No preschool yet for us…and it’s okay.

The PRESCHOOL pressure is REAL.  Making sure your kids are on top of the game when it comes to education.  Getting them into the best schools from an early age.  The waiting lists.  Early mornings spent standing in a line, hopeful for a coveted spot.  Supporting your friends who are doing the same thing and laughing at the craziness of it all.  I know because so many of my friends are right there with you.  And I support them.  They are doing what works best for their family.

But on the flip side, if you dare mention that you have chosen the opposite for your kids, the support just doesn’t seem to be there as much.  I am an educator-turned-SAHM.  I wanted to stay at home with my kids, so my husband and I made the decision to forgo preschool for now. {And we are only really considering a 2-day PK4 program for our son next year and daughter the year after that}.  And I have heard it ALL when the question arises.  You know…one of the the very first “small talk” questions that other well-meaning parents, family, or friends ask.  My kids are 2 and 3 now, but it started hot-n-heavy last year…

“Where do your kids go to school?”

When I kindly reply back with the fact that they don’t attend preschool, I often hear responses such as…

  • “They don’t???  Oh gosh.  Why not?”
  • “Oh no!!!  Really?”
  • “You’ll start them next year, right?”
  • “Don’t you go NUTS having them with you every day?”
  • “Awwwww.  They’ll be so far behind all the other kids.”
  • “Your kids will have a hard time succeeding in school without preschool.”
  • You better get on the waiting list for next year!!!”
  • “They need preschool for the social aspect.  They need to be around other kids.”
  • “You know, you can’t make this decision based on you and wanting to keep them with you longer.  Think of your kids.”
  • “If you change your mind, DO NOT consider this one, this one, or this one.  Here are the ONLY good ones…”

And every once in a while, a comment from the other side will come up…

  • “Good for you.  Keep those babies out of school until they HAVE to be there.  They’re only little once.”
  • “You’ll never regret this time.  You can never get it back.”
  • “If I could do it again, I’d do that too.”

I usually end up feeling the need to explain so they don’t think I’m doing a disservice to my kids.  Which is my problem.  I’m working on that.  I know I don’t HAVE to explain decisions made for MY family.  But really. I’m a SAHM mom.  I don’t work outside the home or from home {fortunately or unfortunately!}.  And I have the opportunity to keep them home a little longer because of this.  My kids are in a structured, class setting at our church two times a week, I work with them on preschool-type skills 15-20 minutes almost every weekday, they are in ballet and soccer once a week.  We regularly play outside and take trips to local parks, museums, the zoo, and attend library story time each week.  We explore.  We catch bugs.  We read countless books.   We learn while we are playing.

They will be okay.  And so will the kids of other moms {and dads} who choose a similar path for their family.

I’m going to enjoy these last couple of years of letting them be little.  We’ll work on things that I know will ready them for kindergarten.  But mainly, we’ll PLAY.  And it will be okay {except for the occasional daily feeling that I’m losing my mind – ha!}.  I promise.  No need to worry about my kids.

no preschool yet...and it's ok.

To those who choose preschool starting from an early age…I support you 100%, and I love seeing pictures and hearing stories from MDO, toddler classes, PK3, PK4.  So precious.  It’s what’s best for your sweet family, and I get it.

To the moms who choose differently, we deserve the same support.

We’re all in this together, right?  Whether we do things exactly the same or not.  Here’s to supporting each others’ differences and learning and growing from each other.  And teaching our kids to do the same.

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