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?
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.
Another resource for goals and objectives when homeschooling preschool is this list of goals created by Julie from Creekside Learning for her child. Her list corresponds well with my assessment form.
Second, consider THE TYPE OF PRESCHOOL AND ITS PHILOSOPHY.
- 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 still am not totally convinced that I will send my other children to preschool, but this was a great experience for us and for my son.
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.
Here are some other resources for you when it comes to deciding to pay for preschool:
MORE ABOUT PRESCHOOLERS:
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