Monday, January 17, 2011

Why Babydoll won't be going to "regular" preschool in the fall.

While I am not technically a homeschooler, since my 2nd grade daughter goes to the public school in our neighborhood, I sort of am. I guess you could say I homeschool my preschoolers. I teach a developmentally appropriate preschool curriculum that spans multiple developmental and academic areas.

When Sweet Pea was little we decided to send her to preschool at our church.  We felt it was important for her to get used to a classroom setting that didn't involve mom teaching her, before she started kindergarten.  Social, we knew she would need no practice at making friends.  None whatsoever.  She was a social butterfly from the start and has always been able to make friends wherever she goes.  Turns out she could have jumped into Kindergarten the next year without ever stepping foot in the preschool, and she would have done just as well.
Adorable Sweet Pea on her first day of preschool. I'll have to be sure to get Babydoll dressed this cute for her first day photo this fall!

That said, the following is why we are not sending Babydoll to preschool somewhere else in the fall.  When I break down how much of the 2.5 hours of preschool was actually spent learning, it falls far short of the active learning time I do with my preschoolers at home.  For instance there is getting ready for and walking to snack, eating snack, cleaning up after snack, bathroom breaks, getting bundled up to go outside, waiting for everyone to finish bundling up, going outside, playing outside, coming in and taking all that stuff off again and putting it away.  more bathroom breaks somewhere in there, small-group time at play/learning areas like kitchen areas, drawing, sensory, blocks, cars, etc (which can be found throughout the day at any decent daycare); and all the transition time and waiting for children who are not paying attention (which I'll admit was sometimes Sweet Pea).  We do more in our 1.5 hour block of preschool than regular preschools (not all I'm sure though) accomplish in 2.5.
Bulletin board area

She will learn at her pace, not the pace of the curriculum planner.  If she already knows her letters (which she does) she should be spending time mastering their sounds and blending them together to form words, rather than "waisting" time going over stuff she already knows well.  On the flip side, if everyone else can identify their numbers through 20 and Babydoll can't (which she can't yet) I can spend more time on that with her and she won't be left in someone else's dust.

It's cheaper to teach her myself.  I have been spending over $50 per month ordering curriculum for my preschoolers, but now that I'll have 2 years worth of full curriculum (only thing missing is some of the craft kits) all I'll have to pay for is new supplies.  I'll also be able to spend some of that money and time on adding to the curriculum.  It is a lot more work to plan a preschool lesson plan than it is to just write a check and drop them off at school, but I find it rewarding and so so worth it!

M mountains

Some people will ask us how she'll make friends.  If we're not paying for preschool, we'll be able to sign her up for things like ECFE classes for kids her age, gymnastics classes, I don't think I'll do dance again... I don't appreciate the direction most studios take them as far as costuming and dance styles.  She'll continue to make friends in Sunday school, and we'll have to be more diligent about scheduling play dates for her.

I firmly believe that she will be more than ready for Kindergarten when she starts in September 2012!


Anonymous said...

So... Any plans to move to a somewhat warmer climate? Say, oh, I don't know... To the Raleigh area, maybe? In a few years time? Reading your blog about all the planning and whatnot you put into your work with these kids has me thinking that choosing a daycare could be one of the most important things to decide with a little person. O.o

Abby said...


If you could convince my entire family to move there, I'd totally do it!

It is definately one of the most important decisions! When you get to that point and want tips on what to look for I'll happily help you out. Pretty much all first-timers are lost when they start looking!

Makenzie said...

I cant believe Babydoll will be starting Kindergarden already next year!! Time is flying... soon all your kids will be in school!

Mindee@ourfrontdoor said...

I think she'll be just fine. From what I see of kindergartners at school, the things you might work on that she'd get at school is learning to take turns and wait in a line. With the extra kiddos you have that should be easy. :)

Abby said...

I should clarify that Babydoll not be going to Kindergarten This september, she isn't 5 until october, she will be preschooling with me, then starting Kindergarten in 2012.

Anonymous said...

You will do fine on your own. There is that large group learning that she will miss but with adding other group activites she will be fine.


GopherMommy said...

I sooo agree with you! We are working on letters, sounds, and reading readiness activities with my oldest right now. She might go to preschool next year (and this is a big if), b/c she "should" be starting kindergarten.

kamariden said...

I am a part-time homeschooling mom. Meaning my two oldest boys attend school two days a week and I teach them at home the other 3. It's the best of both worlds, IMO. I am blessed and extremely grateful to have this option where I live. I know it's not available in most areas. I think your reasons behind your decision to school Babydoll at home this year sound very well thought out, and given what I've read of your blog so far, I'd say you'll do a great job teaching her.

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