If you didn't send your child to preschool, what did you do with them instead?(15 Posts)
My child is 2, and I am already getting letters inviting me to take up a free childcare place.
I would like to skip preschool altogether, in all honesty.
I thought perhaps a lot of people who use this part of mumsnet would understand this decision. I just wondered what activities etc you did with your child instead?
I am genuinely interested as to why you'd skip it?
I know a few people that have and it's a lot of craft, trips to local parks, playgroups, and helping sort the washing! Not all children go to pre-school every day so there are usually some at playgroup to socialise with.
With my first child, we tried to carry on as we had been, with trips to the park, toddler groups, and preschool music groups. But all the other children vanished once they turned three and my daughter soon noticed she was the eldest child left. Preferring the company of children who were her own age or ideally older, she was lonely. So she tried preschool but didn't like it because it was too restrictive, and soon left. Gradually we got in more regular contact with other home ed families and then everything was rosy.
My younger child wasn't the sort who would have stood much chance of enjoying preschool, and by that time we had busy active lives so we didn't need to "replace" preschool with anything. She pottered around the house, went along to home ed groups and was swept along with her big sister, her sister's friends and their siblings. Later, when she was 4/5, she started enjoying things like nursery rhyme sessions at the library, toddler music and dropping in at the Surestart centres for a play. Once she outgrew those activities, she played more with other home ed kids and neighbour children.
I didn't do home ed but I didn't send my DCs to pre school/ nursery until they were 5. I was able to be at home all day luckily.
We just did what we (actually probably what I) liked. Stayed in, went out on our own to the local shops, library, museums, parks , met up with friends who had DCs, went to toddler groups, went to the dentist, went on trains/ buses/ boats. Chatted.
If you don;t need to put your DCs into preschool for childcare reasons why not just have fun with them? I get a bit depressed at the idea that DCs have to constantly be doing "activities". Life is an activity in itself.
DS3 didn't go to preschool, he just went straight into reception. That year we did loads of things; baking, playing with water, soft play.
At home my DD loves play doh, painting, drawing. We have tons of art supplies. If people ask what to get for birthdays, Christmas etc I usually suggest art supplies. She also likes cutting with scissors but that was from age 3. And she loves books. I'm teaching her to read with ORT books (she's 4).
We have to get out of the house every day (for my sanity). All the other kids we know are at preschool but only part time so it is easy to get together with other mums and kids a few days a week. But really my DD is happy with any outing. A trip to the post office, dentist, supermarket can all be talked up to a preschooler. Also playgrounds and libraries.
Plus, my DD does ballet once a week.
Forgot to say that when we were in the UK we used to go every toddler group going and loved them! Sadly where we live now there aren't any but we're lucky to live in a neighbourhood with other SAHMs with similar age kids.
You can always just send your child to pre-school two or three mornings a week in the last year before school. That's what I did with my older child. He did enjoy it but he didn't ask to go more often. He young brother wanted to go nearly everyday and got annoyed at half days 'as other people didn't have to go home before lunch' etc.
Do what suits your child! But do remember that nearly all kids have been to pre-school or nursery by the time they start school, so are far more used to some of things that are expected of them.
We just plodded on with life. Saw friends and family, went to activities and groups, went for walks, park etc. Just didn't feel the need for her to go as she would have hated it.
Youngest goes a couple of mornings now, no better or worse than not going.
We sent our 2 DC for the last 3 terms they were eligible before starting school properly & didn't send them to the preschool attached to their intended school. In fact, it's not actually a preschool but rather a nursery where the older children do a pre-school programme _ which is another option. Sometimes they get to interact with the younger children & babies at the nursery, which obviously wouldn't happen at a proper preschool. My DC did three short days a week there Mon/Wed/Fri & only during normal school terms. Another option at a nursery is to spread the allocated hours across the whole year without breaks so you get even shorter days e.g. three 3-hr sessions every week instead of three 5-hr sessions in school terms, & of course you don't have to use the full allocation if you don't want to.
If you are at all interested in taking the allocated hours at any point it would be worth putting your name on a waiting list if you live in a highly populated area, especially if you like the look of a particular place. You can visit with your child & see how they react. I found quite a variation in different settings. The most popular & one nearest to us is attached to a highly sought after school - the children wear uniform & it is much more structured than others I visited, literally like a little school, which I wasn't personally keen on for my DC. Some have animals, some have natural outdoors play areas, etc so if you have a few around you that you might like to use at some point it's a good idea to explore them rather than just plump for the most obvious choice.
Sorry that is not answering your actual question!
Its still helpful though, idlevice. Thank you
Ds1 didn't go to preschool. We just kept meeting friends, going to toddler groups and craft groups and such. He certainly didn't miss out. After a while he spent 1 day a week inI a private nursery. Dd started at the local preschool as I had to walk to the village anyway to drop ds1 at school and I was due ds2 so thought it would be nice to have baby time in the morning but it really, really didn't suit her. We moved her to private nursery 3 mornings a week which she loved but that only worked because dh had started working from home so I had the car, if I hadn't then she just would have gone back to being home with me. Ds2 has been in full time childcare from a year old but has stayed in private nursery not pre school.
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