Are you new to the idea of home preschool? If so, you’re probably spending a lot of time considering questions like this:
Why? Why am I choosing to teach preschool at home? What are the benefits?
Maybe you’re pregnant and you have no experience working with children, but you’re not sure you want to return to work after maternity leave.
Or perhaps you’ve been working outside of the home, and you’re feeling a tug to be at home for the early childhood years.
Or maybe you’re like I was and financially it makes more sense to stay home than it does to work in your current job and pay full-time childcare.
It’s important to consider what home preschool will be like fully before making any big decisions, but I do encourage you to make sure you don’t let fear cloud your judgment. The truth is, with a little effort and support, moms and children can thrive doing preschool at home.
Many people are most worried that they aren’t prepared to teach their kids because they have no education background. Personally I was a kindergarten teacher and I have a master’s degree in education, so when I considered home preschooling I was confident that I’d have the skills to teach my children. And even if you have no education background, there are many resources to help you. However, I still had nagging doubts.
Would my kids have enough social interaction?
Would I be happy being home all day?
Would my kids miss out on special events that happen at traditional preschools?
If some of these questions are also popping up in your mind, you’ll also want to read myths about home preschool, but for now I want you to know these worries are common (and you can overcome them!).
As those doubts clouded my head I tried to listen to my heart. Where did I really want to be? What experiences could only I provide for my children? I focused on the positive things we could do together, and I was sure that those easily outweighed my concerns.
And once the decision was made, I found that with some planning and support home preschool was even more enjoyable than I could have dreamed. Honestly, those have been my happiest parenting years to date.
Before I do please know that I have sincere respect for traditional preschools and the amazing teachers who work in them. My children spent part of early childhood in preschools and part in preschool at home.
Whatever you choose for your child and your family, it will be right…for you, and that’s what matters. However, these are the things I found most beneficial in teaching preschool at home.
So back to those benefits…
Follow Your Child’s Interests
When you home preschool you have an unmatched opportunity to follow your child’s interests and nurture their natural curiosity without the limitations of a prescribed curriculum or set of standards. At a time when research shows that earlier is not better and school readiness skills do not necessarily mean future academic success, you have the ability to slow down and let your child truly learn through play.
As a home preschooling family you have flexibility. You can take family vacations without considering the school schedule. You can head to a play or visit a new art exhibit that you just found out about at the last minute. You can have play dates with family and friends whenever it suits your schedule.
Control of Learning Goals
You can choose the learning goals for your child. While I do encourage you to consider the kindergarten expectations in your state if your child will attend public school, home preschool still allows you the ability to focus on skills and behaviors you value as a family. Nurturing these early interests can have long-term positive impacts.
At an age where your children want little more than time with you, preschool at home gives you the gift of time. And with a little planning on your part this time together can be less frantic and more enjoyable than busy days shuttling back and forth to preschool.
And yes, there’s money. Depending on where you live, choosing to teach preschool at home can save you a significant amount of money. Now I’ll admit for some the additional costs associated with having kids home all day can take away a bit from the savings. However, I personally felt that the money I spent on things like museum passes and home preschool materials were a better use of our money than preschool tuition.
Okay, now I have one little task for you. If you’re just getting started with teaching home preschool, you’re going to need to clearly outline your WHY! Trust me. This will come in handy on days when you doubt yourself or you need a little reminder of why it’s all worth it.
Download our free printable WHY sheet. Jot down the reasons you are choosing to teach preschool at home. Then hang it somewhere you’ll see it on tough days, or put it in your planning notebook to pull out when you need to refresh your memory.
Save Time and Eliminate the Worry with our Complete Home Preschool Curriculum
Teach preschool at home with confidence using our kid-tested, mom-approved hands-on lesson plans full of playful activities to help prepare children for kindergarten and beyond.