Why we homeschool preschool

May 13, 2016

Yesterday someone described my children as ‘homeschooled’. I was surprised to hear the word: my kids are aged 2 and 3; surely they’re just at home, not homeschooled? But in a way, yes, they are homeschooled, because they’re learning so much all the time, without going to preschool. Today I’m going to share our experience of how we came to homeschool preschool.

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The choices we make for our children’s care in the early years are totally individual. In our case we had an enormous luxury – the choice to live on one income, and have our children cared for at home. I know how rare that is, and what a blessing we’ve had. We also have two boys close together in age who are company for each other. Being always together, they learn to share and take turns, and to be considerate to another child, all of which might (but not necessarily) have been more difficult for them to learn if either had been an only child. We were lucky that home care was a good option for us.

My oldest attended a nursery just before and for some months after the birth of his little brother. This helped me to cope with a very demanding, and often sick, baby, but in retrospect I’m not sure it was the right decision.

My own confidence as a mother was very low in the first year, perhaps because it had been so difficult for me to become a mother in the first place. I even thought that the nursery could provide a better environment for my son than I could, but over time I realized that wasn’t true. He spent more and more time at home, for holidays and because of sickness, and we both really enjoyed those days and grew closer again. My husband and I decided to thank the caregivers at the nursery for the love they’d shown our little boy, and to pull him out to be cared for at home with his brother.

I’ve never once regretted that decision, surely one of the best we’ve ever made. Today I see my two little boys flourishing and happy, with an incredible love for one another. They play and learn continually, just like all children their age.

The one aspect of my children’s home care that others have questioned is the inevitable homeschooling query: what about socializing? Well, at such a young age I’ve got to admit this doesn’t really trouble me, especially since they’ve got each other. But we do socialize, through regular playdates and through attending toddler gym twice a week, and we’ve been to music or storytelling groups at other times. There’s also the casual socializing that takes place daily in the playground. When you think about it, the idea that being in a group of same-age children is the only socializing that counts is a bit funny, when in fact young kids are pretty much ‘socializing’ all the time, since they are never alone.

My oldest has an incredibly friendly personality, always ready to approach other children and play with them. My youngest is intensely sociable with his family, but more wary of strangers. Once he gets to know someone, though, he’s very loving. I’ve every confidence that in time they’ll develop socially just fine.

Even so, we aren’t really homeschoolers. My oldest will turn four in the summer, and in September will start part-time at preschool. I do think that he will benefit from the new environment, and that it will be an important step for him, helping to meet new friends and grow in confidence and independence. Again, that’s a personal choice we’re making for our child. (His brother will still be at home.) I thoroughly respect the different decisions parents make for their own families.

I’m enjoying these precious months of having my boys together with me at home. In a coming post I’m going to share some details of how we do our home preschool. I’m also planning to post a little summary of our activities each week. I hope this will be of use to other parents looking after little ones at home. And after all, whether they go to preschool or not, most young children are at home most of the time.

All children learn at home. In that sense at least, we’re all homeschoolers.

why we homeschool preschool

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This post is shared at Practical Mondays and Mommy Mondays Blog Hop.

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