It was just over four months ago that I made a spontaneous decision to homeschool Levi for preschool. Since, the most common question I’ve received from people is, “How is homeschool going?” And I can honestly say, it’s going great, despite some moments of frustration, and I have zero regrets over my decision.
I am a huge advocate for homeschooling, and especially homeschooling preschoolers. Here are 10 reasons why.
1. You Can Do It
One of the main reasons parents think they shouldn’t homeschool their child is because they think they’re inadequate. This is completely untrue. You don’t need an education degree, a gorgeous homeschool space, or a plethora of educational books and manipulatives to teach your preschooler. You really just need good resources, some courage, and a desire to see your kid learn and grow.
Don’t let there be any doubt in your mind – you can homeschool your preschooler.
2. Your Child Doesn’t Need to Go to Preschool
While there may be a variety of reasons why parents send their children to preschool (which is not mandatory for children — neither is kindergarten), the main reasons tend to be academic and social preparedness for traditional school.
But sending our children to school early is not necessarily beneficial. It is becoming more commonly discussed that we, as Americans, are sending our kids to school too early. More and more studies are coming out that the more pressure we put on kids to learn at an early age actually backfires.
What children truly need is play. Thankfully, many preschools prioritize play as an important form of learning. In my mind, though, preschool is a very expensive play-date.
Play can happen anywhere, whether it be independently or with a parent, sibling, neighbor, or friend. Likewise, learning social skills happens in various places: at the library, at the playground, in the grocery store, among family. Your child does not need to go to preschool to practice these life skills.
You can definitely prepare a child for academic success at home. In fact, I would argue that taking the time to educate at home may be an even better way to prepare your child for lifelong learning.
3. Homeschooling is More Affordable
Oh my goodness, the money we have saved from homeschooling. I was naive to the tuition that was required to attend preschool, and when I discovered the cost of even an “affordable” one, I dismissed it all together. Send my child to play and learn a few hours a week for that price? Not worth it.
I was able to purchase a complete homeschool curriculum, a bunch of brand new craft supplies, and a few reference books for less than one month of preschool tuition. And I can use all those things for Levi next year, as well as with my next child.
If you are financially strained, homeschooling your preschool is a no-brainer.
4. You can Cater to the Interests and Needs of Your Child
Your child’s preschool teacher would likely a kind, well-educated, wonderful person. She, however, is responsible for many children, not just your own. It would be unethical for her to prioritize your child over the others.
You, though, can prioritize your child. And you know him best. You know what gets him excited, what makes him discouraged. You know his strengths and weaknesses. Because of this, you can tailor-make his education to suit her interests and needs.
Does he love being in the kitchen? You can pick out recipes that connect to what you’re learning. Do you know she get struggles with sitting still for long periods of time? You can integrate movement into learning to keep her engaged.
5. Your Child will Likely Learn More
The primary reason I want to homeschool my children (for preschool and beyond) is because I care deeply about their education. I know that maximum learning happens between a child and an adult whom they love and respect, and learning is certainly not limited to a few hours in a particular space.
I am not pushing Levi to learn to read, speak basic Spanish, or count to 50 any time soon. Instead, I am trying to nurture in him a love of learning and the world around him. That happens during our “school time”, in which we read, learn a letter, practice life skills, and do activities and crafts together; but it also happens when he plays with his sister, when we are talking in the car about a story we read, or when we go on a walk and identify a tree we had just learned about.
We are not bound by time or limited by the needs of other students (other than my daughter, ha). Levi is absorbing the concept that learning is a lifestyle, not something confined to a classroom. The world is his classroom. And he is learning a lot.
6. You are the One Setting the Foundation for Learning
When you send your child away to school, you put her under a stranger’s authority. That teacher may be the kindest, most patient, most wonderful person, but it is unlikely they share the same interests, values, and beliefs that you do. And even if the teacher does, schools have their own regulations set in place for what and how they teach.
When you homeschool your preschooler, you can choose what your child is learning and how you spend your time teaching them. You can determine what is important to know, and how you want to teach her.
The more time you spend with your child, the more opportunities you have to establish with her what is important to you and your family. Homeschooling provides you with more time, not to mention zero competing values systems.
7. You are the Main Influence in your Child’s Life
Children are tiny sponges, and they will absorb everything, both good and bad. Unfortunately, peer influence is not always a positive thing, and children can pick up on other’s bad habits or fall victim to negative interactions.
I also don’t like the idea of peers influencing my child without my supervision. I know that sounds very control-freak of me, but I take my responsibility of caring for my children very seriously. That is why I am always nearby when Levi has play-dates with friends, neighbors, or even cousins. I want to be available to him if he needs me, whether it’s to field questions, to address behaviors or ideas we disagree with as a family, to reassure him that something is ok, to protect him. As a homeschool mom, I like that I don’t have to worry that Levi will be exposed to ideas, cultural expectations, or pressures that he’s not yet ready for.
My little guy is three years old. There is a lot of life ahead of him in which he will get to stretch his wings and fly on his own. But for now, I want to keep him close so I can make sure he’s strong enough.
8. Homeschooling Strengthens the Bond with your Child
One of the things that really surprised me about homeschooling Levi is how good it has been for our relationship. I look forward to doing school with him, and he looks forward to learning with me. It has improved our connection greatly, as well as his behavior and attitudes. I know him more intimately than ever.
I also know that I would have missed out on many beautiful moments had I sent him to preschool, like when he wrote his name for the first time or when he got super excited about completing a puzzle on his own.
Homeschooling your preschooler can strengthen your relationship.
9. Homeschooling can Benefit Any Child
In her book, For the Children’s Sake, Susan Schaeffer Macaulay states: “Educational institutions make poor substitute mothers, fathers, and homes. There has never been a generation when children have so desperately needed their parents’ time, thoughtful creativity, and friendship” (pg 10).
Ultimately, what children need more than anything is time with the parents who love them, especially at such a young and impressionable age. Your child will read some day. Mathematics will be there. History will only grow. But the time you have to invest in your young child is short and precious. So spend it with them, if you can.
In addition to time spent with you, which is priceless, homeschooling can benefit the unique personality of any preschooler. For the shy child, it gives more time to build confidence before entering an environment that could cause anxiety. For the active child, it gives freedom for lots of play and no punitive measures against having the wiggles. For the bright child, it gives endless opportunity to feed an inquisitive mind. For the strong-willed child, it provides a safe space to exercise autonomy. For the sensitive child, it ensures a caring teacher who will meet him where he’s at. For the laid-back child, it provides undivided attention, ensuring she won’t fly under the radar. For the social child, it promises fewer distractions so he can focus on learning.
10. You will Learn and Grow, Too
Before I started homeschooling Levi, I couldn’t identify the phases of the moon or tell you why each snowflake is different. I couldn’t differentiate between a sparrow and a finch, nor identify the trees own our street.
Since I’ve started teaching him, I’ve learned a lot of information, but, more importantly, I’ve learned to slow down, observe, and to reflect on what is important. I’ve memorized pieces of Scripture, sang more, taken time to paint and craft, and fallen deeper in love with the natural world.
I am so grateful for what homeschooling has taught me, and I’m sure the lessons will keep on coming.
Are you interested in learning more about homeschool? Check out my homeschooling resource page for recommended reading, curriculum, recommended supplies, and more.
Also, you can follow me on Instagram @withquiethands to see some of our homeschooling adventures.