It always comes. The question that’s part of every small talk conversation when my children are around.
Where does your son go to preschool?
We’re not sending our son to preschool.
I know it’s only a couple of days a week.
I know you think it’s important for socialization.
I know the preschool program at your church is wonderful.
I know these are all really important things to you or else you wouldn’t be bringing it up to me.
I respect that.
However, I don’t want someone else teaching my son for a couple of days a week.
I don’t need to socialize him so he knows how to stand in line or walk in a duckling row.
And I have a pretty good preschool learning plan for my son too.
These are all really important to me, but I’m probably not going to bring it up to you.
I just wish you’d respect that.
The questions are well-meaning. It’s just small talk. Until it isn’t.
Up until now, my child had no clue that he was so very, very different from other children he plays with.
Now, he sees the way you look at me and then at him.
He asks the questions, “Mama, is there something wrong with you teaching me? Why do these people ask you about preschool so much?”
Now, he’s answering your questions for himself.
He responds to the innocent questions with, “No m’am, I don’t go to preschool. My mama teaches me. I’m homeschooled.”
Now, I love more than ever introducing him to other families who home educate. Watching him sigh with relief as he sees another like himself brings me peace, but also frustration.
I knew he’d eventually notice. We’ve always known we’d homeschool. I’m sad that it’s come so soon though.
Something not even entirely necessary depending on who you ask, and it’s only now become so mainstream that it’s almost mandatory.
It’s okay for me to choose something different for him, but it’s not okay that he feels “weird” because he’s not “like other kids” when he’s only four.
Therefore, today check out these reasons why we aren’t sending my son to preschool and what we’re doing instead!
Why We Aren’t Sending My Son to Preschool & What We’re Doing Instead
1. We want God’s Word to be the center of his early education
This is the top priority for us as a family. It is not enough to “get my children converted” or to check the daily box that says, “I shared Jesus with my child today.”
We want God to have undistracted access to our children’s hearts.
For the past few years we have used the Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum to help teach him biblical character. Now I’m working on a curriculum for the upcoming year based on the Gospel of Luke that I hope serves us just as well.
Above all, we want our children to see us live out the gospel in our own lives day-in and day-out.
2. Socialization is the least of my worries
If the goal is for children to to mature into responsible adults who know how to love and care for others, then what better place that in a loving and caring home?
For us socialization is about developing biblical character, personal confidence in who God has created each of our children to be, and the ability to love others with grace in any situation.
One of our favorite things to do as a family is be with other people.
Friday Night Meatballs, extended and church family relationships, getting involved in our community, and more fills our family schedule, and our love for God’s people shapes much of how we spend our time as a family.
Our focus for socialization is multi-generational. The “real world” is made up of home, family, work, and ministry. That’s our focus.
3. We want the freedom to work at his speed and follow his interests
My son has already mastered much of the curriculum that would be taught in our local preschool programs, yet he’s not quite ready for a full out kindergarten curriculum in all subject areas.
You can see our revamped preschool curriculum here. Mid-year I realized that some things we were doing just didn’t work anymore. I love the freedom to change what isn’t working and replace it with something that works better for my son.
So much of my son’s early learning years takes place in every day life.
He has kitchen tasks and jobs to do around the house. We practice math skills like counting, estimation, and addition and subtraction as we pick up sticks in the yard. We take checklists to the grocery store, practice money management on field trips, and go on nature walks. We count trees, flowers, and birds. We read street signs and church bulletins. We highlight words in magazines and talk about left and right.
Everything is a learning opportunity, and I love following his lead.
4. I’m fully capable of teaching my child
No I don’t have a teaching certificate. I have a degree in Business Management and Human Resources.
However, I don’t consider my lack of “training” to be a reason to disqualify me as a viable option for teaching my son.
I don’t know anyone who knows my son as well as I do, and I’m committed to giving him the best education I can.
5. We want to promote family togetherness
Personally, I want to raise my child to be family dependent and not peer dependent, especially at such an impressionable age.
We make being together fun and unhurried by bus schedules and carpools.
My husband and I work from home, which means we all have to learn to work together and be team players. We take family road trips and enjoy family nights with a bowl of popcorn and favorite movie. We prepare, eat, and clean up meals together as family three times a day. We work in the garden, play chase in the yard, and slow down long enough to watch a rainbow disappear.
Do I think you can do all of these things and still send your child to the local preschool a few days a week?
Sure I do.
But it’s not what God has for my family.
As parents, we all have this command when it comes to raising our children:
Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates…It is the Lord your God you shall fear. Him you shall serve and by his name you shall swear. ~Deuteronomy 6:4-9, 13
There is grace for our differences and grace for our freedom that we have in Christ to choose for our children not only the best education for them, but everything else that pertains to them as well.
I’m thankful for the opportunity to teach my son at home. As we have sought the Lord and His will, we know this is the path He has us on.
Susanna Wesley taught her children at home, for twenty years carrying on this instruction daily, “not so much,” she said, “to train their minds as to save their souls.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
What about you? How have you chosen to educate your child in the early years? What challenges do you face?
You’re not alone.
The Fruit of the Spirit Curriculum for Toddlers is a downloadable eBook designed to help you teach early learning skills to your child while instilling God’s truth. One week at a time, I will guide you through sharing the Gospel with your child through various Bible stories and learning opportunities.
Click here to learn more!