“How did it go today?” I asked our 3.5 year old after picking him up from preschool.
“Well Mommy, it wasn’t very good because I was hiding for a while and they couldn’t find me and they were very upset and mad,” he responded.
My first reaction was to be angry at him for hiding from his teachers. I am a former teacher, and that is not acceptable behavior for a child. I instantly felt mortified about what he had done. But I asked more questions.
“Why did you hide? Where were the other kids when you were hiding?” I asked.
“I was hiding behind the stairs, and the other kids were in the reading area,” he responded.
At this point, the story was becoming muddled. I knew they had a special library program that day, so to hear my three year old tell me he was hiding in his classroom away from the other kids was disturbing.
Time to call the teacher.
Sure enough, not only had my toddler been telling me the truth, it was far worse than what he had described (and no they never had any intention of notifying me). He had been in a totally different area of the building, unsupervised, and un-found for an hour. They believed he had left the building. WHAT?!?!
That was the day we decided to stop traditional preschool and homeschool our son.
There is real beauty in being the person educating your child, and watching their growth from what you are teaching them is amazing. The current standards and testing in public schools today have created a nearly impossible environment for some children to navigate, and even though some children can navigate it, why should they be put through the stress of it if they have a parent who wants to educate them?
For those who are skeptics about socialization in homeschool, my child was more than socialized before I started homeschooling him, and it had nothing to do with preschool. It was about my child being a social person, and providing him with opportunities to play with other children. Just because your child doesn’t go to public school doesn’t mean he/she doesn’t live in the same world as all other children.
The nice thing about homeschool is that you can work it into your family schedule. As long as you meet the state requirements for homeschooling and file your reports, you can complete the year as it fits your family.
Will we continue to homeschool our child for his whole life? That is always the question. A lot of families review this every year, while others make a decision to homeschool the whole educational path right from birth. It’s a family and personal decision. My husband and I have been on a yearly review of this since the beginning, and we will continue to see where the future takes us.