Well, I should say, “How the Pre-School Run Drove Me To Planning For Home Education” because that’s where we are right now, on that cusp between the final term of preschool and the first term of home schooling, home educating in the UK, our four and a half year old Ameli.

How the school run drove me to home educate

Ameli’s been going to pre-school – a play group in a church – for over a two years now, on and off. She goes three times a week, for three hours. It’s not so short that I can’t do anything with that time and not so long that I can do a lot. It’s just enough time for her to have a fabulous time playing and learning and being part of a group. It’s been a time for us to see her through someone else’s eyes, and a time for her to enjoy – she’s been independent since the day she was born holding her own head up to look around – some of that independence all of the Western world seems to want our infants to have.

When we had to look around at schools and make the decision on where we were going to send her in September, I made two lists. On the one I wrote down the pros and cons for her. On the other I wrote down the pros and cons for me.

My pros were easy: me-time, time with Aviya, time to pursue some of my own interests again. The cons were even easier: SCHOOL RUN. Yip, just the one.*

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How The School Run Drove Me to Home Education

  1. We too are entering our final term (with our oldest) at preschool before home educating next year. Our youngest is 26 months and started the same preschool 2 months ago when he turned 2, just 2 mornings/week which he’ll continue until school-age. Our local preschool is fantastic and sooooo handy (2 minute walk away!). We’ve used it for childcare purposes, as I work from home and I find the ages 2-5 have been v demanding of my time, so for us as a family it serves it’s purpose and both my kids love going. While there are many reasons we’ve decided that home education suits us as a family, I couldn’t face the daily school run to the school suiting my daughter’s needs – it would involve a drive and horrendous parking problem at the school, probably taking up a good 45 mins x2 (of stress) just on the school-run everyday – no thanks! I love being with my kids, and where we live there’s a fantastic support network of home ed families and groups to get involved in. Exciting times!

  2. It’s interesting hearing the perspective of someone planning to home educate yet having used pre-school. I know there are lots who do but still good to hear about it. We’re planning to home ed and I always said I didn’t think we “needed” pre-school but now that it’s no longer viable for Talitha to go to her childminder’s (too far a drive – baby screams the whole way) we’re starting to think about nursery though we don’t plan for her to go to school later on.

    1. Funny you should say that Adele. I had a friend over this afternoon and we were talking about this very same thing. I don’t think 1+1 have to equal 2 in this situation. School fulfils a purpose, and pre-school fulfilled a purpose for us too. I was really sick when I was pregnant with Aviya and for months barely moved off the sofa. I felt so horrible for Ameli going from on the go all the time to sitting watching Peppa Pig DVD’s (which I still can’t stomach now as a result!) that we decided it would be good for her to have some fun for a few hours a week. She loved it so much that when Avi was born we kept her in so that I could have some one and one time with the new baby. And she just loved it, so we chose to leave her in as there was no reason to take her out. We’re now faced with whether to send Aviya and after much deliberation we decided we will send her, but for a completely different set of reasons: Her current ‘friends’ are all the younger siblings of Ameli’s friends. She lives entirely in Ameli’s shadow, and Ameli is very confident and outgoing and yes, sometimes overbearing. We’d like her to have a go at forming her own friendships, and her own ways,not always influenced by her big sister. If she doesn’t love it as much, or we don’t think it suits her as well, we’ll pull her out. It’s not written in blood, you know?

      Whether people choose to or not, I’m glad we did, and for the reasons we did, and I’m really glad we had the option of this particular preschool. They were so adapting to our ways – like cloth nappies, back in the day – and so on. It was the right place at the right time for Ameli and we’ll see how it goes with Aviya. I don’t think they ‘NEED’ it and I wouldn’t have wanted to send them for full days, but it served a purpose in our lives, and I don’t regret it at all 🙂

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