I was told the same thingUnfortunately with my first I bowed to pressure and sent him to preschool for a few months. It was a disaster for him. I suppose he would have eventually resigned himself to being there but none of those things they said would be good for him worked. Yet, now at age 7 he:
[...they need to learn to get instruction from people other than their mother. They need to understand that their mother is not the center of the universe.] ...is perfectly aware I am not the centre of the universe. He has friends, teachers (from activities and programs he goes to) and family who all play a big role in his life.
[...they need to learn that they are not the center of the universe themselves and that there are other kids out there.] ...rotflmao on this one! He has a sibling so for the last 4 years he lived this. I hate the way 'centre of the universe' kids can behave and I only know a few---and they go to school.
[...they need to learn to be in a group of children their age] ...no, they don't. My ds hangs with kids from 3-10 and has a lot of fun with all of them. He tends to hang out with kids based on interest not age. His 10 year old buddy plays Lego and chess. His 5 year old friend(s) love Star Wars and Lego. Etc...
[...they need to learn to follow rules.] ...yes, agreed. Mine do. Do people think all children run wild at home and then turn into model citizens at day/care or school?
[...they do things in a daycare that they would never do at home...] ...hmmm, well this depends on 1) the preschool and 2) the parent. Some parents are okay with messy play time and some are not. Some preschools offer those activities often, others do not. I am not a big fan of paint all over the house and relegate it to outside during warm months and in the hall in a tarped off section from time to time. However, we go to art class once a week at a gallery and my dks still seem to find ways for their creative output. Ds is all about the Lego but draws pictures and comics. Dd colours and loves playdough. This is a very weak argument to keep my dks away from me several hours/days of the week.
Like I said, I temporarily bought into the insanity that the only way my dks would be normal and well adjusted was to ship them off to glorified baby-sitters (not knocking dc/preschool teachers but they get paid to watch, feed, keep clean and play/teach the kids --> which I do as it is) and hours of peer interaction. Well, five years have passed and I can safely say that in that time my dks have turned into children who play well with others, have manners, follow rules and instruction - even with other people (who am I kidding, usually better with other people ) and can generally pass themselves off as normal, well-adjusted kids. And so can all the other homeschooled, never preschooled kids that we know.