Preschool- Yes or No?

My oldest daughter turns three in just a few months, but the questions about whether or not my husband and I plan to send her to preschool have been rolling in for almost a year now. Back then when the questions started, we would always cite time as the reason why we hadn’t thought about the prospect of preschool. “Oh, she’s just two,” we’d say, adding quickly that we would start looking more seriously when she approached three.

But then two and a half came and went and we did start looking, but because most of the preschools we were interested in were more money than we could afford, we put it off.

Now that she is three, I would say that most of her playmates are in some form of preschool for either part or all of the day. Their parents, who are both working or with one parent at home, pay between $1,000 a month to $2,500 a month. We can’t afford the expense of “that” kind of preschool right now.  But we want the quality of “that” kind of preschool. So we’ve been looking at the most reasonable alternative.

Me.

I’ve been thinking about using an online preschool curriculum to teach her at home. This sounds like a bit of a stretch for me, considering I also have a one-year old at home, but I think I can do it. In fact, I know I can do it. So that isn’t the problem.

The problem is that whenever some parent tells me their child is in preschool, I always begin to feel a tinge of doubt. I guess, for me, at least in my area, where your child is going to preschool is like a badge of honor that seems to scream of the financial devotion to ensuring that your children are receiving the best that our state has to offer. Or maybe this is all in my head, manifesting itself in questions like:

“Am I making the right decision keeping her at home?”

“Should I suck it up and just pay for her to go somewhere just for the sake of me being able to say that she is going somewhere?”

I know the answers to these questions, of course. I know that trying to keep up with the Joneses is dumb and that instead I should just focus on how great of a job I am doing with her at home and just keep up with that. I know this, so that’s what I’ve been aiming to do. For now, my toddler is not in preschool, but she’s learning lots at home. For now, this is enough.

Did your toddler attend preschool? If so, at what age?