Real moms share preschool choices

Wondering whether or not you should send your child to preschool? Find out why real moms skipped preschool and why they don't regret the decision.

Mom with preschool daughter

If you’re on the fence when it comes to preschool, you’re not alone. Many families opt to keep kids home until kindergarten. We talked to three moms who skipped preschool and don’t regret the decision.

Preschool isn’t for everyone

Parents decide whether or not to send kids to preschool for a variety of reasons. In areas that don’t offer free public preschool, it can be more expensive than day care. Public preschool is generally only available for half days, making it inconvenient or impossible for working parents. Other parents simply prefer to have kids stay at home while they can. For those considering a homeschooling curriculum, preschool can be a great time to do a test run to see if it will work out.

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“There is absolutely no rush to ship them off”

Heather has three kids and worked in a school setting for years. She skipped preschool with her older children and plans on skipping it with her 2-year-old as well.

"They will learn less with a formula, and more with their hearts."

“My children will be in an institutionalized education system until they are at least 18, and I feel that there is absolutely no rush to ship them off any earlier than kindergarten,” she says. Heather believes in the home being a safe foundation for play and learning, without the pressures of formal education. “It sounds corny, but when they form those positive memories of relaxing at home, safe and comfortable, they will learn less with a formula, and more with their hearts.”

“Kids can do fine in school without going to preschool”

Arwen is a mom to four kids, including twin toddlers. She didn’t consider it “skipping” when she chose not to send her older kids to preschool. “It's clear and widely accepted in our community that kids can do fine in school without going to preschool,” she says. Arwen’s family’s active social circles, a catechism program and a year of homeschooling helped prepare her oldest child for school. While Arwen’s 4-year-old son also skipped preschool and will be starting kindergarten this fall, she may consider preschool when her twins are 4.

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“He attended a fantastic in-home day care”

Crystal chose to keep her son in day care instead of sending him to preschool. “He attended a fantastic in-home day care that took him on field trips to the beach, the science museum, the library,” she says. “We just didn't ever see the need to switch to preschool — which covers fewer hours of the day and costs more than day care!” Thanks to highly involved parents and stepparents, Crystal’s son was able to learn about nature, reading and technology at home. According to Crystal, being around younger children in day care also helped prepare him for the arrival of his little brother.

More on preschool

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Transitioning to preschool: What you should know
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Comments

Comments on "Why I skipped preschool altogether"

Elizabeth February 06, 2014 | 9:40 AM

The tides are turning back, people are realizing preschool was initially intended for "at-risk" children, and more and more stay at home parents are teaching their children at home. My 3 children and I "socialize" with the mailman, cashiers, neighbors and everyone else we encounter throughout the day. We do activities throughout the day as well, but there is also tons of time for play (which children REALLY need). One rule in our house, NO TV. Sure its EASIER to run errands without the kids, so for a lot of parents I view preschool as a "day orphanage". Raise your children, the time goes fast and they're only little once.

Whitney November 08, 2013 | 10:23 AM

I think it's important for young children to have a transition from staying at home with mom to being in school all day. Now that most schools have all day kindergarten, that transition has to come earlier. Preschool is a great way to get your child used to being away from home and in a classroom environment, but only for a couple hours a day, a few days a week. I feel better about how my daughter will react to kindergarten next year because of her experience in preschool. Of course I can teach her at home the same things she's learning there, and I do, but I think it's more about the experience than the book work at that level.

Jasmine November 08, 2013 | 7:18 AM

If parents are willing to put the time and energy into teaching their own children, preschool is absolutely not necessary. It's actually more beneficial to stay home with an awesome parent than be pushed into mediocre preschool.

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