Are You Homepreschooling for the Wrong Reasons?
Posted by homeschoolmentormom on May 28, 2010
The more I talk to parents of young children, or read their blogs, the more I see that many of them are, in my opinion, homepreschooling them for the wrong reasons:
*To keep the kids busy and “out of my hair”: I don’t know how many times I’ve heard moms say that the only reason they homepreschool their little ones is to keep them busy and “out of my hair” so that they can have some time to themselves, or some time to teach their older children. Homepreschool is not about what is best or easiest for us; it is about giving our preschoolers what they need to optimize their growth and development. If you are homepreschooling only to “keep them busy”, examine your motives carefully and ask yourself if you are really giving your preschoolers what they really need and deserve. Additionally, remember that our little ones are perceptive of our attitudes. They will know if we teach them half-heartedly, and if we view them to be a burden or interruption instead of a joy.
*To get them “ahead” academically: Whether it is their own pride, a desire to impress others, a desire to “prove” themselves to others, or simply because they don’t know what else to do, many parents push their preschoolers into early academics. Remember that no study has shown any lasting advantage to early academics, but many have found great risks (see the tab, “Readiness”, the tab, “Early Academics?!” as well as the archives for the topic “Readiness” for more information.)
*Because you love to teach, and can’t wait to start “officially” homeschooling: Some parents are so excited about homeschooling (a good thing!) that they can’t seem to wait until their children are school age to begin formal, academic lessons (a bad thing!). Some parents start their preschoolers in a “Kindergarten” curriculum at the tender age of three or four. If you really love to teach, and want to settle your children into a learning routine, by all means do so—but in a developmentally appropriate way! Remember that preschoolers do not learn in the same ways that older children do. Preschoolers need hands-on/real life experiences with things they can touch, see, and explore. Preschoolers need time to reinforce their learning through play. Preschoolers need to be read to, talked to and sung to; they need to get dirty and make messy art projects. Preschoolers need much more repetition than older children do; in fact, young children thrive on repetition, while older children often “balk” at it. Preschoolers need time just to be—time to be little kids, and time to mature. (See the tabs, “Preschool Goals” and the “4R’s”.)
I’d like to encourage each and every one of you to write down your reasons for homepreschooling and/or homeschooling. This will help you examine your true motives. It will also be a great blessing to you on those days when you feel as though you want to give up (believe me, we all have those days…this is “the toughest job you’ll ever love.”) Re-reading the reasons you started homepreschooling/homeschooling in the first place will help you “re-set” you mind and provide you with the encouragement you need to keep going (as will a short break and some long prayers!). For some ideas to get you started listing your reasons, re-read the tab, “What is Homepreschool?”, and check out the links on making the decision to homeschool under the tab, “Important Links.” Next, decide which reasons are the most important to you (I hope they are spiritual reasons.) Finally, assess yourself: Does your homepreschool really, consistently reflect those reasons? Are you “making the main thing the main thing?”
© 2010 Susan Lemons all rights reserved.