Many of these moms do not get the credit they deserve. Caring for children all day is extremely taxing on the mind and body. Many stay-at-home moms crave a taste of freedom and desire for their children to begin a curriculum early in life.
This is why many desperate mothers place their pre-school aged child in a program that claims to prepare children for kindergarten. However, more and more mothers are realizing that these programs are nothing more than glorified daycares.
I am a stay-at-home mom with three kids under three years old. About a year ago, I enrolled my then two-year-old twins in a pre-school program at a local facility. They went to their program two days a week for a half of a day, and I got a small amount of time to do the things that needed to be done without my toddler’s “help.”
However, it did not take long for me to realize that my kids were not learning anything at preschool beyond how to bring home more fevers than they had ever had before. I withdrew them from school and started my mission to homeschool my children.
Reasons to Avoid Pre-School
One of the main reasons I decided to pull my children out of preschool and teach them at home was that they were not getting anything from the program that I could not give them at home.
Do not get the wrong idea, here. I am not one of those moms who used to teach Kindergarten or gets all of my ideas from perfect blog mommies. I am also not a mom who spent thousands of dollars to set up an in-home classroom. My preschoolers are learning the same way they always have, through lots and lots of play and observations.
Preschool is chock full of germs. I learned this one the hard way. In two months, my toddlers had been subjected to strep throat, a stomach virus, Hand-Foot-Mouth disease, and they had developed a persistent runny nose. It was hard to watch them battle sickness after sickness when I knew that they did not have to be subjected to so many germs.
If I had the option to keep them healthy, why wasn’t I choosing that option?
Preschool was expensive.
Considering the fact that my children were not gaining valuable experiences and that we were spending more than double our prior month’s medical budget, it made financial sense to keep the kids at home.
Reasons to Keep Your Children Home
Now that I have exhausted all of the reasons why preschool simply does not make sense if you are a stay-at-home mom, we can get into the meat and potatoes of my argument. Homeschooling your pre-school aged child is fun, easy, and rewarding.
You do not have to invest a lot of time and money into this adventure to make sure your kids are thriving. In fact, I would venture to say you can do most of it with what you already have in your home.
What does Homeschool Preschool Look Like?
So, what does a homeschool preschool look like? Honestly, it is a whole lot of play time.
I feel certain that it looks different for every family that chooses to preschool their kids in the home, but I think the best way to thoroughly cover this topic is to walk you through a day at our in-home preschool.
Our Daily Schedule
I get the kids up at 7:30 every morning. We get dressed, we put on our shoes, and we head to the kitchen. Just in the few minutes it takes my kids to get dressed, they have practiced conversational skills and fine and gross motor skills.
Further, they learn that in the morning people get up and get dressed. These are all essential life skills that preschoolers cannot learn outside of the home.
There are times when I let my kids help me with breakfast, but they often get free play time in the morning while I cook breakfast. According to the Academy for American Pediatrics, play is the absolute most important activity in the development of young children.
My kids get tons of free play, and at one point in time that kind of made me feel like a slacker mom, but I have learned that imaginative play is good for my kids.
After breakfast, we go outside and play! This is another form of free-play but it is so important that children get time outside. Far too often, kids are playing in front of a television or playing a game on a tablet. My kids have tablets too, but I also make sure they get 3 to 4 hours of outside play time each and every day that the weather permits it.
According to the Harvard Health Blog, children need outdoor play time to get adequate amounts of vitamin D. Harvard also argues that outdoor play time promotes adequate exercise, builds creativity, and develops an appreciation for nature. All of these things are good for us as adults too.
I use this time to focus on outdoor chores and spend quality time bonding with my children. As an added bonus, my kids learn how to complete the outdoor chores and sometimes they even do a good job helping me!
Once we come inside, I allow my children to have screen time for thirty minutes while I prepare lunch. You may not agree with screen time in your home, but an alternative idea is for freeplay art time. Your children may enjoy painting, coloring, reading, or doing a puzzle while you make lunch.
Our nap time directly follows lunch from 12 to 2 pm. If your children have outgrown nap time, you may want to consider implementing quiet time. Naptime or quiet time is an excellent time for mom to get some things done around the house.
After nap time, I like to complete a daily circle time. Our circle time looks different every day, but it always starts with a story. My children love to read, and we often read during free time as well. However, making sure that I build a story into our circle time every single day ensures that they read something every day.
After the story, we do something that relates to what we read. This could be practicing a letter, drawing a picture, or even learning a song and dance.
In the afternoon, we frequently go back outside for a few hours. In the summertime, I like to include a lot of water play into the afternoons because it is very hot where we live. Water play is a great activity for preschoolers as it is a sensory activity.
Socializing Your Homeschooled Preschooler
Another question I frequently get about homeschooling my pre-school aged children is how do they get enough socialization? I am lucky because I have twins and that definitely helps, but not every family has that luxury.
Still, my children manage to get plenty of socialization. We frequent the local park in our town, take field trips to the library, and set up playdates with our friends. Socialization may take some leg work on the end of the parent, but it can be achieved.
Homeschooling your preschooler is a great way to add some structure into your day as a stay at home mom. Do not be overwhelmed by thoughts of curriculum or classrooms, the truth of the matter is that your child does not need any of that. He or she just needs loving parents, a good example of adulthood, and plenty of time to play.