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Seriously considering preschool over homeschooling

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I've been interested in homeschooling before I ever got pregnant, mostly due to my crappy public school experience (mostly being bored all the time and getting turned off from learning). I like the idea of pursuing ideas to their natural finish, and learning all kinds of neat things that you don't learn sitting in school -- sewing, gardening, home repair, car repair, etc.

Now, three years into SAHM-hood I find that I am no more crafty or handy than I ever was (and dh is hopeless!). I imagine years to come of being a homeschooling SAHM and I frankly feel bored and trapped. I never imagined I would feel this way.

Added to that ds is a very social little guy -- he loves to meet new people and do new things. We just started doing activities where I am not involved (storytime at the library, art class) and he has had no problems whatsoever (due in part to all that good A-parenting ).

So I started looking at preschools (he would start in the fall) -- local nursery schools, a Montessori school, and a ritzy private school, and I have to admit that my favorite has been the latter. I'm struggling with some guilt though (giving up on my homeschooling dream!) and worry that ds is going to pick up bad, weird habits from the other kids.

I truly want the best for him, as do all mothers. Could private preschool be it?
post #2 of 6
We do both!

We have a Montessori school in our house and I currently teach a primary (preschool) level class. My ds, who is now two, will "start" in the fall. He is here now, of course, but I have an assistant whose job it is to follow him around and keep him safe. As he gets older he spends more and more time in the classroom "doing activities" (his words). Even before he was two he enjoyed joining us for our end-of-the-day collective and singing songs, reading books, etc.

If we lived near a good AMI Montessori school (or a school with a good AMI teacher), though, I would have considered sending him there rather than doing what we are doing. If I lived back in St. Paul, where I used to live, he would definitely be going to a Montessori school there with a teacher that I just love. I know that I am a good "teacher" and mother to my child, but if there was someone else to contribute to the mix, I would welcome it. At less than three years old, I would enjoy the little break each day and he would thrive in an environment set up for his small body with activities arranged just for him (and his peers) with as many adult obstacles to his development removed for the three hours each day he would be there. Plus, we are expecting another little one and it would be nice to give the second one some one-on-one time as the first one had.

As we don't live in St. Paul, but "out in the county" in NW Washington state we had to make that special place for him. I love it, but am also grateful to my wonderful assistant for being yet another loving adult in his life "contributing to the mix."

Good luck in your pursuit!

post #3 of 6
I think you have no reason to feel guilty. You are making the best decision for your child, in the flesh, not in a pre-child dream. None of us know how we will feel, what personality our children will have, or how we will react to motherhood and all that goes with it before we get there. I applaud the fact that you are willing to examine everything and make a decision based on what you know and not stick to some preconceived ideal that you held.

While homeschooling has its place, I am very convinced that it is not for everyone. My children do daycare (younger) and preschool (older) 3 days a week because I WOH. Part of this is because if I were with my kids 24/7, there would be no kids because I'd kill them or CPS would take them away. I just am not cut out to be a SAHM of young children. I know this. Add to this the fact that my son is also very social and is bored on the days we are home, enough that we always go out to find other kids to play with.

Only you know what is best for your child and you. Do not let some outside imposed ideal get in the way of making a good decision.
post #4 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the good ideas and good thoughts, ladies ... I had a nice chat about this with my midwife yesterday and she pointed out that it can be hard to go against the flow if, for example, all your friends are homeschooling (as many of them are, or plan to).

I like to live with decisions for a while before I actually implement them, and I have to say that I am feeling good about this, better than I have for awhile -- and I really do believe in the old axiom, "if Mama ain't happy, ain't NOBODY happy."

We go for another tour and a talk about financial aid next week. We'll see where this leads.
post #5 of 6
I homeschooled my eldest for a couple years, very loosely, but didn't register her for kindergarten. However, we moved to a new city in May of last year and when we moved we decided to enroll her in school. I had some awesome homeschool mom friends in my old town and was loathe to give that up, but I realized I liked the idea of homeschooling more than the actual practice of it. Plus, I am a terrible procrastinator which makes for a stressful experience. Our eldest is in a good school, not perfect, but we are planning on sending our second daughter for kindergarten there next year as well. Contemplating the scary junior high years though makes me consider enrolling her in the district's homeschool program for those middle years. At least then there is support and structure, but on your own terms. Good luck with the decision!
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for the support, everyone. After visiting a few "regular" preschools (which seemed fine, but nothing special) and a local Montessori school (very traditional Montessori, which was intriguing, but also very Catholic, which was not) I am sending in the application to the private school today. Wow! I can't believe it. But am feeling good
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