Right around our oldest daughters first birthday, talk of preschool started to come up. “Are you going to start her in preschool next year?” became the most frequently asked question in every small talk conversation regarding our daughter.
Although my husband and I had already decided that we’re not going to put our kids in preschool until they’re old enough for Pre-K, I found myself telling inquiring minds that I wasn’t sure yet. I really didn’t want to deal with other opinions. Although that’s exactly what I got!
I understand and respect that you feel early preschool is important, I just don’t feel the same way. I don’t think it’s a bad thing to start your kids in preschool at a young age. I know some families have no choice because both parents work, some moms need the break a few days a week and others just really feel that it’s very important for kids to start preschool at 2 1/2 years old. Whatever your reason for sending your child to preschool, I know that you are doing what you feel is best for your kids. So why is it that you can’t understand I’m doing what I feel is best for mine?
I hear you when you tell me how important it is for young kids to have structure and begin a curriculum. I also understand why you feel that way. However, I feel that my girls have their whole lives to be in a conformed setting. Childhood is the shortest period in your life and I want to encourage wonder, imagination and the excitement of learning new things. I want to be the one to teach them in these early years. This is one of the main reasons my husband and I decided I was going to be a stay at home mom.
I know you think my girls will miss out on learning important social skills if they don’t go to preschool. I appreciate your concern, I really do. But, I’m not at all worried. We have weekly playdates, they take swim and dance lessons, and we are always out and about interacting with different people. Both of my girls are outgoing, compassionate, kindhearted, silly kids who truly enjoy engaging with others. They are great sharers, polite (well most of the time) and have lots of friends. They are definitely not lacking in the socialization department.
I understand you feel that my girls might be behind when they enter Pre-K, because your kid is learning their letters, numbers, shapes, etc. You might be surprised to know that I work with my daughters daily, teaching them many different things. My 3 1/2 year old knows and can identify all of the letters in the alphabet and most numbers, she knows and can draw most of her shapes, she is learning to write her name, she can read a few words, she can tell you that we live in the Unites States of America and a little about our country, she also can tell you about Italy, France, Egypt and China AND she speaks a decent amount of Spanish for her age. I’m not bragging, (well maybe a little) but really just stating the facts. My kids are learning just as much as yours are. Shocking, isn’t it?!
I love that my oldest has learned so much without going to preschool. I love that she has not only gained knowledge from me, but also the world around her. Kids truly are like sponges and absorb so much by listening, watching and being hands on. We are constantly out doing things, having fun exploring and learning along the way. I see our younger daughter following in her footsteps. At 1 1/2 she knows many words and phrases, knows colors, knows animals and their sounds, loves books and the list goes on. I’m really proud of how much knowledge my girls have gained without going to preschool.
So next time you want to give me your two cents on why my kids should go to preschool, or how much your child is learning and mine could be learning, don’t. Just don’t. My girls are thriving, learing and are happy to be with me. Just as I am happy to be with them. I’m sure preschool has been great for your family, just as me staying home and teaching our girls has been great for our family. So lets just leave it at that. Enough with the judgy mommy syndrome. It’s preschool people, get over yourselves!