Are you considering delaying or skipping preschool for your child altogether?
You might feel as though you're alone in your thoughts, but in fact, you are not.
There are many parents who have had the same thoughts and for very valid reasons.
5 of those reasons I'm talking about today, but before I do, I want to clarify that I personally do not think that sending your child to preschool is a bad thing.
It's just not something that is right for our family.
Below are the reasons why.
1) Delaying Formal Education Has Proven To Be Beneficial
Research is on the increase in regards to showing that there is little to no benefit to starting formal education early. In fact, it is actually showing that in some cases it can be detrimental.
Read --> School starting age: the evidence
Our family has, for several reasons, has decided to homeschool.
My schooling consisted of public, private, and homeschooling, so I feel as though I've had a good variety on which to base my decision for my children.
In New Zealand, children aren't required to be enrolled in (or exempted from) school until their 6th birthday. We weren't planning on beginning any formal education before that time.
Read --> The Benefits of Delayed Schooling
So, sending our kids to preschool didn't make any sense either.
The vast and most beneficial amount of learning that a child can do in the early years is through play.
That is something that we highly encourage in our home.
It should be noted that no formal education doesn't mean any education at all. It's just that the education our kids receive is through daily living.
It's part of conversations and activities. Personally, I feel as though this makes learning much more fun and ultimately more applicable to life in general.
2) There Are Other Ways To Socialize
I've often seen preschool being pushed for the sake of socialization.
Many parents live in fear of their child lacking social skills as a result of not being enrolled in preschool or other such organisations.
Personally, I feel as though this is something that has developed as a result of society becoming more and more detached from one another.
We've moved away from the village mentality.
More moms are out in the workforce which makes it difficult to catch up with other moms and their children.
Therefore, we have come to force the issue of socialisation, when in fact it just isn't necessary.
Placing your child in a situation where they are predominately surrounded by peers their own age may seem like a great socialising situation but it isn't life-like at all.
As adults, we aren't strictly limited to socialising with our own peer group. In fact, it is vitally important that we know how to interact with all ages, genders, and other variations that we come to meet with.
So, while it's not a bad thing to have your child attend preschool and have time with their peers, I wouldn't consider it a holistic form of socialisation at all.
There are many other ways in which to do that.
Our kids see peers their own age around once a week, otherwise, it's generally just their immediate and extended family.
Are they socially deprived? Not at all.
I actually also love that they are given the opportunity to spend the majority of their time with their sibling. They are their first and favourite playmates. Do they fight and get sick of each other?
That's why we implement independent playtime as well as rest/nap time into our day.
You can read about how to implement independent play in this post --> How To Get Your Child To Play Independently
We all need a break from one another on occasion.
In a world where families have often pulled away from each other, I'm always striving to encourage love and relationships in our home.
3) You Are In Charge of Education
I don't like it when parents bubble wrap their kids and don't allow them to build their characters through real-life adversity.
However, age-appropriateness is a big factor to consider.
Kids are like sponges.
They soak up everything around them.
Forgive me for wanting to police that a bit, especially while they're really little.
While most preschools are very helpful in terms of educational content, there are many that certainly teach ideas that we as a family do not agree with. (We live in New Zealand for reference)
I know that one day my kids will have to go out into the big wide world and have to deal with all sorts of ideas and information that is different to what they've been raised with.
However, I want the be the main educator in the life of my child.
In time they will reach a stage where they are grounded and have more of a maturity and understanding of the greater world.
It's a balancing act, I know (isn't all of parenting that way?!), but that is where we personally stand on the issue.
4) No School Run
This point is more of an advantage to those that have younger children.
I've seen over and over again in moms groups the question of how to maintain a healthy sleep routine for their baby when they have older kids to drop off.
The truth is, you just make it work.
However, there are definite advantages to not having a school run.
Younger children are able to nap whenever is appropriate for them. You're not having to cart everyone out of the house twice a day.
Plus, there's no deadline for having to be ready in the morning.
Of course, these are fairly minor things in the scheme of things. Personally, I can tell you that with a 21-month old and another on the way, I'm glad my 3-year old doesn't require a school drop off and pick up.
5) There Is No Disadvantage
Regardless of the opinions that are often shared there actually is no disadvantage to your child should you decide to forego preschool.
If you're an attentive parent that invests in the daily life of your child then they will transition just fine into kindergarten when the time comes.
If you're planning to homeschool, then there's no reason to prepare your child for a 'classroom' situation.
They will, in time, learn to sit and concentrate for an age-appropriate amount of time, but there is no need to rush this.
Preschool in and of itself is not a bad thing. However, there is no reason to feel guilt or pressure if you do not feel as if it is the right choice for your family.
Today, the ladies of the Babywise Friendly Blogging Network are writing on the topic of 'back to school'. You'll find links to their posts if you keep scrolling.
I encourage you to take a look at the subtopics that they've chosen.
Until next time!