Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Why We Chose to Home School Preschool

Why We Chose to Home School Preschool
Written By Renee Arbia

Arts and Crafts
Apparently it is the normal thing to be asked as a parent when your child is three if and where they go to school. I was under the impression that my child did not have to attend school until they are five or whatever the current age for Kindergarten is where you live.

It is now very popular to start your child at the age of three going to preschool. You child attends preschool, and it is like a miniature kindergarten and gets them ready so they know their ABC’s and 123’s to help them get into kindergarten. You start at age three in preschool, then age four in Pre-Kindergarten, and then at five in Kindergarten. (At least that is how it works where we live). After discussing with several friends, our pediatrician and doing some research, we have chosen to not send our child to preschool and not only keep him home, but to Home School Preschool him.

I got him an old notebook, just like my grandmother's!
So now at the age of three and a half we had a few options with our son, Xavier. Our first option was to leave him home with us and just keep doing what we are doing (which so far seems to be going exceptionally well), we could send him to preschool either full time or part time, or we could Home School Preschool him.

Around the age of three Xavier’s mental capacity changed drastically. He not only talks, but has full conversations with you. He wants to know and learn about everything. He has so much enthusiasm and energy everyday. I am afraid with us both working at home and even giving him a lot of our attention, just playing with him, did not seem to be enough stimulus for him. It is almost as if he thirsts for more things to do and learn about. We involve him in chores; we take on extra projects (See Garden Project 2015) and even take special excursions just for him. However, he seemed to need more than we were offering.

At his three year check up I asked our pediatrician (who I love), what his opinion on preschool is for our son. He did not see a reason for us switching as everything was going so well with us at home, but agreed that Xavier has a lot of energy and enthusiasm. After talking to some friends, doing my own research and talking to some preschool teachers. We decided to Home School Preschool Xavier until Kindergarten.

We decided to Home School Preschool Xavier for many reasons. First of all I think was the main cost. I did not see the point of paying someone to watch our child when we purposely have flexible jobs to be able to be with him. He is only three and call me crazy, but I think it’s a little young to send him unnecessarily out into the crazy hamster wheel of life. However, I did agree that like many children that are three, Xavier needed more things to entertain him, more things to learn, he is a little sponge and he wants to learn about anything and everything.

I was able to get some curriculum ideas from friends and my sister in law who has been a preschool teacher for a very long time and is very well known as being a great preschool teacher. (We do not live near her, or we may have considered him in her class). We decided to Home School Preschool Xavier three days a week from 10-5pm with an hour for lunch and an hour of quiet time. Most classes are the same with a couple different each day. I am solely working on the curriculum and teaching. However, my husband helped a lot with choosing, classes and activities and is going to be doing activities and teaching Xavier as well.

I realize that one of the huge advantages of Home Schooling is how flexible you can be with your children. However, my son is not very flexible. My husband and I are very unscheduled people and like to fly by the seat of our pants. Our son does not seem to like our theory on life. He prefers we stick to a schedule and know what we are doing every minute of everyday. In order for him to love going to Home School Preschool and to be sure to differentiate it from our everyday home I decided to make a schedule of his Home School Preschool. He is learning about days of the week right now, so I figured it was the perfect time to start teaching him about a calendar. So today Xavier received his first calendar on our Organization Center. I also outlined his days for him by time when he goes to school so he can see what subject comes at what time. He loves to tell time (he can only do digital, but we are working on clock).

He is really excited and happy to start school. We informed him that his school for now is at home and when he is older he will go off to school. The decision to Home School Preschool was actually pretty easy for us to make. We simply decided what would be best for our child and decided to do it. We found out he seemed to be best in the Home School Preschool environment, so I am making arrangements to do it. For now we are doing it until Kindergarten and we plan on him attending Kindergarten. Part of the structure is very close to what a typical Kindergarten day would entail, but for younger children. That way when he is ready to go to school he will already have an idea of what to expect. Xavier likes to know what to expect, and likes to ease into things. However, his thirst for knowledge never eases, but plunges into everything all the time. Letting him just play at home all day every day did not seem to make him happy. Adding some structure into his life is something he is excited about, I am happy that we are able to interpret his needs and are able to accommodate them to help him be able to adjust to the big wide world at his pace.

We all need to be able to choose the option that is best for our children. I am very fortunate that ours worked out that we were able to give our son the option that best fits his needs and will help him grow. Like every parent we only want what is best for our son and we are happy to try to help him succeed at everything he does so that one day he will be able to soar.   

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