50 answers

Homeschool Vs. Preschool


I have a wonderfully spirited 3.5 year old little boy. As a former school teacher I was always impressed by the students who had been homeschooled as children. I've always wanted to do this with my own children. After having my second child in September, I suffered from a moderate ppd. The depression is under control, but our son is driving me crazy at least once every day! In the last few weeks the whining, the tantrums, the strong will and opinions have totally taken their toll on me. I'm wondering if he's bored with me? Would preschool be better for him? We have playdates about once a week, but we don't know anyone in our direct area. I'm starting to doubt my homeschooling decision. I guess I was just interested in opinions. I don't think he suffers from social interaction, that's not my concern, I just wonder if he's bored from being home all winter and stuck inside because of a new baby and a very tired mama. When we talk about preschool he says he would be sad if I wasn't there. What to do? I forgot to add that he's always been wonderfully, sweet and affectionate towards his little brother. He's never been aggressive towards him at all.

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Wow! I'm sincerely appreciative of everyone who wrote in and spent some time to help me out. I am so grateful for everyone's experience and perspective. With all of the responses, the three things that hit home the most were these: Winter Blahs, normal 3 year old behavior, and do some research. Hubby and I talked and we're going to make sure that I get some real "me" time alone away from the kids. That was not helping being cooped up all day together. Second, we're going to research more activities that our son can do on his own with a teacher like art or music class. Third, we're committing to doing more outdoorsy things together as a family (which will be easier since it's getting nicer out.) Lastly, my heart keeps pointing to homeschooling. I'm not opposed to preschool or school, it's just that homeschooling feels right for us. However, I'm going to make a greater effort to supplement his activities with outside lessons (sports or arts) and I've even met a really nice lady who runs an in-home daycare who is happy to take him once a week while I run errands for an hour. It's a happy compromise. I really am so happy I posted here, it was my first time on this website and I'm blown away by how helpful everyone has been. God bless and thank you!!

Featured Answers

I think we are all bored with being home all winter :)
Try it for a month - it's not something you have to stick to if you or he doesn't like it. It will give you the answers you are looking for one way or the other :)

I always wanted to do homeschooling too but i suffered PPD too with my oldest child..maybe try sending him to preschool to see if the whining and temper tantrums stop.. He could be also jealous because of the new baby even though he is nice and caring and loving to his brother and I dont think he is bored with you..Give it a try at the preschool amd see what they say or do

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You can do it! You won't feel great about it all the time, but you will see how wonderful it is when you interact with others who are not homeschooling and have to deal with behaviors that you don't have to deal with yet.
I have homeschooled 5 of my 7 kids so far, and later put them in public school. I was not patient all the time. I wasn't calm all the time. I wasn't even a good teacher all the time! But in spite of ME, they learned a lot and do well in school. We never had the attitudes that they are entitled to everything they want, they never had the "but she gets to do it" sass, and the threats of turning you in to authorities for discipline (and I mean any kind of discipline!!!). Then there is the language and hatred for parents that kids come home with.
Watching my family deal with those things in their kids was so hard! I'm sure there is a way to limit all that even without homeschooling in the younger years, but it is much easier just to raise them without the 'tude.
I'm sure you know that boys do not learn like girls do. Some do, but mostly boys need different direction. You could try researching some unschooling sites. We did a lot more of that than sit down books, and I believe it makes a longer lasting impression in kids' brains. They "know" what they learn because they learn it in context as they need to learn it. We invested in cable TV, too, and watched science shows all the time. They loved Animal Planet more than any cartoon! My 18yo even knows the things he learned back at 5yo about animals and volcanos and things like that.
We studied what they were interested in and worked at making that fit in with different areas of learning, such as reading books about it, writing a story about it, making up word problems for math if we could. (Like a volcano, how hot is it? What if it was only half as hot? How hot would it be?)
Your son is younger, but you can still do this. Put the baby in a sling or wrap and head out doors. Count sticks or birds. How many jumps from here to there? Get his energy out!

It is the nature of the beast for him to drive you to exhaustion and hair pulling at his age. Set aside a time for you so you have something to look forward to. Like a girls night out. It doesn't have to cost anything. I meet with some friends in our church basement and we just play games and talk until 1 in the morning! But we can't live without our night out.

2 moms found this helpful

I think all kids are bored right now from not being able to run around outside as much. Even the ones that go to preschool. As it gets warmer it will get better. Kids will also always drive you nuts once in awhile even if they go to school. That is part of the "joy of parenting". It sounds like you both really want to do the homeschooling but you want to be sure you are making the right choice. If that is what YOU want to do then it IS the right choice. It sounds like you have your hands full with having the two kids at home and just need to give yourself permission to relax and lighten up. Remember to have fun and make memories.

