One of reasons we ended up homeschooling was the process of looking at preschools. It wasn't that they weren't good. They were fine. I saw everything from Montssesori to highly academic, highly recommended programs. I saw the free programs offered by my district, and expensive programs and several in the middle. I had lots of experience from choosing schools for Ethan.
Nothing seemed like the right fit. What I was already piecing together for Gavin, Mikey and my niece and nephew seemed like a more natural choice. Now Sean follows in their footsteps. He is playing, learning, and living without preschool.
We use the programs offered at our local library. Sean is there about twice a week. Stories, songs, paper bag puppets, poems and musical instruments without the price of "Mommy & Me".
My kids all benefit from having an older brother who had tons of therapy! I was lucky to interact with people who were experts in gross motor, fine motor, sensory experience, auditory processing, speech and language therapy and many other specialties. I know the importance of early and varied experiences, which anyone can give their kids with little cost and effort.
One thing people are often concerned about at this age is 'socialization'. It happens effortlessly, though. Parks, playdates, cousins, and Saturdays at the hockey rink - there is never a shortage of social opportunities.
When kids are home during their 'preschool' years, their days can be filled with food shopping, banking, housecleaning, folding, baking, cooking, reading, reading, and more reading - the stuff little ones gravitate too when given the chance. Everything at this age is a learning opportunity if you include them.
Zoos and museums geared to the younger set are a fantastic place for kids to investigate and develop interests. Memberships to these places make great gifts - make sure Grandma & Grandpa know that!
Although I am not inclined to sit down and 'teach' Sean anything formally, I know someone who is.
A word of encouragement to those of you who might be interested in keeping really little ones home, but want to leave the door open for formal school - my sister, who is a well-respected educator kept her daughter home (and with me!) and she esasily entered a private, academic kindergarten. She is not the only one, and it is totally possible to prepare your child for kindergarten without Pre-K.