I have been asked frequently by readers, “Should I send my child to Preschool? Is preschool worth it?” Having taught Preschool and also waited to send my son to school until much later than most moms I know, I can offer a few factors to consider when deciding to homeschool or enroll your child in a preschool program outside of your home.

Of course our children need to learn. I honestly was torn about sending my son. He started asking to go to school when he was two years old. My rule was no school until he was potty trained. I also did not really see a point to sending him at three because we already had a lot of interaction with other moms and their children. I was already teaching him so much at home.

After my daughter was born, and we moved, we faced a much less socially interactive neighborhood and community, so my husband and I made the choice to send our son to preschool part time, 3 mornings a week. Our second child did not go to preschool outside of the home. We considered these four factors for deciding is preschool worth it?

Child with a surprised look on her face. Text reads is paying for preschool worth it?

Is Preschool Worth It: 4 Factors to Consider Before Paying for Preschool

The first and most important factor to consider in deciding to pay for preschool is, CAN YOU AFFORD IT?


If you can’t find a school that works with your budget, then don’t break your bank or dip into savings to pay for preschool. Your child has many more years of schooling ahead. Preschool is only Kindergarten readiness, but you are or can be doing that at home already.

Preschool is not worth spending more than you have or feeling that you have to make more household income in order to afford it.

There are some great tips and guidelines for homeschooling preschool that can help relieve the concern for those who think there child will be left behind without preschool.



This is the assessment form that I used in my preschool classes and you can download it for free! I used it with my own child to assess what he knew and still needed to know before Kindergarten. If you follow this, your child will be ready-even if they do not have every little detail nailed down before they start.





  • Check out preschools that are independent (private…and this does not always mean pricey), even home-based if you don’t want to just teach your child on your own.
  • Ask for their parent handbook to look over before even writing a check to enroll.
  • Sit in a classroom for a few hours to check it out before. At minimum, visit during regular class hours to see how quiet/loud, structured/unstructured, etc. the rooms actually are when children are present.


We chose a preschool that was started in a home and branched out to have two locations. My son’s location was housed in a church and I found out that many of our family’s values were being shared by the school.


There were small class sizes (max of 10 kids and often less than that showed up regularly). In fact, many of the teachers at the school were former SAHMs.


My son’s teacher had a teaching degree and had taught Kindergarten previously. I was not totally convinced that I was going to send my other children to preschool. It was a great experience for my son. But, we did eventually choose to homeschool all the children. Choose which school will fit your child best is an essential step in parenting. My school choice guide helps you set your goals and pick the school from more options than most people think they have.





I know, everyone sends their kids to preschool for socialization not academics. I guess I am the odd one out. My kids were presented with many socialization opportunities through play dates, play groups, storytimes, family events, and time with their siblings and me at home.


Yes, you as a parent socialize your child.


Personally, I don’t want to pay for something my kids can get for free, so socialization does not factor in to my preschool choice, but it may for you.


Not all preschools are alike. Many claim to run a program of “kindergarten readiness” but are housed in a daycare room. Essentially your child gets added to the list of daycare kids but they only attend part of the day.


These rooms are never doing as much “school” work as the private preschool programs.


Some daycare centers may have a separate part-day program, but if it’s in the same room(s) as the full-time care, I would pass. I have worked in those rooms-there is not as much worthwhile learning going on as the management will let you believe.


There is no point in paying for kindergarten prep if they aren’t going to prep as much as you can at home.

Fourth, assess the developmental level of your child and whether THEY WILL BE HELPED OR HINDERED IN A GROUP CLASSROOM.

My one main disappointment in sending my child to a pay-for-preschool was that much of the work that he was doing at the beginning of the school year was a repeat of what I had already taught him at home. Individual-based instruction is not always possible because the teacher has to try to get all of the students on the same page in order to maximize her time teaching.
I understand this from when I was teaching preschool. I had a student in my 3-year old class who was already prepared enough to go to Kindergarten! I tried to work one-on-one with her to maintain her learning path. The problem was I had 9 other students and I only had short windows of time to work one-on-one with each child. It was also only a 2-day a week class.
What her parents had done at home mattered the most! They had prepared her so well.
I know her parents just wanted her to be around other children to play and (that misused word) socialize, but she could have gotten that without having to contribute to my paycheck by paying tuition.
If you do have a child that is ready for Kindergarten-level activities, or you want to find out, here is another assessment form that I used with Kindergartners.  You can download this one for free as well!


Let it be your guide, but don’t worry if your child has not mastered all of the skills listed. Use it to direct what to work on next.


Bottom line, children do not NEED to go to a preschool program outside of your home. There are so many alternative, inexpensive, or free options for preparing your child for Kindergarten on your own. You can even get a Homeschool Preschool Curriculum right here on my blog.
How to teach a preschool activity free download.
I rounded up some additional resources for you in case you are thinking of “homeschooling preschool.” All of the activities that I post on my Preschool page are based on preparing a child for Kindergarten. So, that is a place to go for activities after you assess what your child still needs to learn.


100s of bloggers pinning their learning and craft activities for you to check out on the Kid Blogger Network board.




Crash Course in Child Development: Preschoolers


Let’s Talk About Patterns! (For Infants, Toddlers, Preschoolers and Up)


What did you choose? Are you sending your child to preschool or homeschooling them? I would love to hear what led to your choice and how it is going!
Teacher seated with children for show and tell. Text reads is preschool worth it? Four factors to consider before paying for preschool.
Trying to decide whether to pay for preschool or not? Is preschool worth it? Here are 4 factors to consider before paying for preschool from a mom of 4 and former preschool teacher.
This post was featured in A Complete Guide for Stay-at-Home Moms: Homeschool Resources. View all of the included articles HERE.


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