Q: I think I remember you mentioning homeschooling (preschooling?) your son. If you have any ideas on that, especially on doing it frugally, I sure would love to hear them. –Shannon
A: I don't consider ours a traditional homeschooling family. However, we have been "preschooling" at home because tuitions are sky-high. Here, the need for childcare has converted most economical church programs to full-time daycare. I would be paying $200 (and up!) a month for two mornings a week. Also, I don't really believe that young children need to learn in a formal setting.
Instead, we found less expensive museum and zoo memberships, use our local library at least twice a week, and mark our calender with all the free activities in the local parent's magazine. With few exceptions, I've found all the manipulatives and learning games we can store at yard sales and thrift stores. Instead of Mother's Day Out, mom gets a little break by exercising at the YMCA, where nursery time is included in the fee. We also found that my husband’s school offers a free Preschool Lab one morning a week. While the high school students develop an early childhood curriculum, our son gets to operate in a small group setting and learn to separate from mom. More than the academics, this was my biggest concern for a clingy only child!
Some reference books that have inspired me to develop low-cost alternatives at home:
Barbara Curtis’ Small Beginnings
Teach Your Child To Read In 100 Easy Lessons
Karen Miller’s The Outside Play and Learning Book
Karen Jenkins’ Kinder Krunchies: Healthy Snacks For Children
Ruth Bowdoin’s The Magical Years: The Bowdoin Method At Home