Since posting about D’s first day, several people have asked why we’re homeschooling C and sending D to public school preschool this year. Here’s the quick-ish answer, just in case you’re also wondering…
When C was preschool aged a few years ago, I was still working for the City 30 hours a week. In Iowa, preschool is offered to all 4 year-olds free of charge, and it seemed like the logical next step for her, so off she went. Throughout her year, we loved the experience she had. She was in a classroom of 15 kids, with a lead teacher and two assistants, plus an occasional ISU student or foster grandparent thrown in for good measure. We never felt like she was getting lost in the shuffle. Her mornings seemed to be spent mostly playing at centers or outside at recess, reading books and singing songs together with her class. I know she did some learning as well, because soon she was able to write her name and use things she’d learned against me. (My favorite example of this is when she kept getting up one night at bedtime. I told her the first step to falling asleep was to lay down, because she couldn’t sleep standing up. She responded with, “But astronauts do, Mommy. I learned it from Ms. Jill!)
When C went to Kindergarten the next year, she was in a class of 26 with only her teacher present. There were many times she was left to figure out right and wrong without an adult around to assist. The educational expectations outlined for the kids seemed overwhelming for a 5 year-old and C came home exhausted, frustrated and sometimes confused at the end of the day. That’s when we decided to give homeschooling a go. We are lucky enough to live in an area where there’s a great support system for homeschoolers and we’ve loved it so far.
As the time approached for D to start preschool, whether at home or at school, we decided that it would be good for him to spend a little time away from Mom and second-Mom (aka – his sister) to have a chance to play with other kids his age on a regular basis and figure out how to feel safe away from me, in a safe environment. So, because we’d had such a great experience with C, we decided to send him to Northwood.
I felt even better about this plan after attending the parent orientation a couple weeks ago. D’s teacher explained the vision and mission of the Northwood Preschool Center. It totally fits with my thinking of how I want my kids to experience school, especially at a young age.
To create a positive learning community that fosters life-long learning by cultivating five core traits of successful learners: curiosity, persistence, flexibility, collaboration and reflection.
To engage all learners academically, socially and emotionally, and physically.
With this in mind, we’re hoping to have another great year in preschool! Then our plan continues to be to homeschool both kiddos next year when D starts kindergarten.
If any other readers have questions, please submit them in the comments below, by email or in person and I’ll answer as time permits 😉