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If you’re just thinking about homeschooling and have a preschooler, you may be wondering if you should homeschool preschool?


 Warning: This post contains content not usually supported by homeschoolers.

Read at your own risk.


Homeschooling with a preschooler right in the middle of everything is soooo hard.

At my house, trying to homeschool preschool was impossible.

I don’t know how many articles I have read suggesting 101 things to do with a preschooler while homeschooling older children.

Seriously, there are so many fantastic ideas for a homeschool preschool schedule!



And I tried every single one of them.

None of them worked for me.

Not. One.

Here’s why:

I am terrible at homeschooling.

I’m not kidding.

You can read all the dirty details here.

It takes every molecule within me to focus on teaching.

The constant interruptions from our adorable (and demanding) preschooler throw me off track.

I’m always starting and stopping and not ever really getting anywhere with the older two students.

Wanna guess how I stopped all of that?

No, I didn’t tie up the preschooler with the soft belt from my house coat.

I didn’t send her outside to play in the street.

My solution is much more horrific than that.

(Well, it is according to some homeschoolers . . . )


ALSO CHECK OUT : HOW DO YOU HOMESCHOOL KINDERGARTEN?


I sent her to regular preschool and didn’t homeschool preschool.

I know!

Shhhhh!

It’s so embarrassing.

Here’s the deal:

Our super loud, can’t stop/won’t stop talking, needs some friends her own age, social butterfly,  three-year-old daughter goes to preschool every day.

However, I did not come to the decision NOT to homeschool preschool lightly.

Nope.

I agonized over sending her to preschool.

I obsessed over it and thought about it constantly.

There were many days I prayed and prayed and prayed.

I talked to family, friends, and even strangers about it.

And, a few other homeschool moms insisted that the right thing to do is keep her home.

(After all, what message would I be sending the rest of the family?)

The “Weakest Link”

Hypothetically speaking, what do we do when one of us is considered the “weakest link”?

Do we ship them off to preschool every day, thus eliminating them from the rest of the family? Or, do we include them? Love them? Nurture them? Practice patience with them?

I totally and completely understand this mentality. Honestly, I do. Actually, I agree with it wholeheartedly.

And, I wish I could have done it.

The problem wasn’t the preschooler. The problem was the teacher.

I am the weakest link!



Choosing to send our daughter to preschool is what we all needed.

By choosing not to homeschool preschool:

• I am able to concentrate and complete necessary lessons daily. (Which is kinda necessary for homeschooling.)

• The older children are able to focus and learn.

• Our preschooler isn’t being constantly fussed at, neglected, and under-stimulated.

So, why do most homeschooling families homeschool preschool?

For some reason, unbeknownst to me, many homeschooling parents do not send their preschool age children to preschool.

For some, it goes against the unspoken homeschool rules.

However, it seems there are some exceptions:

• It’s okay to send your oldest son to traditional school and homeschool your youngest son if he is dyslexic.

• It works to send your youngest daughter to traditional school and homeschool your oldest daughter if she was bullied.

• It’s okay to homeschool some of your children while sending some of your other children to traditional school if you have a really good reason.

But, it’s not okay to send little ones to preschool just because it’s so dang hard homeschooling her older siblings when she’s home.

That . . . is not okay.

Well, it’s okay in my book.

Actually, it’s better than okay.

It works for her.

And, It works for me.

Best of all? It works for us!

Our only daughter spends her mornings playing with friends, being read to, singing silly songs, and enjoying fun snacks.

Then she partakes of a much-needed nap before I pick her up.

(Sidenote: Our second son would not even tolerate a part-time Mother’s Day Out program at this age. His personality is completely different, and he needed to be home with me. Every child is different, so be sure to understand your child’s needs.)

So, what message does this send to the rest of the family that I don’t homeschool preschool?

Here, at my house, the message is:

Do the very best you can until you just can’t anymore. Then, ask for help.

 

Angelene Woodard is a wife, mother, writer, and reluctant homeschooler who blogs about her frustrations and victories at www.unqualifiedmom.com where she encourages fellow Christians to embrace their weakness and accept His strength.

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The author of this post is a contributing writer for HomeschoolSuperFreak.com. All opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and may not represent the beliefs or opinions of this site.

4 Comments

  1. I think homeschooling is a very personal experience, and whatever method a family works out to make it happen is OK. As you detailed above, every set of kids, and even/especially every kid within a set is different. We’ve sidestepped the issue partially due to the personalities of the three kids here, ages 7, 5, and 3 years-old. I think we’ve sidestepped even more though by unschooling. The kids are learning what they want as the feel they need it. For us it removes the incongruities you speak of. It could however, in the future, introduce another set of conflicts as the kids’ interests diverge. I’m hoping as that happens, their independence grows at in lock-step so they can do more and more things for themselves, hopefully ameliorating any resource or logistical conflicts. Thanks for the interesting insights in your post!

    • So agree! Homeschooling/unschooling looks so different for everyone. I love to hear everyone’s different experiences!

  2. All 3 of my children did/do attend a part-time MDO for PK3 and PK4 and then are home with me full-time to start Kinder. It has been beneficial for each of them for different personality reasons, and it benefits me to have 2 days of focusing on the older ones. Plus, let’s just he honest, I want them to have fun doing all the finger painting, shaving cream, fun and messy art projects, and it wouldn’t get done at my house!

    • “Plus, let’s just he honest, I want them to have fun doing all the finger painting, shaving cream, fun and messy art projects, and it wouldn’t get done at my house!” HAHAHA I love your honesty. We did Montessori preschool and then started homeschooling at kindergarten. She really enjoyed going to a preschool, but also really enjoys homeschooling.

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