I taught my kids how to use the computer at a young age and found that there are a lot of really good educational websites for kids. My kids have loved them for years because they can have some variety and I love that I get a little extra time for myself while they are busy. Some of the sites even have books and worksheets you can print. My kids loved feeling like they were doing "big kid homework". Some sites are better than others but I will just give you them all so you can see what your child likes. I hope this helps.


Teacher's Resources (The pay sites have free samples)


Educational Games


Other interesting sites to look up how schools compare to other schools and find out their statistics and test scores.


1 mom found this helpful

Hi J.! First of all, do you mind me asking where about you live? If we're close, perhaps we could get together with our kids, because I'm in a similar situation.

My husband and I are planning on homeschooling our children until they are in about 2 or 3 grade. My son is now 4 (and I have a 22 month old daughter) and he, along with me, is just so tired of winter! I truly think that most of what you're describing is winter blahs! But I don't think it's a bad idea to try to get him out of the house more either.

I have our children signed up for the free story time in our city twice a week (both age groups) and on other days we visit other close-by libraries to play in their kid sections where they meet new kids and play with different toys. And this fall I'm going to try to sign them up for other activities to keep them busier next winter so we don't have a repeat of this winter! We should have some more extra money by then...we too just moved and are getting all situated!

I wish you the best of luck and meant what I said about getting together if we live close enough to each other...I'm new too and am trying to meet other mothers with similar interests.

Enjoy your day!


He is bored. I have a four year old exactly the same way. Every mom I talk to tells me as soon as they go to school, they get that other interaction with children, recess and running around, it wears them out and they enjoy it. I know my son is a whole different person outside the home than inside. I believe it teaches them better boundaries on how to act and what is acceptable because you know as well as I do they don't always listen to us. I understand your wanting to home school, but as one parent to another, I would let him attend school. I bet it would do you both a world of good.
C. H


I am also a former school teacher who once contemplated homeschooling my children and have had dozens of friends and acquaintences who have done it.

My advice would be to really take a good honest look at homeschooling before continuing to do so. Almost without exception, the people I know who have done it had no idea what kind of a commitment was involved long term. Remember, when you teach school there is someone else in the building to handle cleaning, cooking, administration & finance, purchasing, specials like PE, computers, art, etc. When you are home, you do it ALL. And you have a new baby to take care of.

Almost without exception, the dozens of people I know who homeschooled had children who quickly fell further and further behind in one way or another. Most fell behind academically because the parent didn't present a full curriculum or didn't move quickly enough or the parents just got overwhelmed with the time commitment and often wouldn't do anything that day or would do less than an hour a day. Many kids had other problems that are solved with public school (kids had trouble in large groups, learning from other adults, separation anxiety, independence and responsibility, etc.) If children were going to stay children forever, I guess this wouldn't be a big deal. But our role as parents is to prepare them to become fully functioning adults in society.

I know that there are big problems with public school. It is not a perfect system. But there are just some things that children learn there (good things, I mean, to help them prepare for adulthood) that can't be duplicated well at home. And this area has a comparitively good school system.

What I do for my kids is plan supplemental "homeschooling" type activities when my children are not in school / preschool. We go do LOTS of field trips to different places in the area. We also attend events sponsered in the area. Example: last night we went to a "meet the instrument" class at the library where kids got to experience the brass section of the orchestra up close, ask questions and help play the instruments.

I also plan some educational vacations. Example: Last year we spent several months studying pioneers and the history of our religion. Then we went on a trip to a tourist town with deep history in our religion that had lots of restored buildings, reinactments, educational videos, time period dress, pioneer pretend play, craft demonstrations, etc. We even stayed the nights in a pioneer cabin. Next we are planning a trip up to Duluth where my husbands ancestors are from to take a "family history educational vacation." When we go to Mexico this summer for my brother-in-law's wedding, we are going to tour some ancient Aztec ruins and are starting to study those now.

I look at what the public school system can't or won't teach and that is what I focus on most in my teaching. For preschool, I have done "Joy School." It is a moms co-op, so I teach my own child one week in six, but they get the "away from home" benefits, too. And the curriculum is wonderful. I never could have written anything so good. It focuses on self development and joy through learning things like respect for body and earth, service and sharing, family unity, goal setting, etc. If you are interested, their website is www.valuesparenting.com .

If you would like more information on educational things to do in the area - there are a TON - please email me.

