opportunity to be around other children and learning to play, share and understand the general idea of community. Fortunately, a lot of that concern is eased by the fact that his brother is only 18 months behind him! We also do our best to set up play dates and put our children in group settings through church and at library meetings and other neighborhood events.

My husband and I both had poor preschool experiences growing up with daycare attendees who didn’t properly supervise activity, so I will admit that our decision was made partly out of our own worry and fear. There is simply nobody else that we trust with our children as much as ourselves.

I think there is absolutely a need for preschool for “at risk” children and busy families whose kids may need a little extra one-on-one time. But I don’t think it’s necessary for every child, and I don’t think it’s a fit for our family.

I’d love to hear your thoughts…what’s your take on preschool?

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2 Responses to Why we don’t do preschool

  1. We don’t do preschool either. I put my oldest son in a preschool but quickly realized I could teach him everything he learned there. We homeschool our older kids too so my younger son has plenty of educational opportunities that go beyond what he would get in a typical preschool environment.

  2. Catherine says:

    Each family should have the right to decide what is best for them. Honestly, I thought the same things as you when my oldest was two. She didn’t need preschool. She had regular playdates, playgroups and library storytimes. I had worked with children for years and years and had a degree in elementary education so I knew she wasn’t missing out on the learning aspects of preschool. Plus, as you mentioned, as a stay-at-home-mom it seemed silly to pay someone else to take care of her when I was home to do that very thing. That feeling stayed with me until just before she started Kindergarten. We decided to give a few months in the preschool that is a part of her elementary school as a way to introduce the school, teachers and staff, the flow of the school and even some classmates. It worked out perfectly for us and I’m glad I didn’t rush her into preschool sooner.

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