Skipping preschool

Do you feel the pressure to put your kids in preschool? I feel it. People are usually surprised when they ask, "which preschool is she in?" and I tell them "she isn't in preschool." The truth is, they don't need it, so we are skipping preschool.

I think everyone sends their kids to preschool for different reasons but there are some common themes.

1. I want my child to get social interaction and learn how to interact with others.

2. I want a break during the day.

3. I want my child to be ready for kindergarten when the day comes.

These are all great reasons. I can relate to all of them. The issue for me is, preschool isn't the only way to achieve these things. Though, it may take a bit more work to accomplish them. And, let's be honest, it is the best way to achieve number 2 unless you get a nanny. But, sending your child to preschool is way more socially acceptable than getting a nanny when you aren't working. But I digress.

Here are the reasons we are skipping preschool.

1. We get lots of social interaction. We have built in social interaction plus we see their friends frequently and they attend church and a class during my mom's group. Plus dance class. That's a lot. 

2. I enjoy teaching my children. Teaching them the basics is fun. I loved teaching Naomi to read (OK, I didn't always love it, but I love that she can read). I love reading about different learning theories and I love watching their minds tick. I love teaching a new concept or watching the lightbulb turn on when they figure out a math problem. I get excited when they say, let's do a lesson! I love watching them try to teach Maggie these same things. I really should record that.

3. I like having them around. I like them being together rather than split up in different classes at preschool. They'll have the rest of their lives to be split apart so we want to enjoy the together time while we can.

4. It is expensive. Really expensive. 

That's basically it. Do you "do" preschool? How did you make your decision to put them in preschool or not? Did you feel pressure one way or the other? 


  1. says

    Hi My name is Britta. I found your blog through my sisters. I loved this post because I too felt the pressure to put my fourth and last child in preschool this year. The reason I’ve decided not to is the same as you last one. It’s expensive. I home schooled my other kids for preschool and loved it, so I thought I would do the same with my Abby. I was only thinking about preschool for the social aspect of it, she IS shy. But like you said there are other ways to integrate that into her life, plus by the time she is ready for kindergarten she’ll be ready to leave me and know she’ll be all right til she sees me again after school. Right?

  2. says

    Great post – this is pretty much the same thought process I went through before deciding to keep Emma out of preschool. All of my friends have their kids in preschool, so there was definitely some pressure. It helps that I never went to preschool so there isn’t that expectation coming from my family.

  3. says

    Andrea, I waited until I had a good minute to write my response because it is full of wisdom! (Okay, not really, just my experiences from the view of being far past that stage.) Number one went to school when he was 18 months old because he was desperate to get out…seriously…he loved, loved, loved school and was fully reading by the time he was four. I worked full-time, so I was blessed that this child had this temperament. Number two hated preschool, but it took me two months to figure out that it was entirely ridiculous to send him when I was now able to be home. As you said, he had plenty of social interaction and was fine without it. After two months, I pulled him out, never to return. Then did the same thing at Christmas break the year he started kindergarten…he still wasn’t ready. He did great with first grade, but has been happily homeschooled since the end of 4th grade (he’s now supposed to be entering 8th grade). Number three, our girl, went to preschool when she was four via the local city parks and rec department, which gave her two hours, twice a week, to play with other little girls. Again, she’d been begging. She loved it. Two hours didn’t give me much of anything, but it gave us both an opportunity to meet more little girl families, etc. Kindergarten was a breeze, but I was there as a volunteer every day. First grade in a new state? Not so good and we’ve been homeschooling ever since.
    So, my opinion? Socialization is a catch all phrase that is used to imply that your children need to be out of the home in order to learn to communicate with others. I think that theory is fundamentally flawed. If you want to send your child to school because she enjoys it, then great, otherwise, keep her home and teach what you’ve already been teaching her. You were her first teacher and nothing says you’re no longer qualified to teach her. You are her staunchest advocate and know her better than anyone else. Trust your gut on this one (and when the other ones reach this age, judge them each for their own
    needs)…you’ll do the right thing for her/them.

  4. says

    Yes, we “do” preschool :)
    Owen goes to preschool 2 days per week. Why? Because in relocating, we lost our whole social “family”, and being 5 months pregnant, I knew I would be going to lots of not so kid friendly appointments as soon as we moved. Owen loves it, and has so from day one. He asks if he’s going to preschool every single morning, even on the weekends! It is expensive, but if we could afford to send him another day per week, I would. I think he gets a lot out of the structured days and the constant interaction with the other children.
    This morning has been an education in education for us. We have just been to an interview with one of our local schools and if we choose to send him to prep next year, he will be one of the youngest in his class, even as much as 18 months younger! So we are thinking that now he may need to stay at preschool another year and go to school in 2011…

  5. says

    My oldest dd (now in Kindergarten) did preschool for two years. The first year it was just twice a week for a couple of hours, and the second year it was every morning. She has a late birthday so she was almost five by the time she was going every morning. I think I did it because almost everyone I knew did preschool, and I thought it would be beneficial to her and a nice break for me. I think it helped her to handle change and new situations better and to come out of her shell a bit. Was it totally necessary? Not at all.
    My second dd is almost three, and I’m putting her in a preschool just for two hours twice a week. Pretty much the ONLY reason I’m doing it is because she has such an outgoing, busy personality, and she begs to go to school (or ballet) every time her sister goes. Plus she can be a handful for me and honestly we both would benefit from a short break from each other a couple times a week. I know she’ll LOVE it. And since it’s not a long amount of time I don’t feel guilty.
    Also, we live in a community where there are a lot of “in home” preschools–we find them through word of mouth from other moms who have had good experiences with them–which are pretty affordable.

  6. Sarah says

    I know this is an old post, but I just recently found your blog. And, I LOVE this post. We are skipping preschool for the exact reasons you listed here, so I’m glad we’re not alone!! I do feel pressured, like it’s just “expected” but we are perfectly happy not sending our girls anywhere (which btw, I have 3 little girls too!)

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