Good luck,

P.S. - Don't get me wrong, I am not "anti-homeschooling." I just think the commitment is often taken way too lightly and it is often not in the family's best interest.

Hi! I also have a 3.5 year old, very active little boy. I am amazed at how physical he is. He is not interested in small motor activites or even playing with toy for that matter. We have a great two day a week preschool that seems to really help. He is so much better when he gets home! It is also amazing for me to have those hours with out him. My guess is your little guy would miss you at first then settle in and love it!

I said the same thing about homeschooling my kids, too, then I had them and said: No Way!I love them but they do not learn best from me.

Hope you get some rest!

Hi J.-
Like you, I am a former teacher, now a therapist), and I have made the well researched decision to homeschool my 3 yr old as well. Of course, we have not officially started the "schooling" process yet, though as most homeschoolers believe, our children are learning every moment. We toured all the best preschools including our church preschool and motessori, but it just wasn't right for our family. I don't know where you live, but I know that the long winter here in Illinois has made us all stir crazy. And with a new baby, it can't be easy right now. I just want to encourage you to give it some time and go with your motherly intuition--you know what is best for your child. Best of luck. M.

Look into a good, quality AMI Accredited Montessori School. I think you will be incredibly surprised and impressed. It will be great for all of you.

Why should you feel guilty about sending your child to pre-school? As a teacher you understand the importance of social interaction with a variety of people (peers, adult staff). Your little guy needs a break from you just as you need a break from him. Preschools are partial days and usually not every day of the week. You can always revisit the idea of homeschool later when your baby is a little older, you've had a chance to observe your child in a school setting, and you get a good night's rest.
If you are taking care of yourself you are taking care of your children.

I'm not sure if you are thinking homeschooling just for preschool or beyond, but for what it's worth here is my take on it. I was home-schooled all twelve years and taught 3 year old preschool before staying home with my two children. That said, I will do everything I can to not home-school my own kiddos. Please take a look not only at the pros of homeschooling, but also the cons. Every child is going to be hesitant when starting school and it is normal for them to even say they don't want to go. This is all part of the process of teaching them independence. My daughter has loved preschool despite the hesitations she has shown to mama. (IF you're unsure of your child's true take on school, ask his teacher how he behaves once you are gone! Preschoolers are master manipulators!) It has given her something that is just for her and she has loved it! It is also beneficial for children to realize that its not just Mom and Dad who expect them to behave appropriately. There is something about another adult reinforcing what you are teaching at home (no whining-use your big boy words, no tantrums-the answer given doesn't change when you do that, etc.) Good luck with your decision!

Please remember that you are in a "This too shall pass" situation. The fatigue will pass. I have homeschooled my last 4 children for the past 11 years. The first child went to preschool. I found out that preschool sets the stage for them to enter the public system. The concern out there that they will not be socialized overrated. They don't have to be around other children every day in a public setting to be socialized. My children take piano, drum lessons, are in youth groups, dance lessons, etc, and have many opportunities to be around other children. They have learned to think for themselves. Homeschooling has been an opportunity for me to tutor them when needed one on one, and my son needed the one on one for the first 7 years! The sky is the limit with homeschool. The curriculum choices are so vast, you can choose what will work best for your child, to keep their interest and motivation. There are many fun classes you can also add. If your child is highly intelligent, you can advance his curriculum to keep him stretched. (Our daughter is a year ahead in school.) If your child is a special needs child, the one on one is priceless, and they can succeed without feeling stupid. Our son wasn't ready to read until he was 9 years old. I taught him the phonics, and when he was ready to read, he took took off, and is a bookworm today. He reads novels.

I guess the choice is up to you (duh :) As far as being bored with winter, I think we all are there! It will get easier as your baby gets a little older! The YMCA near us has homeschool day that you might check into in your area that could be fun for all of you. also, check into Homeschool Groups where everyone gets together monthly or weekly for activities. Depending on where you live, the cities usually have huge groups that offer a lot of extra classes for the children. The group in the Sioux City, Iowa, which is only an hour from me, has about anything your could ever want for extra classes, sports, music, and fun days.

I've been in almost the same situation and my aunt home schooled 2 of the 3 boys she has. I've been wanting to homeschool my 3 year old also and I feel exactly as you do. My daughter is very spirited and being home all winter has been really rough. My aunt has told me that homeschooling is not for every parent and it is NOT for every child. I'm not sure about your small town or what state you are in, but we have ECFE and I go with my daughter to the preschool once a week. This has helped me decide if it would be good for her. We have one hour together with the kids and then one hour away. They learn a little detachment and it has done wonders. Although preschool can be expensive, my husband and I have decided to put her in this fall. It makes home time so much better. I feel she is an easier child with the outlet and I am a much better mom!

