My son Buddy recently turned 3, so my husband and I have been deciding whether to send our son to preschool or do preschool at home. In Part 1 and Part 2, I talked about the top two reasons why other moms seem to be sending their kids to preschool: socialization and time alone for mom. In Part 3, I discussed what kids are learning in preschool and how I can easily teach a preschool curriculum at home.
In this post, I want to talk about one of the major reasons my husband and I decided not to send our son to preschool: money. Let's face it, preschool is expensive. I thought that it was pretty expensive before we started looking into the pros and cons. Now that I know I can easily teach everything at home that my son could learn at preschool, it means that preschool is a luxury, not a necessity, and I think it's extravagant.
I looked up some local preschools, and it looks like for 2 days a week, schools charge around $300. So, if I send my son for 9 months out of the year, we'd be spending $2700! And that doesn't include other expenses that aren't included in tuition, such as gas to drive him back and forth, snacks for the class, supplies, etc. Taking an honest look at our budget, we do not spend $300/mo on any other luxury. We didn't even budget "fun money" until recently. After all, we're living on one income since I stay home with the boys, and we don't have hundreds of dollars to spend on luxuries.
Remember, this series is about my family and how we've come to the decision not to send our son to preschool. For many families, the pros may outweigh the cons. And, many families may have more discretionary income to spend on school. Those families may decide to send their kids to preschool rather than homeschooling. I'm not trying to be judgmental--I'm just presenting the idea that preschool is not mandatory. Many moms (myself included) automatically think we have to send our kids to preschool without really thinking about whether it's necessary or beneficial. I don't want to make decisions about this much money based on "everyone's doing it".
Other posts in this series:
Part 1: Why preschool?
Part 2: Socialization and time alone--my response
Part 3: Academics and curriculum
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