so, i have some questions i’d love some answers to. i’m not trying to start trouble. i’m not trying to stir a pot, but as a former preschool director with over 60 ECE units (you need 6 to be a teacher in a daycare or preschool classroom in CA), i keep reading this strange thing all over the internet. this phenomenon referred to as homeschooling preschoolers.
to preface, i am totally supportive of differences of opinion and i’m open to hearing why you’ve chosen what you’ve chosen, but, i’m baffled. completely and utterly baffled by what i’m about to write about.
suddenly i keep hearing and seeing “homeschooling my preschooler”. i don’t understand what that means. honestly.
preschool is not mandatory in any state.
there is no mandated curriculum to be covered in the preschool years so i am not quite sure what this all means?!?!?
below are a list of objectives directly from Title 22, the childcare general licensing requirements, to be accomplished during the toddler/preschool years (2-5yrs old).
- playing with manipulatives – blocks, lego’s, unifix cubes.
- sharing with friends; interacting with other children
- following directions from an adult other than mom or dad
- playing in the sand
- digging, getting dirty
- learning the alphabet
- learning to count
- learning colors
- learning new words
- learning you can’t always have your way
- water play, water tables, learning to pour liquids with a mini pitcher
- learning to feed oneself no matter how dirty they get
- learning about autonomy and making choices.
this is where it gets fuzzy for me. ALL of those things, i did with both calen and leah long before they could talk. it was part of being out in society, in the world! a trip to petco was a lesson on animals! a trip to the grocery store was colors and shapes and foods and tastes. and our grocery store has a mini cart so they would help out on occasion.
for 12-hours a day i had both calen and leah from infant until 2 years old. we played all day long. we engaged all day long. i never called it homeschooling, i called it engaging with my child (or charge in this case) and spending my day entertaining them with age appropriate activities.
this is why i don’t understand this calling it homeschooling?? why not just admit you don’t believe in preschool or you can’t afford it? why is there a need for calling, what i personally consider being a parent and unselfishly engaging with one’s child homeschooling?
leah is 2.5 years old. she speaks in sentences like a 4-year-old. she can pronounce all her words, she sings the ABC’s, she can count to 20 in english and 10 in spanish. she is compassionate. loving. caring. when she started daycare in january of this year, she was put into the 2-year-old class at 22 months old and never had a problem keeping up. she was more than able to keep up. (*to clarify, it was not my choice for her to start daycare when she did, that was her parents decision but it has certainly not hurt her in any way.).
but prior to that we were together for 12-hours a day. and the entire time she was awake i was like a walking episode of Sesame Street.
i didn’t talk on the phone while we drove, i pointed out cranes on the 405 that i talked about looking like giraffes!
we looked at the moon nightly and talked about the shape that it was, before calen was 2 he could tell you it was a crescent, half or full moon without hesitation.
i pointed out shapes, colors, numbers, letters. i talked to them ALL DAY LONG about what was going on around us, when we were out. “see the big green tree?”, “where’s the yellow bus?”, “want to sing twinkle twinkle?”, by the time calen was 3 he could tell you the difference between a toyota, a nissan, a chevy and a ford. because as we drove in the car everyday, i found things to talk to him about. i wanted him to learn. children are sponges.
we played with different textures including dry rice, and playdough, A LOT and we started at a very young age because textures are fun!
we played with shaving cream. we finger painted. we had age appropriate toys & books at their level just like in a preschool classroom so they could pick what they wanted to play with
we spent hours at the water table, it’s a fan favorite! and for those of you not in sunny California, bring your table inside and fill it with dried rice or beans for texture play! we played in the sand and we also played pretend. leah is 13-months old in that picture and understood the concept of playing pretend. and boy is that the most favorite activity ever at our house now.
i still never considered calling it homeschooling. i saw it as spending time with my child one-on-one, being “on” for her and focused on her the entire time she was awake. and i came up with age appropriate activities to fill our days and introduce her to new things.
we read books A LOT, the collection in the house is ridiculous! weekly, calen and i used to go to the bookstore (when there WERE brick & mortar bookstore’s) and buy a book every single week. some were classics. some were favorites of mine. and some were ones he picked out that he wanted.
we had playdates with similarly aged friends, and learned to eat at a toddler sized table and we colored, A LOT, not because i was homeschooling, but because that’s what you do with children between 2-5 years old when you’re home with them the whole day.
one of my closest friends is not a big believer of preschool, nor does her family have the funds to send her children for more than one year, which she did and doesn’t regret, to help socialize her children. but she did and does ALL OF THE ABOVE with her kids and never once did i ever hear her say she was homeschooling. in fact, i asked her about this. i thought maybe i just was out of the loop, but she too was shocked at this new trend. she called that being a SAHM and spending time with her child.
so, explain it to me, PLEASE!!! i don’t get this term homeschooling preschoolers.
as i re-read all that i did on an hourly, daily and monthly basis with these kids, i really am proud. proud to say that i gave them a strong foundation which has allowed them to thrive in preschool and daycare. i taught them to notice things around them. interact like little people and not be afraid.
i truly do not judge. what’s right for you and your family isn’t always what’s right for the next person. but with this, i just don’t understand.
is there a curriculum that you’re following?? who makes up this curriculum for you? why is it necessary to be having a child that young doing curriculum? why are you feeling the need to home school at such a young age?? isn’t kindergarten expectations rigid enough these days that to start them even earlier is just taking away their babyhood and childhood??
i REALLY and truly am just looking for some explanation as to what this preschool homeschooling is about? what does it mean? who governs it? and why are you choosing this route?
if you aren’t comfortable posting an answer or response publicly, please feel free to email me at TraciTalksBack@yahoo.com. i appreciate any and all feedback and welcome anyone willing to share to please help me to understand, because if i don’t understand there has got to be others out there that don’t either.
thank you in advance for your information! i am appreciative that you read my blog and i really look forward to understanding this a little bit better. ~ traci xoxo