I was in the same situation. My husband and I decided to put our 3.5 year old in a church preschool. This was the BEST decision that we could have made! We have already signed him up for 4 year old school this fall! Do not feel like it is a bad decision to send him off, you will be a better mama for it.

I home school my seven kids. They are involved in church twice a week and other outside activities. For myself, I never did preschool; however, I know many home school families who send their little ones to a Christian preschool and then begin home schooling in kindergarten. It depends on why you want to home school. For us it is to ground our children in learning from a biblical perspective. To that end, a year or two of Christian preschool would fit the goal!

You and your husband decide what's best for your son now to fit your goal of training him up in the way that he should go. Any decision you make now can be changed from year to year. I encourage you to take everything into account including what's going on with the rest of your life at the time. It sounds like a year of preschool might be a good idea for the situation right now. Depending on what small community you're in and what church you attend, there may be others who home school in your area who could be a support to you should you choose to home school down the road.

i am a mother of 4kids my 15 year old goes to a public High School and had always been in a Christian Day school. SHe is doing quite well. I ahve a 13,11,and 9 year old and they had also alway attended a Christian Day school also. This is my first year of home schooling. There are so many advantage and disadvantages of both. I never thought I would be home schooling and I never though I would be divorce and I am. There is an area Home School support group where I live and I count on any one/or more of the over 100+ families (ok teh moms) to get feed back from in a number of different areas. My biggest 2 suggestions for you are to seek out any home school support groups in your area (you can call around to different churches, they usually know) and don't worry if they are not right in your town. And you get out of teh house once a day, even if it is for a 15 minute walk or jsut a stretch and get your OWN fresh air. It helps clear your head or jsut start your day.

I am not a school teacher and ws scared to death to home school my kids on ;y own with no spouse to hlep or support and my ex does not agree with my home schooling but has not legaly fought me yet. I hope that you will jsut do what you feel is right for you and even if you can do a play date and be it like a co-op with other home school moms, or any moms for that matter. Liek Monday a few kids come to your house to play (30 minutes learning, 45 playing) Wed another mom does the same.

I know my kids can get a bit bored of me too and jsut need a break too from mom being the BOSS OF EVERYTHING!!
Blessing to you and you can do it!!

I say go for it! It could be a really great experience for your son. He will get the oppertunity to learn all kinds of new things including how to interact with new kids. And ... I know this is hard mama ... he can learn how to cope with new situations with out mom being there to bail him out every time. UGH! I know it is hard to let our babies go! But they are not going to be our babies forever and it is our job to teach them to handle things on their own. He doesn't have to go all day every day. Maybe just a few hours a day a week at first. If he enjoys it you can add more hours and days in as you both feel ready. Good luck! I hope your son has fun and gets a chance to run off some energy while giving you a little more time to rest with the baby.

Although my 3.5 yo daughter has been in some type of daycare / preschool on and off since she was about a year old, she definitely benefits greatly from the experience! My daughter is incredibly social and enjoys the interaction with other children and adults. I also get a huge benefit of her learning early that other adults can have authority over her - a life lesson that is not easy to teach otherwise. I know that I'm not creative and energetic enough to keep her stimulated and busy enough at home. At school she has structure and lots of activity that she's always excited to tell me about when I pick her up. She has friendships and loves her teachers. As far as your son missing you if you're not there, I'm sure that if you talked about pre-school as a positive experience and about the great things he'll do and learn there, he'll go and, once there, will gain so much from the experience that he won't miss you, but instead just want to share the experiences with you afterward! I was told by a fantastic child care provider one time that most expression of separation anxiety by the child was just her way of telling me she loves me - that she does it for my benefit - but once I was gone, she stopped and had a great day. Just don't make a big deal out of it and it won't happen too many times.
Sorry my message is so long - I'm just such a strong proponant of kids experiencing a fabulous child care experience. . . and moms getting a little break! Good luck in this decision!!

I always wanted to do homeschooling too but i suffered PPD too with my oldest child..maybe try sending him to preschool to see if the whining and temper tantrums stop.. He could be also jealous because of the new baby even though he is nice and caring and loving to his brother and I dont think he is bored with you..Give it a try at the preschool amd see what they say or do

I have 4 children ages 12, 10, 5, and 12 mos. This is our 7th year of homeschooling. Your situtation with your preschooler sounds - just that, situational. I think it's probably the weather and we are all feeling couped up these days. I think it's too early to make a decision about homeschooling. You always want to do what is best for your child and your family. Homeschooling is a very responsible, unselfish commitment. It is a decision that should be made one year at a time. Yes, there are many benefits to homeschooling, but it can be very hard too. Somedays I have a love/hate relationship with homeschooling.

