Can’t afford preschool? Don’t worry!…
There are a lot of things we can do for our kids at home that don’t necessarily require a structured preschool. For instance, having a designated “school” hour of the day where you are the teacher works really well at our house. I’ve been doing this at home with my kids this summer and it’s been fun for all of us. I don’t know if I’d go so far as to say it’s “homeschooling” but essentially that’s what I’m talking about.
First, I try to time it with my littlest ones naptime. Pick about 10-15 minutes to work on different concepts…for instance, for 10-15 minutes, you work on making the shapes of the letters (moving the pen correctly, making the sound of the letter, etc.). You could even take a “sound safari” (get some binoculars, safari hat, etc.) by walking through the house and trying to find something that sounds like “a” or makes the “t” sound. Move on to math by having a counting activity (how many toys do we have out, lets count them! or if we have 5 toys out and I put one away, how many do we have out now?). Keep transitioning through activities for about an hour. You could even invite a friend or two over to “play school” with you. Essentially, these are the things they are learning in preschool and there is no reason you can’t duplicate these experiences at home. Just make it fun! Have a singing time, a puzzle time, etc. and read, READ, READ!!
With the Culture Pass available at the public libraries, you can visit 14 different venues in the city for free! Great field trip opportunities to places like the Arizona Science Center, Phoenix Zoo, Phoenix Children’s Museum, etc. A word of advice for Mesa Public Library main location attendees, they recommend you get to the library an hour before opening Tuesday through Thurdsay to get a good spot in line (you want to be in the first few spots in line if you want a decent pick of the passes). Check out our previous blog posts on the subject at
Good luck and don’t torture yourself for not being able to follow the norm. Your kids will do even better spending quality time with you than they would spending 2 or 3 hours with a stranger and having you stressed out with work worries. It might take more effort on your part but it will be well worth it and rewarding for you both.
Here’s some links that might help you network and get some great ideas…
Do you endorse preschools or have you brought your toddler home because of finances or other concerns? Share your thoughts in our forum discussion.