Over the past few weeks here in Brisbane, almost everybody that I've met up with has asked if Aaron goes to pre-school. After I tell them "No", they inevitably ask if I plan on sending him somewhere while we're here. And when I tell them "No" again, they usually look at me a little blankly. Sometimes I feel that they are thinking "What the heck is she thinking not educating him??"
This is the same question that I receive all the time in Palembang, Indonesia and Ipoh, Malaysia. People the world over seem obsessed with early education outside of the home. I know that much of this is derived from people trying to make sure that their children are not losing out to other kids that do attend pre-school. Also, I fully understand that stay-at-home-moms might want a few hours to themselves.
I don't know how I ended up being such an old-fashioned mom but I really think that a three year old's place is still at home, especially if his mom is there. School starts when they are five and after that it will be college and then its four or more decades of working life! Four years staying at home and having a less scheduled life is something I definitely want to give Aaron. Plus, I want him to myself for those four years!
There is so much about everyday life to be learnt in the home. Simple things like making the bed, doing laundry, sweeping floors, washing dishes, cooking and all the other 'chores'. At this age, they aren't even chores but things to learn and do. Of course, since I too try to make sure he doesn't lose out to other pre-school going kids, we do lots of school-type learning at home as well. I'm proud to say that he's good at numbers, alphabets and music notes. Of course I want him to have interactions with other kids and the outside world too. This is also definetly something I want for myself so we'll be hunting down weekly activities that where we get to meet some new people. I'm also lucky to have my parents around to help take him to different places.
So far, Aaron doesn't seem to have any problems with the Australian accent and will usually chat with people that try to engage him. He went to the museum this morning and tomorrow, we might check out the Rhyme Time at the State Library.