Where can you find the most fitting environment suitable to the developmental needs of your preschool age child? I suggest that the most worthy growing ground for your preschooler is your home. Have you stopped to consider all that your home has to offer your child? Beauty, warmth, real (vs. artificial) environment, sensory opportunities, raw materials, unlimited outside time, relationships, life skills. These are just a few of the benefits your preschooler has available right in the comfort your home. Here are 10 reasons why I believe HOME is better than preschool.
Video: 10 Reasons Why Home is Better Than Preschool
#1 The Most Opportunities for Sensory Learning: Raw Materials and Living Things
Unlike adults who learn everything primarily through the means of words, preschoolers learn everything through the means of their five senses. This makes home a wonderful place to grow. Unlike a classroom, a home is not manufactured with planned manipulatives, stations, or schedules. It’s all just real life.
I have taught in preschool classrooms. I know how hard teachers work to create the an environment with bright colors, age-appropriate toys, and sensory manipulatives. They are trying so hard to make the very things you find most often in a home! Flowers, music, plants, tasty food, color, shape in natural context, fabric, patterns, living things and people of all ages.
#2 Home made meals in a real kitchen
At home, your preschooler has access to a real kitchen where they can observe and even participate in the preparation of three meals a day. Let them stir, pour, crack an egg, learn where ingredients belong in the cupboards. While cafeterias, out of necessity, tend to make the same things over and over, your home kitchen offers much more variety since moms are more likely to make meals based on tastes and preferences, rather than the needs of a large group. Even if your lunch is a simple one, just PB and J, it’s not packed, wrapped and hurried out the door.
#3 One to one ratio with a parent
In your home, your adult to child ratio cannot compare to the chart below. Your child can have one on one time with you, the parent. There is no one more concerned and interested in the needs and interests of your child than you! You will work harder than anyone else to take care of them individually. For story time, your preschooler can sit on your lap to hear a story without the interruptions and distractions of several other preschoolers in the room. One on one time is more engaging for them. It encourages them to ask questions and converse.
More and more pediatrician and child care professionals are recognizing the importance of imaginative play for preschoolers. At home, your child’s imaginative play is not limited by bathroom breaks, walking in lines, cafeteria scheduled eating times. You can allow them extra time when they are engaged in something that interests them.
#5 Slow mornings
While some might argue that it is good for young kids to learn structure by getting up in the early morning hours and have somewhere to go, I disagree. Have you ever gone on a walk with a preschooler? It can be so frustrating because they are SO slow. They dawdle. They are distracted. Why? Because they are seeing everything for the very first time. Rather than waking your child up early and rushing them out the door a few days a week, home offers them slow mornings where they can learn important habits like brushing teeth, making a bed, completing a chore.
#6 Unlimited time and opportunities outside
Rather than being limited to certain times outside in the play area or specific locations, your child can be out as long as his curiosity keeps him out. Preschool playgrounds, while usually having play equipment, often are missing the natural elements found in a backyard…trees, flowers, grass, rocks, moss, variety of birds and mammals. These natural elements in your back yard provide so many sensory learning opportunities.
#7 Security and Structure
One of a preschoolers fundamental needs is for security and structure. Where else will your child feel more safe than with you at home? Preschool children are still very young! Enjoy the moments the two of you can spend developing your relationship.
Additionally, at home your child can fit into the rhythms and routines of your home. In a preschool, the class schedule is limited to the needs of the whole facility and the large group. In your home, you are free to find the routines and rhythms that work for you and your child. In a recent post, I shared 5 Important Routines for a Homeschool Preschool that can help you find a rhythm that works for you and your preschool child.
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#8 Meaningful friendships that extend to other spheres of family life
When a child goes to preschool and makes friends, he is unlikely to see those friends in other places. When you invite other children over for playdates, your child is more likely to see those friends again in other spheres of life, perhaps church, the neighborhood, etc. In addition, your preschooler may have more chances to be in other homes when they are invited for play dates. Being in other people’s homes with their families helps develop deep friendships.
If you have other children, you do not need to lament their relationship changing when your child goes to preschool. Your preschooler can grow with siblings. This is an advantage for both children and mom. The siblings will learn to play together, occasionally entertaining themselves and giving mom small chunks of a break. They will develop a close bond. Also, the younger child will learn so much from having an older sibling around.
#9 Life Skills
One thing that is very difficult to learn in a preschool environment is life skills. At home, think of all the times your child will observe or participate in… washing dishes, sorting laundry, vacuuming, making a bed, sweeping the floor, cooking.
#10 More Opportunities and Variety in Community Experience
Preschool programs work hard to offer a variety of field trips to their children. They realize how much children learn from other people, places, and experiences. Rather than having lessons and special speakers on community workers, your child can go WITH you on your regular errands and SEE the community first hand! They have so many more opportunities to go to the grocery store, bank, library, restaurants, etc. Think how much they are learning by the frequency of visiting interesting places!
From my experience in preschool classrooms and my experience as a mom, these are the 10 reasons why I believe HOME is better than preschool! If you are looking for a place that will best meet the developmental needs and interests of your preschool child, have you considered the advantages that you and your home have to offer?
Hi, I’m Sheri! I am a Christian saved by grace, married to my high school sweetheart, and a thankful mom to ten incredible kids. I’m a former public school teacher who never thought I would someday be a homeschool mom! Drawing on 13+ years of homeschooling experience, follow along to find help for getting started, tried and true homeschooling advice, life skills learning, simple Morning Time ideas, and interviews with everyday homeschool moms just like you!