If you would’ve asked me about sending my kids to preschool BEFORE I had kids, I would’ve told you that I wanted to keep them home, quit my job, and teach them ALL of the things because “mama knows best.”
Fast forward to now…two kids later and another on the way. WE ARE A PRO EARLY CHILDHOOD EDUCATION FAMILY (yes, I am yelling as I type that). Here are the reasons why it works for our family:
- I’m a better mom: I’m a good mom, I love my kids dearly, more than life itself, but I am a BETTER mom when I can be a working mom. Having a “break” during the day to focus on my job in HR is something that I look forward to and thrive on.
- SAHM-ing is a beast: The stay-at-home mom gig is literally the hardest job that anyone could ever have. Have you seen the video on YouTube about stay-at-home moms? It interviews individuals for a job with 24-hour shifts, no paid vacation, managing others, and minimal breaks. I salute you, SAHM heroes!
- Structure: Early childhood education has provided a tremendous amount of structure for my boys. Get to school, wash your hands, go to your activity centers until the day starts, etc. They have a set routine that is consistent every day, and that is important for my squad.
- Progress and setbacks: Frequent check-ins and development updates are given to my husband and I. I am a control freak. I need to know what is happening in my kids’ lives, how they are developing, whether they are on track with learning, and where they need help. The school that we selected is committed to frequent developmental updates and has strong communication about what is being taught daily.
- Preschool has made ME a better parent: I have a school representative assisting me with how to support my children. Sometimes, it isn’t even a big task. It may just be “talk about empathy with your son and use feeling words” or “work on writing his name with him”. These are simple things, but it is nice to have someone reinforce and remind me of what I should be working on as a parent at this stage of life/development.
- Social interaction and learning to work with others: My boys are exposed to different ages, genders, and backgrounds of other children. They learn to work well in group settings, socialize with other students and adults, and ultimately not get everything they ask for because they do have to share with others.
- STEAM: At a young age, my kids are exposed to many different areas of learning. Our school follows the STEAM model, meaning that our kids are continually exposed to Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math concepts.
- While I could likely learn how to teach them these things, the teachers have a proven curriculum that is everchanging and encompasses each of the areas mentioned. Score!
- Parent interaction: We are lucky enough to have a Parent Teacher Organization at our boys’ school. I took the plunge and attended meetings early on. I have formed strong friendships and bonds with both the parents and teachers, which ultimately benefits all involved. I am helping the school and my kids but also helping other parents have that sense of community and involvement outside of the home.
- Additional resources: Recently, we have experienced some challenges with one of our boys –nothing over the top but enough to check it out. The school was able to provide additional resources and a plan of action to nip said “challenges” in the bud. I feel like we have a village behind us that I wouldn’t have had access to if we weren’t at this organization.
I’m not saying that early childhood education is the only way, but I am saying that it is what works best for our family. I am a product of preschool, and my brother stayed at home with my mom until elementary school. Guess what? Both of us are fine, prepared for the real world, and are successful adults. Choose what works for you!
What’s your status? Pro-preschool or homeward bound? What are your reasons for either? Sound off in the comments!