A 3 1/2 year old has a lot of developing to do b/t now and the age of 5. It sounds like he needs an outlet and hopefully there will be a lot more warm days ahead for the park. RELAX! He's very young. Enjoy him while he's young and so cute and innocent. It really does go by too fast!

Good luck!

Do you have ECFE classes in your area? Most have a two day a week program where you would attend class with him once a week, and he would go once a week on his own. They also have other options for once a week classes. My son is the same age as yours, and it sounds as if their dispositions are the same; he has really benefited from classes outside the home--the socialization, activities, and change of scenery have been a life saver, especially since my second child was born. Good luck!


I think what you need is a well deserved break. I also am a stay at home Mom and there is nothing better than a little time to ourselves. I taught 6th grade for 3 years before starting a family and deciding to stay home. At times I too have contemplated homeschooling, but know my children need somone other than myself to interact with. Find a great school and you will feel much better. If you are in the Appleton area I would suggest Good Shepherd Preschool on college Ave. Both our children have attnded there and it has been very positive for both. (7 & 5) Maureen Wagner is a great yet strict teacher who definitely gets them ready for Kindergarten.

If you want to home school, you should do it, but you also need you time as well as he needs interaction with others. Why not home school but put him in a play group or day care for a hour each afternoon or a few hours a couple times a week. He gets to socialize regularly and have your attention on his school work.

You should try preschool, if its not working, you could always pull him out. Boys tend to need more to do to wear off all that extra energy.. Your the mother, and you need to do what you think is best for your child. If you are planning on having him go to! school in the future, it would probably be alot easier to get him interating with other children before he starts school. Good luck

It sounds like he's getting a little stir crazy- it happens to everyone during the long winters. More playdates or even a a few days of preschool or daycare would probably help. I have a 3 1/2 year old daughter and a 4 mo. old daughter and I know my older one got a little bored when I was home on maternity leave. She really missed playing with kids her age. We had a lot of fun at home together but they really like to play with other kids too. I wish I could be home with her more but I am a teacher and had to go back to work. We have a play group that meets a lot in the summer. You are welcome to join.
mother of baby girl and big sister

Homeschool is fantastic for boys! I am a mom of a 5 1/2 year old boy and almost 4 year old girl. Both are very strongwilled and both homschooled. My son is also known as "Buzz Boy" due to his surpassing energy! Homeschool is not easy - but I would not have it any other way. I can focus one on one attention with my son. BOYS are naturally energetic, wild, and sometimes aggresive. That's the way God made them (read Wild at Heart by John Eldridge...awesome) My son struggles sitting still, being quiet, focusing. But because we homeschool - our school time is 45minutes - 90 minutes a day. We can take frequent breaks to run around the house, do jumping jacks, or whatever to get his energy out. At a traditional public school boys are required to "act like girls" sit nice and pay attention for a 7-8 hour day! We require good behavior of our son but also allow him to be BOY. You are in a season, with the new baby, winter, etc. He is not deprived of "socialness". Be at peace that the weather is warming up and he can run outside soon! My son drives me crazy daily!!!! But I rejoice that I get to experience every day with him and report on his growth and development personally. Encourage physical activity with your son...sit outside witht he baby and have your son run circles around you...it is hilarious! I will now step off my soap box - I am highly in favor of children especially boys being homeschooled. It will be more than worth it in the end!

I would try some preschool activities with him at home first (assuming that you are up for it right now), maybe while the baby is napping and you can give him your undivided attention. Play it by ear from there, and see if it looks like it's working out at home, or whether you think he'd benefit more from preschool. You may find that an hour or two of more structured time together is just what you both need to get the whining and tantrums under control. Or, you may find that a couple hours away from home a few times a week would do the same thing.

This time of year is getting to everyone and your little one being stuck inside and Mom being busy with the new baby is BORING lol. It would be good to find a little play buddy for him wether it be in pre school or a new friend. I don't know if you go to a church or not but you could post a bulletin up there or at your neigborhodd store looking to start a play group. Something to get him involved with others so he won't be so bored. Good luck!

Hi J.! That's a tough decision. We are making a similar one right now. We have decided to homeschool our 7 year old, but we are going to send our 4 1/2 year old to preschool. I figure it will give me some time to get use to homeschooling, and give our little one some time away from mom and give her a chance to be a "big girl." She's always wanted to go to school, so it should work out well. Then we will keep her home next year. It might be a good year to send your son to give you some time with your little one. It's not going to hurt him, and you can always homeschool next year. You have to figure out the "season" you are in right now and what will work best for you.

