Monday, January 16, 2006

Memories of the Preschool Decision

Three years ago, I decided not to send my kids to preschool. Of course, this has morphed into a decision not to send my kids to school -- for now, at least. I'm now involved with an inclusive homeschooling group in my state and direct my volunteer energies there. I'm also following the issue of universal preschool as it rears its head around the country. But long ago, I volunteered briefly with the Family and Home Network (FAHN). During that time, the executive director (a wonderful, friendly, intelligent, interesting woman) mentioned that she had homeschooled her kids to high school. It was the first time it occurred to me that homeschooling need not continue through the end of high school. For whatever reason, this made it easier for me to open my mind to it.

As my friends began to send their kids off to preschool, I wondered whether that was something I really wanted to do and I didn't want to do it just because 'everyone else' was. Luckily, going to the FAHN office regularly got me looking at the articles from past issues of Welcome Home magazine. I found a packet of articles about the preschool decision and read them avidly. From one of them, I saw listed in the bibliography a book by David Elkind, Miseducation: Preschoolers at Risk. With a title like that, I could not resist.

Well, my interest in at-home mothering quickly changed into an interest in homeschooling, which is why I stopped volunteering at FAHN -- well, that and I had just given birth to my second child which took up a lot more time than I expected. Soon after, I started joining homeschooling playgroups and reading a lot about it. A few months after that, I started volunteering with the state homeschool organization.

Anyway, I'm on one list that sends daily tips and activities for those who choose to forgo preschool for their children. I was so interested to see one of the articles from the preschool packet I had gotten from FAHN linked in the e-newsletter. The article is posted on the Universal Preschool website.

Anyway, I was tickled to read the article again and found it just as inspiring as I had the first time I read it. If you're interested in other books I read way back then, read an early post of mine. Beware if you read any other early posts, I was very adamant that my personal choice was the right choice for everyone. I've softened a bit -- you live your life, I'll live mine.

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