Sunday, February 25, 2007

Where do you do pre-school?

Mommy Life is written by pro-life author Barbara Curtis, mother to twelve children and a professional teacher, has written a new book on deciding about whether to send your child to preschool.Mommy, Teach Me it sounds like something a homeschooling mom could really relate to. She has an in-depth discussion of this issue on her blog.
I caved in to pressure and sent my 3 year old Christina to special ed pre-school last year, one with the shortest day I could find (2 1/2 hours)however, that nagging feeling never left me, although it wasn't an entirely unpleasant experience. She had a enthusiastic, loving young teacher, whom she bonded with, however, I just felt, that I'd rather do the bonding with her. And so, now that she is 4, she is homeschooling with her two sisters. Christina seems very comfortable at home, and doesn't miss the pre-school.

The issue with a special needs child,however, is that no matter how many years I've homeschooled and taught as a professinal teacher(9 years homeschooling, and 15 years as a professional teacher) I don't have Speech Therapy training, Physical Therapy training, etc. This intimidated me. This year, however, I found my self-confidence, and began a co-operative, Montessouri-based preschool twice weekly with homeschooling friends, and it's working out beautifully. I use the book, Natural Structure as my inspiration and guide.
BTW the specialists can come to your home in NY state for free, throughout the school years, just as they did in Early Intervention, taking the pressure off being knowlegeable in all these areas as well. A homeschooling friend who has worked part time in a special needs school for years, advised me thus, "don't send her to school, she is advanced, and there she will start to imitate the less advanced children, and lose what you've done with her".

Dr Bill and Martha Sears, who reccommend Barbara's book, are famous La Leche League advisors, parents of nine children, and authors themselves, and they have helped me raise my girls,with their many excellent books. Thanks to them, I am a committed 'attachment parent'. This naturally led me to want to continue our special bonded relationship as my daughters' teacher.


jennifergg said...

Thanks for this post, it's just what I needed to read. I was telling a friend about my lack of confidence in homeschooling Avery, but I really want to try. So onward we go...

The Sears have a grown son with Down syndrome...more reasons to like them!

Leticia said...

Dr. Sear's few comments on Stephen's birth and early years in "The Baby Book" helped me through those first difficult days, I sure wish he and Martha would write an entire book about raising children with Down Syndrome.