I see someone already gave this response. But, I'll reiterate that you may want to check into a good Montessori school. You may be surprised at how closely aligned it is to what you want to acheive in home schooling.

You can always take him out of school if you decide that it wasn't the right choice. Given your commitment to your children, I don't think you can go wrong either way.

Sounds like the winter blahs. My boys are crazier in the winter months and seem to whine more and have more meltdowns during the winter months. I attribute it to being stuck in the house. Your son could also be acting out in different ways to get a little more of your attention. I know it is hard to find the perfect balance after the 2nd comes along. When your 2nd is napping try getting your oldest bundled up and play outside for 30 minutes. The fresh air does wonders (plus its starting to warm up now).

I think we are all bored with being home all winter :)
Try it for a month - it's not something you have to stick to if you or he doesn't like it. It will give you the answers you are looking for one way or the other :)

J. : well i am a stay at home mom and im all for keeping the kids till they need to go to school, my kids were with me till kindergarten, but i did enroll them in a once a week, play class, for a hour a week, it was fun . but you must remember too, kids at that age, go through emotions, and other things, my oldest son went through a stage that went from 2 1/2 till almost 4, second kid went through stuff around 4, 5, and so did youngest, each kid is different, and all need different things based on the needs of the family, if you dont let them go early they wont like kindengarten, if you send them too late they may not like kindengarten, neither is right, but what is right for you and your adorable son, i also say enjoy them while you can, yet provide socialization , just have fun , the right answer lies within you , whatever your choice, you have to live with it, dont set your self up for any regrets either, some kids need it, some kids dont, some parents need it, some parents dont, sorry for the non advice advice, D. s

Is there a homeschool co-op in your area? Someone may have already suggested this. I know a lot of people that homeschool belong to these co-ops and it is great. They have music programs, p.e. type classes, sports and all sorts of other activities to enhance the homeschool experience. I admire you for doing it, and I think you child will be all the better for it, but I would suggest getting involved with more stuff outside the home to help so you don't drive each other crazy! :)

I don't think that his behavior is a direct result of homeschooling. No one ever says "That kid is acting up, maybe the parents should homeschool them." Why do we put the blame on homeschool when our children aren't acting the way they should all the time. I think you may have more of a discipline problem. Or maybe he just wants your attention. I also have a 3 1/2 yr. old I have begun "home schooling" if you can call it that. We play leapfrog learning games : alphabet go fish, matching games, mazes, circle the picture that doesn't belong. But very relaxed, when he's done, he's done I don't make him sit for a set amount of time. When he was 2 1/2 and I had a new baby, I found that having him sit next to me and reading to him satisfied that craving for attention. I hope this helps. You can do it!

J.- Being new to a small town plus being at home all the time with your wonderful children I would put him a pre-school. Most of them are only a few days a week. Not knowing your demographics There are usually 1-2 preschools in small towns. Ours happens to be religious based but it did not discriminate towards any religion, anyone can go and it was the best! My youngest child went and loved it while there. Good luck and you are not a bad mom if you want a break during the day plus you can still home school later. In fact home schooled students in our area also go to public school for choir, band, phy ed, etc. It allows them to interact with the other students and get electives that they are interested in completed.

While I don't personally homeschool our own kids (I know with their temperaments & mine it just wouldn't work), we have several friends that do so. Some of them have completely homeschooled all of their children, but others have homeschooled some of their children just part of the time, for various reasons. One of my best friends started homeschooling her son in Kindgarten, & he seemed like a perfect child for it. Very cooperative, was a little scared to go to school, loved being with the rest of his family. But it just didn't go well. He couldn't settle down & focus for her, & she became tired & frustrated. They finally, after much agonizing, decided to send him to a Christian school for 1st grade, & he just flourished! For some reason, he responds better in the school environment.

So my point is, that it's fine to try it different ways & see what works best for all of you. Maybe he would do better in a school environment now, but that doesn't mean that when he is a little older or your circumstances at home are different that homeschooling wouldn't work then! And not homeschooling does not mean that you failed him. You would fail him if you didn't search out what is best for all of you.

I have such respect for mothers who homeschool their children. My daughter is strong willed and I would never be able to get her to learn from me. She also craves the social interactions. My son is completely different, but needed to become more independent.
Instead of thinking about preschool why not try a weekly class of some sort? There are sports type classes and even ECFE classes that meet weekly. He would be able to be with more children his own age and would give you a little break. I'm not sure where you live, but I have had a few friends tell me that they take their children to a moms morning out. There are a couple churchs around me that I have heard about. Just a couple of ideas, so that you are still the teacher.

