Here in Massachusetts, preschool is optional. Even kindergarten is optional. Yet every time I tell someone that my three-year-old doesn’t attend school, I find myself fielding 20 questions. I’ve been complaining about it on Facebook lately, and of course that led to another person asking why. So here’s why: I can do it myself.
I am really big on DIY. Sometimes you need a pro, but if you can do it yourself, why not? I’ve installed a dishwasher. I’ve changed my own oil. I cut and color my own hair, and I cut my son's and husband’s hair. I’ve painted my walls and tiled my bathroom. Now, some of these things, I sucked at. Some were a bitch to do. So from now on, I’ll hire a professional. But if I did it well, and don’t mind doing it, I’ll carry on.
Teaching my son isn’t that hard. Okay, it is, but the reward is worth it. He read his first word the other day, completely unprompted, while I was listening from the other room. And although anyone would be proud of their kid learning to read, I got and extra shot of pride because I did that. He learned that from me. It’s like stepping back and admiring a lovely roast you’ve cooked, only better (side note: I do not cook roasts).
He knows more about dinosaurs than most adults. I did that. He chose to be Anubis for Halloween. I did that. He knows the choreography to “Thriller” and the names of all the drums in a drum kit. I did that. He can name almost every bone in his body. I did that. He can navigate a smartphone or laptop like a boss... Hmmm, he did that on his own. But I provided the phone and laptop!
I’m lucky enough that I get to stay home with him, and since he’s an only child, I don’t need the “break” that preschool provides moms of multiples. Believe me, I get that, but naptime is enough for me to regroup. I can handle dragging him along on my errands (barely, but I can). And he has plenty of friends his age, and is very outgoing towards both children and adults. So there goes the socialization argument.
Another bonus of “home preschooling” is that I choose the curriculum. I’m worried that he would be held back by other kids if he were in school. I’ve seen kindergarten readiness assessments that ask questions like “Is your child familiar with at least ten letters of the alphabet?” Dude, what are kids learning in preschool?
And if you were wondering, yes, he will attend real school when he’s older. I’m not an expert in every subject. But I know my shapes and colors pretty well, so I think I’m well-qualified to teach him those. Thanks for asking!