One thing we’ve been doing since Sonny started preschool was “mirror” what they do everyday. Since we could only afford to take him to school 3 days a week, on the 2 days he is home, he does similar work to what is done at the schoolhouse. With the help of the internet, and Mommy’s imagination, we’ve been able to keep up with what he learns at school and make him feel like he’s not behind when we does get to school and they do other activities.
One reason I decided to start doing this (even though his teacher said that it would “overwhelm the children” if we did) is because it seemed like the school was focusing more on books and field trips than the essentials the kids would need for kindergarten next year. Trips are great, but for my son that has never been in school before, I wanted him acclimated to the work and to sitting at a desk to learn. Call me crazy. So, when he bought home school work, I paid attention to what the themes were for the week or month, and found our own school work to at home.
Lo and behold, around the middle of April, the director of the school and his main teacher pulls Hubby and I to the side and expresses that she thinks he needs to stay in preschool another year. Her reasoning behind this thought is because she thinks he’s not acclimated to the work and to sitting at a desk to learn. Hmmmm…sounds like an echo in here.
As soon as she said this to us, we thanked her for her opinion and went on our way. We felt a bit of a tinge of guilt, thinking maybe we should have sent him for 5 days and just went in debt for it. But after talking to many other parents, Hubby’s family(who are all teachers) and talking among ourselves, we realized that this was a time when the teacher was dead-wrong. I went through the work Sonny and I had done while he was home with me during the week, and knew for a fact that he is ready. We practice sitting in your seat, trying new things and trying them again if you don’t get it, and maintaining a balance of work and play. His teacher even admitted that he is one of the smartest in his class, so that definitely was not the problem.
I bring this up because frugally, we will not be able to have him go to preschool for another year, let alone go for 5 days instead of 3(of course, this is what she suggested). We both knew this when we started him in school and budgeted accordingly. Thanks to the internet, I have been able to “homeschool” him and keep up with his supplemental work without spending more than I would printing off online coupons. And, we’ve been able to bond even more, which is priceless.
This summer, we will be doing more of the same, focusing on a few more kindergarten activities and school work to give him a sneak peek of the more challenging workload. We did ponder sending him off to summer camp, but after seeing how well he can do working and learning from play at home, I don’t think we need to bust the budget on that one, especially at the age of almost 5. There will be plenty of time for camp later in his school career. Plus, this is one of the perks of being a SAHM. Soon he won’t want to spend any time with me, so I get to spend this last summer with just Sonny and me. I have a whole summer curriculum planned already, including field trips, and I’ve already calculated that it will save us over 63% from what we would pay if we sent him off to camp everyday this summer.
So, all and all, I’m not upset with him not being able to stay in school all week and “learn” like the other kids. Turns out, because I mirrored what they did everyday, I saved money and prepared my son for “real” school. I call that a win-win.