The writer of this blog post, “Preschool Is the New School” (at the blog The No-School Kids: A Homeschool Retrospective), listens to her friend and another woman talk about their childcare arrangements and says:
School? He’s not quite three years old yet! I mean, he does go to Preschool, but is the shorthand for preschool just school now? I don’t mean to dwell in semantics, but it surprised me.
I’ve been surprised this year, spending time with this particular friend, just how immediately one has to figure out the school thing. The school thing starts right out the gate, really. It starts with Preschool. And if you opt out of it, you’ll be chatting with some mom at the tire-swing at the park, explaining that.
I felt that way, too, when DS was a tot. I learned that preschool was just a given — just as much as kindergarten — no matter what the parents’ working arrangements were. That surprised me, and I started to feel very odd for being surprised about that! Because nobody else was.
I also find it scary. Because many of us, when discussing classroom-less learning after age five, often start by saying things like, “You know how little kids learn how to walk and talk and name colors and eat and sing and count and play at home for their first five years, without teachers or school? And they do just fine?” Well, now, a lot of people don’t know any such thing. Maybe most people don’t know any such thing. They’ve never experienced that.