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Edification — n 1. improvement, instruction, or enlightenment, esp when morally or spiritually uplifting

Smiling, nodding, teaching. Loving!

What is the point of a homeschool preschool?

A simple internet search (or actual, real life conversation among mothers) will quickly reveal that many  people take a firm stand on this issue on opposite ends of the spectrum. For some the answer is so obvious as to render the question itself unnecessary. For others, the idea of a homeschool preschool is so utterly useless, they can’t fathom its value.

I fall in the middle. To my mind, the question is a valid one. Just as some parents struggle with whether or not their three and four year old children should go to a daycare or a proper preschool, so it follows that stay-at-homers will want to lay a bit of thought on whether they should do preschool lessons at home.

The answer will largely depend on your future plans. If your child will be attending public kindergarten, much of what you might desire to teach him at home will be redundantly expounded upon in K. But if you have a plan in place for K homeschooling, I think it can only be beneficial to start “laying tracks” as soon as you and your child are ready.

There are many variations on Charlotte Mason’s laying tracks concept from different educators. The basic concept is that children must be given a solid foundation on which to build in any particular subject. Once the tracks are laid, it is easier for the child to continue down the line than to stray from it.

Without a foundation– getting down to the bare bones of an issue– the child will become lost trying to hack his way through random bits of information that he can not conceptually assimilate.

It is not reasonable to preschool homeschool to force children to do things before they are ready. There is abundant scientific research dispelling the (American and British) myth that when it comes to education, the earlier you start the better off your kids are. It is simply untrue and it’s a shame that homeschoolers, who wield complete control over the information available to their children, feel compelled to force their youngest pupils into very unnatural rhythms of learning that usually backfire later in life.

If a four year old child picks up reading on her own, that is fabulous. But it isn’t sensible to administer formal reading lessons to a child so young. The same goes for all the subjects. Enjoying books about children in colonial America is one thing. Drilling history facts into the head of  a three or four (or five or six, for that matter) year old is asinine at best, and cruel in the sense that it does a great disservice to the trusting child.

So, I do not choose to homeschool preschool to give my children an imaginary advantage over other children. I choose to HSPS to deliberately lay tracks. It is my aim to give them a thorough foundation so that they may proceed from this time with  hearts and minds wholly (albeit  without conscious thought) open to the learning opportunities they will encounter throughout their lives.


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