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I am reluctant to sent ds to pre-school, and I wondered if you could help me...

(7 Posts)
TheMilkyBarKid Sun 22-Nov-15 12:58:29

I know I may not be posting in quite the right place, so please be gentle - Don't flame me!

I have an almost 2 year old ds. I have always said I would prefer not to send him to preschool at 3. I still feel this way, however dh is now worried about socialisation.

I have time on my side, with him being less than 2. I would like to get a plan in place so I can reassure dh with alternatives, and keep ds out of preschool.

Preschool is very much the norm. I just thought perhaps it was more likely those that home educate didn't sent their little ones.

If you kept your dc at home with you, what did you do in terms of socialising? Do any home ed groups cater for under fives? - Sorry, if that is a stupid question.

ommmward Sun 22-Nov-15 14:03:26

We didn't do preschool. We kept up with toddler group friends. I made friends with people through my own interests, who had children of similar ages, and hung out with them. I made a couple of lovely friends through the (ssshhhh) Netmums local thingies - I advertised there that we were looking to expand our friendship circle.

Children start coming along to our home ed group about 3, unless they have older siblings, in which case they come from birth...

Saracen Sun 22-Nov-15 14:03:09

You've come to a good place! Some parents who are planning to home educate send their kids to preschool and some don't. But I think it is fair to say that we all believe there are other ways to ensure young children can socialise besides just preschool! I'm sure you won't get flamed by any home educators for preferring to give preschool a miss. (Other people do wander through this forum, of course, but we will educate them robustly if they criticise your choice without good reason grin)

People may mean two different things when they talk about "socialisation". Does your partner mean he is worried that your little boy will be lonely if he doesn't go to preschool, or that he fears your son won't acquire the social skills he'll need when he is older? Or both?

As for whether home ed groups cater for under-5s, in most areas there will be some HE groups which are very suitable for little children and others which aren't. Of course, many home educated children over the age of five have younger siblings, and so parents often try to design activities and groups which can meet the needs of a range of ages. For example, when I chose the venue for my chess club, I found a building which had an adjacent outdoor play area for younger siblings (and for chessplayers who are feeling too bouncy to sit still on a given occasion!). I wouldn't turn away families who wanted to bring just a two- or three-year old to hang out with the chessplayers' younger siblings. For that matter, I'd be delighted if you wanted to borrow my younger daughter, because she doesn't have much interest in chess! In my area there's also quite a community of families who have no over-5s yet, but are considering HE for later. Some of those young children eventually go on to school, while others don't.

TheMilkyBarKid Sun 22-Nov-15 20:17:14

Thanks for answering. flowers

I think dh is mostly worried about ds being lonely, Saracen.

Saracen Sun 22-Nov-15 23:37:35

In my experience, whether a child who doesn't attend preschool will be lonely depends on the personality of the child as well as on local opportunities to make friends elsewhere.

My older daughter had an almost insatiable drive to play with other kids. I had to get her together with other children on a daily basis or she would have been quite unhappy. My younger daughter didn't seem to mind much whether she was in the company of other children until she was about seven. She was happy to play with toys alone much of the time. (Of course, she did have a big sister on hand and that makes a difference, but there's a big age gap and she didn't tend to follow big sis around pestering her to play. She spent hours in her own imaginary world and really wasn't too bothered about other people.)

When dd1 was small, I was taken unawares by the speed with which her toddler-group pals vanished after starting preschool. I had expected we would still see them often, but they were busy and tired. After half a day at preschool surrounded by other children, some of them preferred quiet time at home rather than visiting with dd. And I think their parents' priorities changed too: they perceived that their children were having a good few hours each day with other kids, so why bother with playdates on top of that?

This left me on the back foot and my daughter had some lonely months, during which time she asked to try preschool. She didn't like it and soon stopped going. Eventually I did find some friends for her in the local parks and at music groups and home education groups. From then on, everything was fine - so much so that she wasn't tempted to try school the following year, because that would've meant leaving her home ed friends and activities!

Based on my experience with my older daughter, I'd say it's wise to be proactive about finding friends for your son who will remain available. But of course, if he's like my younger daughter then it could be a complete non-issue: he may be totally satisfied with a few trips to the park or swimming pool every week to play with whoever happens to be there, and spend the rest of his time pottering contentedly with you.

TheMilkyBarKid Mon 23-Nov-15 21:55:31

Thanks for the advice, Saracen

So far, ds does seem to be more like your younger daughter. However, as he gets older he may want more contact with others than he does now.

Out of interest - Is your chess club anywhere in Hertfordshire? smile

Saracen Tue 24-Nov-15 00:44:23

Sadly not! But there's a good chance you can find something similar nearby. Why not have a look?

If your little guy isn't pining for other children now, there's no urgency, but it couldn't hurt to see what is on offer. You might find something which you like, because you enjoy the company of other adults who understand why you might not be inclined to send your son to preschool. Or you might find something which he happens to love.

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