Wednesday, February 8, 2012

No Need for Preschool

Bubby would be classified as a preschooler by most people. If he were going through the public school system, he would not be considered old enough for Kindergarten, so I usually tell people he is a preschooler. I could use the term "Pre-K," since our local school district has a little two-hour Pre-K program. However, though we homeschool the older children, we have no formal preschool program at our house. No preschool workbooks, no preschool writing lessons, no preschool reading lessons. I do not drill him on his shapes, colors, or letters. I don't coach him daily on his letter sounds, or sit him down to talk about opposites, animals, or community helpers.

So what do we do? How is he going to learn all the things he needs to know for school? Isn't he going to be behind other kids his age? What will he do without the specialized knowledge he would gain from a two-hour-a-day or longer preschool program?

I'm going to share something that might cause some raised eyebrows. A normal child, living in a decent home, supervised and exposed to daily life and not deprived of adult interaction, does not need preschool. Yes, that's the truth. There is nothing that he can learn at preschool that he cannot learn in the safe and more natural home environment.

I do understand that preschool is a good option for child care. If you are not able to be at home with your child during the years from age three to age five, feel free to take them to preschool. But if you can be home with them, they do not need any professional intervention. You can give them a better real-life preschool education and have them completely ready for school by keeping them home and letting them experience life in a more natural, realistic setting. It need not cost money, and you shouldn't need to carve out a lot of additional time for planning and implementing your child's education. If you have time to prepare meals, do household chores, and make trips to the library, you have the time to educate your preschooler.

It is not wrong to send your child to preschool. If you feel like you need to or just want to, that is a decision you must make. You do need to do your research, however.

In the next few posts, I plan to give some ideas for a good preschool education at home, along with some important reasons for skipping the handwriting altogether. Here is a website for some great information on how people are doing without formal preschool, along with some interesting research: Universal

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Books we have loved...

I haven't updated this blog as far as our homeschooling goes in quite a while. I don't plan to remedy that right now, but some of our favorite books have been on my mind, and I thought I would go ahead and post about some that we have enjoyed.

Homer Price: This book is about a boy who has many different adventures. Each chapter is almost a separate little story to itself, although the characters are consistent through them. Homer is a boy who lives in a small town of yesteryear. It is a funny book, and my 10-year-old son is really enjoying it. As you probably know, written narrations are a part of Charlotte Mason's recommendations, and my son was not doing too great at this. Lately, he writes a summary of each chapter in this book each week, and actually writes a nice, long paragraph. I think there is a sequel to it, and I need to find that book.

The Brendan Voyage: My daughter and I are just finishing this one. I have really enjoyed it, and she hasn't. Still, I would recommend it, but maybe more for boys or adults. This is the true story of building and sailing a medieval boat to see if St. Brendan really could have sailed a similar boat to North America in the 6th century, before the Vikings. We used it as a geography spine, but there is so much more to the book than that. It was really intriguing.

Life of Fred: Fractions: My daughter has mostly liked this approach to math. You can see more about it here.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Last Sunday, our pastor's message was on Encouragement. He shared several scriptures about encouragement, and mentioned that old song, "Home on the Range," which talks about living in a place "...where never is heard a discouraging word..." How lovely would that be? Think of how many times we hear discouraging words! I was the recipient of some discouraging words the other day from another mom. Now, knowing her, she most likely didn't mean what she said, and I tried to keep that in mind. But still, all day long, her words rang out in my head, bringing dimness to my outlook.

I pray that I can be an encouragement to my fellow sisters in Christ. I pray that I can be an encouragement to my family and friends. We all hear enough discouraging words, I want my words to have the right spirit and build others up.

In the past few months, I have felt God might be asking me to encourage some other moms. I need to be doing that, and I feel like I've taken some of the right steps. I don't feel that I have the gift of encouragement, but Hebrews 10:24-25 commands us all to be in the encouraging business.

Joni Eareckson Tada should be role model for all of us that are seeking to be an encouragement. I stumbled across this video this morning, and it was truly a blessing to me.