My kids are 5,3 and 1 and some periods have been harder than others, especially during pregnancy and right after a baby was born. I'm planning to homeschool next year, but my son loves preschool. When he was 3 I would never have guessed I'd be homeschooling for kindergarten, so I'd say you still have a lot of time to decide. I think for each kid you just have to decide what is the best fit. This might change year to year.
Kids can learn a lot in preschool--academics not necessarily being the most important. Even if you're planning to homeschool, if you can find a good preschool it can be a good experience, and only a few hours a week.
It's a lot of work to be involved in your child's schooling, whether he's learning at home or attending school. I'd say, just try to find what works best for you and your lifestyle.

Why not send him to preschool only 2-3 days a week next school year and have him at home the other days and then you have the best of both worlds. Then you can make a decision about Kindergarten later after you have had more time to think about it and your new baby is a little older. Good Luck!

It sounds like he needs some more playdates. What about your church, do they have a playgroup. Is there a Kindermusic teacher or something you two can do together?

Hi!!! Your son might be bored, or it might just be normal 3 year old tantrums. If you need a break, preschool can be a great option.There are some that meet 4 or 5 days a week and others that only meet 2-3 times a week. Don't feel guilty if you decide to send your son to preschool. Even if it is tough at, first he will eventually love it. Just remember that you can be a more productive mom if you are rested and get a little break. Preschool would also enable you to have a little one on one time with your baby without your 3 year old distracting you. I hope that helps. Whatever you do, you are still a good mom.

You know, my husband and I went through the same dilemma with our oldest son. Our issues were because we felt there were things he would pick up at school that would be contrary to our beliefs. We went back and forth almost daily about it and finally we decided to send him to pre-school. Mostly because we thought we would see how it went, both for him and for us. But we also did it because neither of us felt qualified (unlike you, being a teacher)to take on teaching him long term. We too live in a small town and while we have lived here for some time (my husband born and raised and I have been here almost 25 years)it's a good way to meet other children and their parents. Believe it or not there are some parents that we did not know! Home schooling is diffently a personal choice and I know several people who have and are home schooling their children, but at least you can judge what is best by "trying" our school first with pre-school. I too find that my toddlers drive me crazy at least once a day and I am actually looking forward to the oldest going to kindergarten and my youngest going to pre-school so I can have 3 hours of down time 4 days a week!!

You could always check to see if there is a partial-day or several times a week preschool in your area. If so, then he could go to preschool 2x a week or 3 half-days or whatever and still get the benefits of preschool w/o being separated from you for a lot of the week.

Also, you can usually go with him to check out the preschool and get familiar w the building and meet the teachers etc to see what he thinks of it as a more concrete reality instead of an abstract conversation.

I've read on this site before that it is fairly easy to enroll a kid and later back out, but much harder to get a kid in later if you haven't pre-enrolled him in preschool, for what that's worth.

Go with your instincts- they're usually right :)

The tantrums don't have anything to do with being bored - they are part of the 3 year old stage. With one foot in babyhood and one in pre-school, the 3 year old really gets that he is not the center of mommy's world any more. Affirming his feelings will help a little, but this is one of those "wait it out" stages.

Pre-school doesn't have to be an all or nothing thing for him. He can give it a try - going two mornings a week. If he doesn't like it, he can stay home. Giving him the choice at this age - once he has at least gone for a few days - will be the ticket to the answer as to whether or not it will work.

Consider the Waldorf pre-school where they have flexibility in scheduling and where the values might be more like your own. Waldorf feels like home to most children so they don't have so much of the anxiety you are worried about.

Then sit back and watch the tantrums at home - they won't stop until he is through his 3rd to 4th year. Then he'll start sparkling like the gem you know he is.

First of all I like the spelling of your name. I have homeschooled my oldest for a year. Homeschooling is a way of life you use opportunities to teach and they do well. I really enjoyed the time I got with my daughter. But I spent time outside of teaching to prep which I didn't have the time at the time because I had 3 other daughters too. My oldest missed being with people and didn't want to be home anymore. My nephew is schooled but has never know about preschool or kind. and is an extrovert and loves homeschooling.
On the other hand we had our kids in a christian preshool and really loved everything about it.
I have suffured ppd and would be willing to see to figure so things for more energy using nutrition if you want to email me feel free.

