Because we've had a tough couple of years, and because I was working full-time until the end of August, we hadn't even looked at preschool until just a few weeks ago. Did you know that most people start researching preschool when their kids are babies? And that they sign their kids up for it the spring before they want to send their kids there? Who knew!
Due to life, we didn't even know whether we'd be able to afford such a thing until Hubs went back to work. And by then nearly every place I called was "full for the year, but I can put you on our waiting list." The ones that weren't full? Well, let's just say that we don't have an extra $1200/mo sitting around. I kid you not. Will I spend more than our mortgage payment to send our kids to preschool? Hmm... let me think about that for a minute... NO!
I did find one school that offered this amazing "needs based" scholarship opportunity. It was an amazing school. Montessori and everything. But we didn't get the scholarship, apparently we aren't needy enough. *sigh* Now, maybe if I left my husband and went back to school I'd qualify, but since I'm not doing either of those things, no preschool for us.
I was sad, but life goes on.
Next option? Ugh... I don't even want to say it... home school. Don't get me wrong, I have friends who have done it and survived, but most of them are a lot more "with the program" than I am. I am what some might call a fly by the seat of my pants kind of girl. Planning? Not my forte. Organization? What's that? I think I'm ok as far as intelligence goes, but I barely scraped myself through school, am I really the right person to be leading two little minds down that path? Well, let's not get overly dramatic here, this is preschool after all. If I screw up this year, there's always kindergarten next year and hopefully I won't be teaching that too.
Thankfully there are some pretty great resources out there. Our local library offered me a ton of books on the subject (as if I'll have time to read, but I now have them on my shelf) and a flyer with classes I could sign them up for through our parks & rec department. And our local school district gives us these excellent monthly "preschool packets" which include a list of seasonally appropriate activities, books, songs, and worksheets. But the one thing that really inspired me to give this a shot is Jolanthe at Homeschool Creations. She has these amazing themed preschool units that you can print out for free along with ideas on how to use them. They're colorful, and cheery, and just plain fun! Plus she has tons of ideas for parents on how to get organized, and I will most certainly be making use of her "to do lists" and "preschool planning sheets".
So after learning all of what's available to home schooling parents, I'm starting to think that maybe I really can do this. And hopefully when this spring comes around, I'll actually sign my kids up for things and I won't have to do it again!