I read an email today, and another friend’s blog post, about Universal Preschool. Being a homeschool mom, you can be sure I have an opinion on this!
Some folks out there want to require all children to attend preschool. Is this their answer to a better education? I agree that preschool is great for those who choose it, but it may not be for everyone.
What does preschool consist of? Shapes, colors, letters, numbers, songs, games, outdoor play, reading stories, snacks, and a nap. Those are all wonderful things. And sure, every toddler and preschool-aged child benefits from being read to and talked to. But, do they need to go to a school for this?
In our home, I have a 3 year old boy who is full of life. He NEEDs to play and explore and look at books and run and pretend and laugh. I can’t imagine making my toddler sit in a classroom for even HALF a day, where I’m pretty sure he would be labeled ADD and punished for his energy. Instead, I read to him about dinosaurs, Green Eggs and Ham, hats, helicopters, fire trucks and tractors; he counts his baby brother’s toes, pretends he’s a doggie, picks up his toys, builds with Legos, sing songs, plays outside, watches a video, talks about bodily functions (a lot!) and eats goldfish. He might visit Grandma next door, go to the park on a nice day, paint a picture, cut out paper, play house with his big sister, and yes: sometimes we actually “do school!”
My girls, who are older now, had the same kind of “preschool” and they are great readers and well-rounded kids. And baby brother will follow in their footsteps.
So, in case you’re still wondering: No, I don’t think there is a need for Universal Preschool. It’s one more way that we loose our freedom to make choices, and that is un-American.
Nicki Truesdell is a 2nd-generation homeschooler and mother to 5. She loves books, freedom, history and quilts, and blogs about all of these at nickitruesdell.com. She believes that homeschooling can be relaxed and that history is fun, and both can be done with minimal cost or stress, no matter your family’s circumstances. Nicki is a member of the Texas Home Educators Advisory Board and The Old Schoolhouse Homeschool Review Crew. You can also find her on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.