Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Home: The Best Place for Preschoolers

In The Home Educator's Family Times today, Barbara Frank has a thought-provoking article entitled "Where Little People Belong." She makes an excellent point: our culture has developed the habit of getting children out of the home as soon as possible, but little children really belong at home. Loving parents can meet the needs of preschoolers so much more effectively than teachers in group situations.

When my older daughter was 3 1/2, I began looking into preschools for her. I decided to homeschool primarily because I felt she already knew everything she'd learn in preschool; it didn't dawn on me at the time that a better reason for keeping her home was because that was a better, healthier place for her. Today she is about to turn 11, and she's been homeschooled all her life; she is lovely and wise and intelligent and outgoing and self-motivated and much more. Her younger sister has never gone to school either, primarily because big sister was at home, so there wasn't much reason to send little sister away - she too is developing well and turning into a beautiful young lady.

I'm so glad I made the sacrifice to be at home with them, especially during their preschool and early elementary years. There are many things a mom can give a little child in those early years that no one else can provide.


Dee Light said...

Thank you for sharing your wonderful thoughts. Homeschooling is a great choice for some families, but it's not for everyone.

I am a stay at home mom, I have a 10 year old 2 year old and one on the way. I kept my daughter home for all her preschool years, and sent her to school when she was in Kindergarten. I am vey involved in her school. Infact I spent 2 years teaching at her school before I had our second child.

I am also her troops Girl Scout Leader. This has given me the opportunity to reach out to others in our community, and teach her to do the same!!!

The choices we make for our children shoud be made with great thought and prayer. Keeping in mind that we should do what is best for our own children not someone elses.

Enjoy your girls and the time you have with them.

Marcy Muser said...


I agree - homeschooling isn't for everyone. But our culture has such a tendency to encourage parents to send their kids away younger and younger, giving them the idea that these tiny ones have needs their parents can't meet. In fact, their parents are generally the very best people to meet the needs of the littlest ones, and preschoolers in our culture need more at-home time, more "Mommy" time, not more time away.

I personally think sending our 6-year-olds away all day long is not what is best for them either. The first-graders in our neighborhood leave home at 7:45 and get back at 4:30. When do they have time to play? They get home in time to do a half-hour of homework, eat dinner, get a bath, and go to bed - 5 days every week. What kind of life is that for a little guy? If it's unavoidable, that's one thing; but for parents to assume that's normal so it's OK bothers me.

I just wish our culture were less invested in women trying to do it all and have it all. It seems to me that can't be anything but harmful to our kids.