Unpreschooling Experiences

It’s back to school time. If you are not taking your child to preschool, what are you doing? There are probably some people asking you that and wondering how your child will ever be ready for school in the future!

A successful home unpreschool doesn’t need to look like the local drop-off preschool. It can be based around experiences instead of lessons and workbooks. Just lots of experiences, and the good news is that you can’t do it wrong because young children are ready and willing for anything!

One of my favorite things to do with young children is to stop and watch workmen build or repair something. If a new building is going up, watch it often, so you can see the changes. Guess what is going to happen next. And of course, go in the building once it’s open to see if the guesses were correct! You can’t do it wrong, and your child will take what they need from the experience on that day, and then learn something new tomorrow. They are connecting the dots from many different experiences and building a strong learning foundation.

You may know this is best, but there are some who will continue to think that your child should be in a “real” preschool. You probably won’t convince them otherwise, so avoid the subject when you can, and when you can’t, just reassure these well-meaning friends and relatives that your child is being exposed to everything they’d learn in a preschool plus a lot more – like watching things happen in the world. You might even call them field trips!

An update: This was originally published on September 2, 2012 at www.universalpreschool.com, before Transitional Kindergarten (TK) became popular with those enrolling in charter schools. Today’s TK kids were once considered preschoolers. Requiring them to sit and do workbooks will not get them into college early or make them eager to learn. It’s not developmentally appropriate. And while they are being subjected to the requirements of TK (which cuts into their play time), what are they not learning about the world?


Karen Taylor’s always homeschooled son attended a local community college after graduating from homeschooling. He transferred to UC Berkeley as a junior, and received a PhD in neuroscience from UCSF.  She shares homeschooling comments and links on Facebook, Pinterest, and this blog.