While I’m happy to have tuition removed as a line item from our monthly budget, I’m not fully prepared to move out of this stage. This is difficult for me. It means I no longer have “babies,” elementary school is definitely “big kid” status. The door to having more children is sealed shut. Going forward, time spent with my children will be ruled by a strict public school schedule.
When it all comes down to it, I LOVE PRESCHOOL! Prior to having children, I was a trained early childhood educator. Then I practiced it at home with my own three children 24/7 during remote learning. When my oldest was two, I found our preschool. It is absolutely the right learning environment for us. I chose the school because it reminded me of my favorite setting; I taught as a preschool teacher.
There is a little bit of magic that happens in the preschool years. I’ve been a parent to a preschooler for five straight years, and here are the reasons I love it so much.
1. A flexible schedule.
I’ve always chosen a three-day program so that we could have downtime together, and I didn’t have to get three children ready for school by 9 a.m consistently. The off days are special whether we are out exploring or home swiffering the floors together.
2. There is no pressure.
My oldest daughter was born in December, and my twins are preemies born in October. In preschool, there is no pressure to move to the next grade. There have been varying ages in all their classes. I decided for our family to complete an extra year of preschool before moving to kindergarten.
3. There is a strong love of learning.
Preschoolers love to learn and absorb everything! It is astonishing to hear their learning at school, whether a skill, a new song, or a random science fact. There is no balking at homework (like my first grader). I’ve found in preschool an eagerness to learn and far less eye-rolling than in elementary school.
4. Learning life skills.
In preschool, even the smallest things learned have a huge effect on daily life, like zippering your coat, and I’m pretty sure no one is wiping them when they go #2 in preschool, a life skill I’d love for them to have practiced at home.
5. Lots of play.
It’s hard to picture a classroom without centers, toys, and only one recess. The day is spent playing with purpose in preschool, and outdoor play is encouraged in all kinds of weather.
My children have always made the sweetest connections in preschool. The social skills that come from an early childhood setting are crucial to making good humans, like kindness, sharing, helping, and caring for others.
7. The amazing teachers.
My twins are off to big and beautiful things in their next role as kindergarteners. I will always fondly reminisce on the preschool years and our extra time together. There is a special spot in my heart for the wonderful teachers who loved them.