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.