I wrote a post here a few months ago and things have not got much better.
I have a very bright and active 3 year old DD who is constantly acting up and pushing boundaries (and her sister....) I think she is very bored and maybe needs more than I can give at this time. DD2 is 11 months old and is pretty needy (needs to be held ALL THE TIME). I try to get DD1 involved in a project and then have time to walk around with DD2, but DD1 also wants 100% attention all the time. I am getting tired and frustrated and irritated at the girls as I don't feel I have any time just to sit or pick up toys or clean or read or ANYTHING.
I have been 100% sure since before DD1's birth that I want to home school at least through jr. high. I am now considering Preschool as a break for myself and maybe some stimulation for DD1 (and some time alone for DD2 and myself).
Also, DD2 was born in September, moved in November (left all of DD1's friends) and we have had a hard time getting involved with people with kids her age. I am getting together a co-op preschool, but mostly people with 2 year olds have shown interest (DD1 is SUPER intelligent and gets along better with older kids (4 years or so).
So, what to do? We still want to HS, but I am at a loss for how to keep her happy.
SAHM to Chloe«- 6/2008 (10 lbs, 5 oz), Hannah- 9/2010 (9 lbs, 12 oz), Liam- 2/2013 (9 lbs, 6 oz)
Find a good preschool that has an option where you can do just mornings or just a few days a week, and give it a try!
I'm in a completely different situation than you (I work full-time outside the home) but we recently have been transitioning from having our DD with a wonderful nanny to having her in school part-time, for similar reasons that you describe. DD is very social, needs a lot of stimulation, and was just ready to be in a different environment. It has been a great thing for her.
Doing pre-school for a spell certainly won't prevent you from HSing later. It sounds like you are really motivated by trying to do what's best for both your daughters (and yourself). That is always a good approach, IMO, even if it means you have to adjust your vision of how you thought things were going to work.
Living in Wisconsin with my partner of 20+ years and our DD(Born 10/09/08 ). Why CI Mama? Because I love contact improvisation!
Several of the families at ds's preschool currently home school or will be home schooling.
I have always planned on homeschooling too. I put my son in preschool last year because he is VERY social and needed to be around lots of friends, and since we were new to the state, we didnt have any for him. He went 3 days a week, for 3 hours. It was perfect. My baby napped and I got alone time with DS2, and he came home feeling super tired out.
He was a little sad about not going back this year, but I just told him that we'd make sure to have lots of people to hang out with.
I say go for it!
Preschool (unless it's a really bad one!) is not a big deal. I do not think it affects homeschooling one way or another. I see SO MANY people start off with children who are 3,4, and 5-- start playdates, meetup groups, etc. with the intention that they will be homeschooling-- want to connect with others who have the same intentions. By the age of 6, most of them disappear into school.
To me, if all school could be like preschool, I would have all of my children in it without hesitation. Usually it is only 1/2 day, not every day of the week, open-ended with plenty of time to socialize, nice routine without being too structured, etc. This is what school should be!
My friend often says that no one really homeschools in the early years-- it's just called parenting at that point. I agree. So, do not let the thought of hs'ing factor in your decision at this age.
2/02, 4/05, 2/07, 11/09, and EDD 12/25/11
This stage is hard for parents, and especially for those planning on homeschooling. We think, yeesh! if I can't even get the dishes done, how am I gonna homeschool? That adds to the pressure.
While preschool is no big deal in some ways, I will go out on a limb and be the (so far) sole advocate for skipping it. Learning to occupy yourself is a great skill. Your dd2 isn't old enough to play much with her sister, but my kids are that age spread, and they are best friends now. The change happened around when dd2 was 2 and could play along in her own way with dd1's creative games. Before that, dd1 only saw her sister as a bother.
Of course, you could look at my house at decide to reject my advice entirely! But 6 and 4 (my girls' ages) is a universe away from 1 and 3. Completely different dynamic. To get stuff done, I often do some exchanges, I read some books and let them know that if they want my company, then after that they need to help fold laundry, or at least play in the bedroom where I do the work. That is one example. I've been trying to give them more "grown up" things to do, like flipping the pancakes with supervision instead of just mixing the batter. Putting in the soap and pushing the buttons of the washer instead of just folding laundry. If 3yo can play a computer game, then they can operate appliances, they can use a digital camera, etc. In the end, somedays nothing much gets done. This will pass. Or at least evolve!
One last point. We are unschoolers, and preschools don't operate like this. Preschool today is much like kindergarten "in my day" (does that sound old or what?) If your tendency is towards unschooling, or at least delayed academics, then preschool might not be the best choice. If you think you'll lean closer to playing the role of teacher at home, this experience will likely fit right in. But I would be extremely careful about the preschool. Some are really pushing desk time over playtime. Academics might be diverting at this age, but it should not take precedence over playtime. And they need this every day! 3yo is when the imagination in playtime really blossoms. The "baby games" of putting-in-taking-out-tucking-in will move aside or change into long running stories you will delight in hearing. Free play rules the day. It is necessary. If the preschool doesn't offer this REALLY FREE play I would personally skip it.
So, I would give it time. What you are experiencing now is a struggle. But in not too long your girls will be playing and be best friends (and *ALL* that comes with that, let me tell you!) This is an asset, as they will be spending a lot of time together when you homeschool. Having Big Sister around has really helped dd2 become the girl she is today.
Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
It makes me wonder if would have long term success as homeschoolers without this foundation, if we would have just pushed this problem into the future by not addressing it. Not that you cannot homeschool after sending a child to preschool, certainly every family is different, but this has been my experience and intuition thus far. Connection first, whether I like it or not
This is exactly what I realize I didn't include in my pp. I've also been using this time to change my own habits, ways of dealing with issues at home, attempting to create routines for keeping the house clean, etc, learning their rhythms of activity and down time. I taken this time to learn patience, diligence, making myself a good homeschooling parent. At least that's the goal! Every day has its own unique struggle and I wonder if I'm "there" yet. Thus, my little tagline on my signature "Learning a bit more each day."
Give me a few minutes while I caffeinate.
You are right-- it really depends on the preschool. The one I really liked (it was only one yr, because the next yr was academic and pretty bad) was EXTREMELY open-ended, relaxed, yet with a great rhythm. Children had plenty of time to explore and talk-- nothing forced ever, and nothing "academic." The following year was academic and so boring for my DD. My thought was always that DD found ways to further herself academically on her own-- she didn't need a teacher or group for that. What I could not provide her with was the same group of children to see regularly, and I was not going to set up the fun things like a water table. So, yes, if you do choose preschool, definitely go observe, ask about discipline (at my DD's it was positive, focused on prevention, no time outs, etc.).
One last point. We are unschoolers, and preschools don't operate like this. Preschool today is much like kindergarten "in my day" (does that sound old or what?) If your tendency is towards unschooling, or at least delayed academics, then preschool might not be the best choice.
2/02, 4/05, 2/07, 11/09, and EDD 12/25/11