View Full Version : Deschooling preschool?

04-04-2013, 04:24 AM
This is sort of a spinoff from the other prek/k thread. My daughter is still attending a 5 day a week, learner centered preschool, which we love. We figured we'll end the school year there and we'll officially start home schooling in August which is when the school year begins for the charter we're signed up with.

It's spring break right now and we're at home so I figured, "YAY! Homeschool test run!" It hasn't been going well and we're off to a rocky start. I guess I'm naive for thinking that we could just move the mostly-informal supplementing we were doing to earlier in the day but she seems to be balking. It's been a lot of resistance and a fair amount of "When can I watch TV?" and all that. Not at all the smooth transition I was expecting. (Naivety? Optimism?)

She's also been asking every day, "When can I go back to preschool?" She goes back next week. We've told her that after preschool ends in June, she'll be home with Mommy all day and she says she wants to be homeschooled but I don't think she quite really understands what that means.

Honestly, this isn't exactly giving me the warm fuzzies for when we officially start homeschool kindergarten and now I'm beginning to panic that I made the wrong decision after all. I am guessing that I have to deschool her for a bit after she officially "graduates" from preschool? At the very least, I'm rethinking the curriculum approach (thankfully I haven't bought anything yet!) in favor of something far less overtly academic and more learner-led, which is what she's sed to.

Stella M
04-04-2013, 04:34 AM
Go and have fun together :)

Seriously, she will be fine. Just take your time and enjoy being together.

Spring is coming - go on nature walks, read books outside under trees, bake things...or whatever your particular version of living happily together means.

04-04-2013, 08:19 AM
I second what Stella said - your daughter is young, and she's probably going to have a ton of ideas once she's not in preschool anymore. It will likely take a little while for her to get used to a new routine, but help her take full advantage of the freedom that comes with homeschooling. Find out what she's most interested in, and go for it :)

04-04-2013, 10:39 AM
Even young kids need breaks.

I have to say that I am always a little surprised when people try to do a test run of homeschooling during a break. If you had to do a test run of a different job during your vacation, it might not go so well for you either. It's also just not usually long enough to get a rhythm going.

04-04-2013, 11:34 AM
Since preschool is usually full of playing and little time spent on seatwork, a transition can be hard. When I told my son he wouldn't be going to 'school' anymore, he was sad at first. He thought he liked school, but he what he liked was playing and running with other kids all day, no obligations whatsoever. I had to explain to him (many times) that that was preschool, not what real school would be like. I wish I would've called preschool playschool or playplace or something, instead of SCHOOL, to differentiate, from the beginning. Anyway, as usual, I second what has already been said here. Give her time, have fun, relax. Try to think of some fun things you two can do that are different from what she did in preschool, but still 'schooly' or learning-based. If you just let her watch six hours of TV and say, "See how great staying home can be?", well, obviously that would backfire. She is probably really used to all the social interaction and friends of preschool, so you probably really need to find some other kids for her to play with on a daily basis.

Good luck!

04-04-2013, 06:38 PM
I would wait until mid summer (after she's had some free time) and then orient her to homeschooling.
For DS, I picked a specific "first day of school," showed him the materials (which he had already been peeking at, because they clearly include toys), explained our schedule (including the fact that there are no videos until after school, unless we are using one for school), took his school picture, and so on. Then we did about ten minutes' worth of schoolwork and went to a playground.
You can build up slowly, especially if you have hands-on stuff that is fun to play with. (I usually use those items last so he can keep playing with them while I go off and check the laundry or something.)

04-04-2013, 07:34 PM
I'll have to do that next fall, although my daughter only goes to the Montessori two half days a week. But I think she just likes being around the kids and playing (like someone else said). I've thought about what could happen then, and I figure the hardest part will be keeping up with the social environment she's used to. I do think it'll help to explain that 'real school' is much different than preschool. (I'll have to really try to be diplomatic when I do this....refrain from bashing!) And I'm biased, because I don't think tv is very beneficial to young kids...but if your daughter is asking when she can watch tv, I'd think she might need less of it. I just don't think tv and homeschooling mix well... Who would want to learn when they can sit and be entertained? Of course it depends on the kid, but l still think people should proceed with caution.

04-04-2013, 09:32 PM
Even my kids, who have never been to school, are aware of the public school breaks because of their friends and they get upset when we don't take breaks when they do, or at least close to that time so they know they got a break too. I would say take a few weeks off in the summer then ease back into it.

04-05-2013, 08:05 PM
A trial run of homeschooling is the first year. You can't homeschool a week and get ANY kind of idea of the realities of the lifestyle.
Kindergarten should be very low key....much like preschool. Even if you do sit down work, it should total less than an hour a day, imo.

Lazy Jane
04-07-2013, 12:31 PM
Kindergarten should be mostly play. DOn't try to teach her too much or she will want to go back to preschool! JK. I would say spend the summer making homeschool friends if there are any homeschool groups around. Start slowly with curriculum. The problem with school, even preschool, is that your child is always given something to do. Kids get lazy with the "thinking for themselves" stuff if there is always an adult around showing them how and what to think and what to do. She might feel bored at first, but boredom eventually leads to creativity. And you need your child to start developing her own ideas about her education if you are interested in child-led learning. But actually my daughter liked playing school for a while. We would write up a list, for example: Science, art, free choice, recess, snack, math, english, spanish...and she would choose which activities she wanted to do and often even within the activities she has choices. We got a lot done that way. Start taking her to lots of cool places like museums, science places, aquariums, boat trips, camping, and lots of outings with kids. My daughter is very social and a only child, so she is not happy without lots of socialization. We joined 4H too, which can be used as part of your "schooling."