I'm leaning toward homeschooling for many reasons myself. That's why I'm going to encourage you to do it. Of course, boys will be boys and it never hurts to let them outside. It also doesn't hurt to train them NOT to whine, have tantrums and exercise their strong will over you. (You're the parent, so it should be the other way around. What you say goes.) Read To Train Up a Child by Michael Pearl or go to the publisher's (his own) website: http://shop.nogreaterjoy.org/product_info.php/cPath/1_14/...

and you can even read an excerpt of it. His website also features more recent child training questions from parents. I think you might really like it if you realize the huge difference between training and discipline. The Pearls also homeschooled all their children (5).

Personally, I think your child will thrive more if he's at home rather than preschool. Our public education system stems from Socialist Prussia and it really "dumbs down" kids in my opinion. No offense to all the great teachers out there. I went through public school myself and turned out alright, but I have to give my mom credit for all she did with us at home, not to mention NOT sending us to preschool and only enrolling us in 1/2 day kindergarten. Good luck with your decision.

Hey J. W ~ I am a teacher at a Christian preschool and just love it. I am the mother of 3 wonderful children who are now 20, 19 and 17 but doesn't seem that long ago they were in preschool. I admire people who home school as well but new it wasn't for me. My kids are great kids but new it was good for them to take directions from someone else as well as they didn't seem to have behaviors that were disruptive for someone else. Mainly they are engaged because others of their same age are engaged as well and it seems more fun.
As a teacher I enjoy sharing with the children and helping them to grow, work with others, listen, transition etc... Like my own children my preschoolers will have behaviors that I never see unless mom is around. All children know their parents, limits what triggers how to get what they want the list goes on.
You may find it so fun to have him in preschool and share moments with other friends and just be so excited about his school. Plus you will get to know other moms of children who are the same age as yours and then play dates will come for both you and your child. God bless your decision. Look for a preschool with a teacher with a tender heart who seems to really care for the children. Being in a Christian environment has been the best from my experience. Children love to share about Jesus. I pray this helps T.

You describe my sister's experience exactly. She finally decided her 3 year-old son just had greater social needs than she could provide. She put in a preschool that met (I think) 3 days a week. It gave them a break from each other and then when they were together they just enjoyed each others' company so much more. It was definetely the right decision for her family.

The idea of homeschooling can carry a lot of guilt, much like the choice of breastfeeding vs. formula. I would say if your goal is to get along better and be happier, it might be worth a try to do preschool. If it is an option, you can always homeschool when your baby is older. It just might not be the right time right now. Don't feel like you have failed your older child by trying preschool. It might be a gift for him to be there!

I would say to keep him home. Developmentally, a little boy often becomes more like a boy at the age of 3 when their testosterone levels increase. (By that I mean they show more attributes typically associated with boys - very active and physical, etc). In other words, his behavior is perfectly normal.
I was in your situation 9 years ago, with a 3.5 year old very spirited boy and a baby daughter (born in September!). My son was very active and needed a lot to do. I loved ECFE classes (he learned to separate from me in small doses and we met playmates), library storytime, playing at the park...
Concerning socialization: he learned at home how to be kind, and share, and listen, etc. He learned to play with agemates by having playdates with me there to help him practice his social skills.
At 4 years old I tried a lovely little preschool for him, thinking he might need "more". At preschool he learned that other kids are sometimes mean and an adult doesn't always notice or "teach" in the moment. He came home imitating rude and sassy behavior. He learned how to pinch other kids on the arm when he was mad. He said he liked it at preschool, but it seemed to me that he was biding his time until he could come home. He missed me (and I don't think that's bad in a 4 yr old). After 3 months I pulled him out and we were both happier. It took a little while to lose the "socialization skills" he had learned, but then he was back to his old sweet self.
Of course this is one perspective, hope it helps.

As a former teacher myself, I just wanted to mention that I think children learn as much from the interactions and "Ah-ha" moments of others, as they do on their own. I think children, especially young children, benefit from seeing and listening to the perspectives of others outside their own families. I think it's a crucial part of learning how to live in a diverse society. I'm guessing that you work with your son a lot anyway, and anything you feel he's not getting at pre-school that you want him to know, you can teach him yourself.

I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old and my 3 year drives me crazy every day, too. I am looking forward to some time where I can focus on my younger son the way I use to focus on my older son when he was the only one. I felt really pent up this winter, too and wondered if I wasn't suffering from seasonal affect disorder or something of the sort. That just confirmed my decision.

I know my son is a little apprehensive about me not being at school with him, but I think it's improtant for him to learn how to interact with other kids and adults. I can't hold his hand forever and I will always be here to be his teacher.

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