Homeschool vs. Traditional School | A Mom’s Personal Experience

By Sallie

I never really thought I’d be a homeschooling parent – I wasn’t against it. I just didn’t consider it or think I could give my child all she needed “just” being at home.

Little Miss C did go to nursery but only for a brief period after nurseries were one of the 1st places to be closed here in the UAE.  This meant her little nursery career was pretty much over before she had got into the swing of it. 

She liked it yes, but she was never overly excited to be honest and that’s not at all like her – especially as she was excited for her big sister’s school each day.

Going back to school after Covid

So when the nurseries began to open again, it wasn’t just the COVID apprehension that every parent felt or even the fees we would pay whilst I was a SAHM that made me think twice about sending her back.  It was the thought that we’ve come this far so why not give it a go for a little longer. 

After COVID summer no. 1 we were all a little nervous about adventuring out to indoor places and being near others, so it drove my youngest and I to try and find new places to visit – that weren’t crowded and that gave us both something more than a car journey.

I wanted to show her new places, ignite her imagination, inspire her learning and excite her!  To be honest I didn’t start out with a plan, but I read a few online articles and did take inspiration from as this gave me some great structure. 

I had an insight from my older daughter, but a lot of the weekly games have been inspired by her interests and the conversations we had, which have made it even more valuable to her.

At this age they are like little sponges as we know, but she’s seen so much in this time from visiting and discussing a Banksy exhibition to knowing about Expo and visiting a Quaranic inspired fruit and vegetable garden to visiting an indoor rain art installation.  

Will My 4 year old learn more from school than from me & real life experiences?

So, the biggest question is why am I not carrying on doing this with her?  The answer in short is that I am – I believe we can do both.  There are areas of her development that I believe at nearly 4 will allow her to thrive by being in a more structured school environment with a bunch of other children her own age. 

She will be benefiting from a play-based learning environment with other caregivers and structure makers.  School days in the UAE finish around 1/1.30 so we will still have so much time together to learn, explore and play.  As she has so kindly pointed out to me “you can still create all the things for me Mummy – you can have them ready for when I get home”

There will be so many differing opinions on this from those who believe you can only give so much at home to those who would argue if it’s not broken don’t try to fix it. 

To be honest both camps have torn my heart in two trying to make the right choices for her.  At the end of the day, there is no right choice so I’m opting to give her a balance of both worlds and will support both areas of her preschooling and later education in the very best way I can.

Homeschool vs. Traditional School

Homeschool as a preschooler | How we actually enjoyed it

I believe I’ve given her an incredible base to start her new journey and yes, she is only nearly 4 years old, but she’s gained so much from our time in homeschool preschool.

I have loved it so much more than I would have ever imagined as we’ve made it exciting and not just a standard preschool life.  We’ve investigated, explored and made adventures to places at home and out of home that you wouldn’t typically do with a preschooler, but it worked.  

I had to balance her needs with my sanity and in giving her these experiences I have given myself so much and challenged myself in so many ways. 

Teaching even through play has had its challenges I won’t deny that, but seeing her grasp basic phonics and start to read simple sentences, grasp basic number sentences and learn things together in art and the world around us has been magical.  

Is Homeschooling enough for her socially?

Could I continue?  Yes, I am sure I could and I am sure it would work but next on her journey she also needs to observe other preschoolers for the bad and the good, she needs to benefit from taking turns with those that aren’t in her family or children of my friends. 

She needs to develop around people she doesn’t know and benefit from feeling safe in new places. A lot of this security from both our sides does only come from selecting the optimum environment in which to place her and I do believe I have that in our chosen school.  

I know there will be ups and downs to come in the next few weeks but I am happy this is the right direction and I am proud of us both for what we’ve achieved in our homeschool time together. 

Who knows if we’ll ever be thrown into it again?

However, from next week we will still continue on our learning journey but it will be a dual approach that will open more doors in her beautifully growing little mind as @mumfunandlittleones try out some new paths (for half the day at least).

Homeschool vs. Traditional School | A Mom's personal Experience

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