While there really isn’t any official data that reports on homeschool preschools, we know that many people choose to do some type of preschool education with their children at home. There are a number of reasons that we have found for this. First, a parent wants to prepare their child for kindergarten and the educational system. Second, the parent can’t afford, or can’t find, a suitable preschool in their area. They still want their child to have the benefits of a preschool education, so they choose to do it at home. Third, the parent wants to be directly involved in their child’s education and homeschool preschool is just the first step in their homeschool career.
Whatever your reason for considering homeschool preschool as an option, let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons. Some pros of homeschool preschool include:
- Introducing the child to academics: reading, writing, math, etc.
- Introducing the child to school supplies: scissors, rulers, chalk, crayons, glue, etc.
- Introducing the child to a schedule: moving from one activity to another, sitting still, listening, raising hand to ask a question, etc.
- Offers their fist “school experience” in their own environment where they are comfortable and not stressed
Now let’s look at some cons or possible drawbacks to homeschool preschool:
- May be time consuming to prepare lessons for only one child
- If you are not a trained educator, you may not know how to deal with a special needs child in a school setting
- May be hard to find, and stick to, a schedule because of so many other outside demands on your time
- Focus may be hard because of the number of interruptions in a home i.e. phone rings, someone knocks on the door, younger children need attention, etc.
- May not get social interaction that they would with a preschool experience outside of the home
If you are interested in creating a homeschool preschool, here are some ideas that may make it easier and more successful. Talk with the principal of the elementary school that your child will attend, find out what they expect or require upon entrance. This will give you an idea of what to focus on teaching your child. Talk to neighbors in your area with kids near the same age. Find out if they have done any preschool with their children, this can provide social opportunities as well as helpful resources for your homeschool. Use daily outings and activities as part of your preschool experience. Cooking dinner can be a great introduction to math, playing a game can teach many skills and concepts, attending local events can introduce music, art, science, etc.
Don’t stress yourself out of make it all too regimented. Your child has a lifetime of school schedules ahead of them. Make their first experience with education and learning fun. Help them to see that education is part of everyday life. Then when they are older they won’t be asking why do I have to learn this? When am I ever going to use this? How does this have anything to do with my life? They will have a basic understanding that education is used in everything we do!