Our story

When our oldest children (both boys) were preschool age, we were living in a foreign country doing mission work. We thought it would be wise to enroll them in the local preschool, mainly to help them learn the language. (Obviously, I didn’t quite understand the concept of “parallel play” at that point.) It was only for 2-3 days a week, and only for 2-3 hours at a time. But, although it seemed like a good idea at the time, if I could go back in time and do it again, for many reasons I would keep them both home instead. (My husband agrees.)

We moved back to the United States and had another child, and we never even considered enrolling her in a preschool program. Instead I purchased tons of fun, educational activities for her to use at home, but really, she just wanted to play. She wanted to be outside with the dog more than anything. 😉 So, I read to her a lot, played with her a lot, and yes, I let her play with the dog. A lot. Most of the colorful activities I’d planned sat on the shelves and rarely, if ever, got used. But that didn’t mean she wasn’t learning!

Along came child #4. She, too, loves to play with the dog. But the fact that she has three older siblings (ages 10-17) who are all doing school right in front of her each day means she’s VERY interested in “doing school” herself. She WANTS more structured activities than any of her siblings did. So, we’re knee-deep into fun preschool activities, which we both love. It’s working for us! I’m preschooling her using a curriculum I wrote myself. {Update: Remi is in Kindergarten now, so you’ll find lessons for that age here on Cheerful Learning, too!}

All three of our older kids are fantastic readers. They’re all doing well in our homeschool and all are well socialized. Remi, too, is having a great time and learning so much each day.

My point is that we have tried it all: away-from-home preschool; at-home, unstructured preschool; and now at-home, more-structured preschool, and all seemed best for our family’s needs at the time (although I’ve come to view preschool at home as ideal!) You know your own kiddos. You know their needs and their personalities. Don’t choose a path based on what “everyone else” is doing. If your child craves structure, let her have it. If not, don’t push. Focus on your child’s needs and not the pressure you feel from others. And don’t feel pressure from blogs like this, either. Take what will work for you, and “pass” on the rest.

I hope the ideas I share here will help you, whatever you decide to do.

Enjoy learning together!

  1. […] to see what all the fun is about! And when you do, be sure to first check out the pages About Us, Our Story, and About Our Curriculum ; they’ll fill you in on how we do things in our preschool program, […]

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