Today's Sunday Chicago Tribune headline is “State eyes free preschool: Blagojevich [Illinois governor] plan would offer program to all 3- and 4-year-olds.” Oh, I can't express how saddened and frustrated I am about reading this.
Here is a quote from the article. “The whole idea behind funding education is to make sure we help our kids learn and the evidence is very persuasive that if we invest in early education, children will learn better.”
I remember reading about a kindergarten teacher years ago who said she could always tell which kids had gone to preschool. A parent said, “Oh, are they that more academically advanced?” The teacher said, “No, they know how to line up at the door.”
Illinois wants to be the first state to offer free preschool to all 3-year-olds, for a minimum of 2 1/2 hours a day.
Is this going to help our kids succeed? Starting them in a state-run school at the tender age of 3, instead of the tender age of 5? Illinois has been one of the most favorable states for homeschooling. We are considered a private school,and the requirements are to teach ages 7-16 the basic subjects and in English. This article says that preschool for 3-year-olds won't be mandatory, but it's coming, isn't it?
I wish people could see what really makes children successful. A stable family, a mom and dad who love and read to them and play with them, allowing the children to develop a love of learning (by following and encouraging their interests), helping them to develop a sense of wonder about their world (by letting them play outside). What doesn't work? Locking up a 3-year-old in a public school for 6 hours a day!
In California I believe there is a woman who has organized a whole campaign against this preschool idea. I don’t have her website right now, but perhaps someone else does. Perhaps there needs to be a grassroots campaign across states. My concern is that my children and grandchildren are going to have to fight for the right to raise their children at all. Patrick Henry said “Vigiliance is the price of liberty.” That quote has really motivated me in the past two weeks since I wrote it.
Thanks for visiting my blog.
I blogged about this same issue yesterday, too! Great minds think alike 🙂
Seriously, though, this is a real concern of mine, even though my youngest is nearly 13. I do not want other people’s children or my future grandchildren taken from their parents at an early age…especially for something that has not been proven beneficial or even useful. This is just a signal Blagojevich is sending out to working parents looking for free day care. He will promise anything to get re-elected. We all need to pray about this.
BTW I think the Web site your first commenter is thinking of is:
I’m Gena’s sister -in -law, Merry. My kids, gasp, go to public school so you may totally discount what I have to say based on that alone. But as an outsider, I thought maybe you’d like a fresh opinion.
My 3rd child is currently in preschool and having a very enriching experience with a great teacher. I’m so happy to see her wonderment at the things she is learning and doing at preschool. Gena does a great job, like most homeschoolers probably do, at providing every bit as enriching of an experience for her kids at home. However, homeschooling is not for every mom and her children and I don’t think of state’s efforts to offer preschool as free daycare for working people. I think it is important for children entering the public school system to have some preschool. It can be very expensive and I think it’s a good thing that the state is trying to offer it for those who can’t afford it.
I feel badly that you guys are so worried about it. Are you worried that it’ll threaten your ability to home school?
Hi, I just found you random blogging — Congratulations on your announcement!
I also was looking at your recent posts and ended up here. I am formerly a “professional, early childhood educator.” Now I’m a stay at home mom to two blessings.
The idea of public preschool, moving toward universal preschool, and eventually lowering the age of compulsory attendance does frighten me, for the the future of children. Having seen all sides of the picture up front and personal — there are more negatives than positives to children being away from their mom’s any more than is absolutely necessary.
I’ve been home educating as a single mother for almost five years. My son has managed to avoid the early education experience outside home, where my daughter was away from me 8+ hours a day almost from the beginng. I think I could tell you exactly what my son would be like — having worked in the field for over 15 years — and it would be a sad story.
Thanks for sharing this.
I’ve been away for a while, so I’m finally getting back to answering this. Yes, we homeschoolers are worried about the future of freedom of homeschooling. Every year more and more are taking their children out of public schools, and the public schools aren’t taking it lying down. I’ve been amazed at the kind of things I hear from the NEA convention each year about their hatred of us. They will fight and fight. But so will we. I read about the past before homeschooling was legal in America and about other countries (such as Germany) where parents are locked up in jail if they refuse to give their children up to the “experts.” So, we will be vigilant and not think that all will stay as it is.