Preschool Options + a Lesson in Humility

You may remember my post awhile back about how I have been homeschooling Ollie. I mean, it’s just preschool so it hardly counts as legit homeschool, but regardless, we were still doing something. It has been working sooo well in terms of him learning and us accomplishing the subjects of the day. We have switched up the subjects and added more like geography, music, cooking, typing, drawing, etc. The problem I have faced is that I am rapidly burning out. Not from our measly 30 minutes of preschool, but of having three littles with me 24/7. I have thought, prayed, researched about so many options and was still left torn. It’s a hard pill to swallow acknowledging that something isn’t working and needs to be changed and actually doing something about it. Things have been really hard between him and Atlas fighting every other minute, so I’m sure they need break from each other, too. I couldn’t wrap my mind around what we should do come August, so I did what I knew I could rely on to be a tried and true source of decision making: Pro/Con List. So I basically had narrowed everything down to 3 options:

1. Holy Cross Preschool

Pros

  • Our local parish has a campus that ranges from PreK-8th. We toured their campus and it was AMAZING. Computer lab, UNIFORMS!, prayer time, saints of the week, etc. So dreamy and ideal.
  • 2 minutes from our house. Daniel would be able to take him and pick him up making me able to chill without a morning time commitment.
  • Catholic! I think it’s important for the preschool to be able to give him something that I can’t and since I’m such a newbie, he would def learn so much I’m not able to teach as of now.
  • Very active in the community. Daniel and I aren’t the most outgoing people so being forced to make friends at our parish would probably benefit us all. If Ollie has to be used a little bit, then so be it. He uses me 24/7. -_-
  • Their discipline and overall philosophy is pretty align with what we practice/enforce at home

Cons

  • The hours are long though, 3 days a week 7:45-2:30. I honestly believe if Ollie is away from me for that long, he will act out more at home. Whenever Daniel and I are gone on a date, the reunion with Ollie is always met with a day or so of weepy, needy behavior so this would just a lot.
  • Those long hours came with a pretty hefty price, too. $$$
  • Enrolling him would require a lot of time and resources from Daniel and I every month with volunteering and participating in events and the hermit inside of me is slowing walking backwards.

2. Catalyst Community Preschool

Pros

  • My friend drove past this church which is a couple doors down from our old parish (her current parish) and saw this school so we went and checked it out and it’s SO cute. It is structured so the kids will be outside almost the entire time which would be great for indoor, I’m too sweaty I’m going inside to play Ollie.
  • 2 days a weeks, 8:30-noon.
  • Cheap cheap cheap
  • One of Ollie’s friends is enrolling for the same days!
  • It’s new so I’m sure the teachers are all really invested in making it great, aka not burnt out like me.
  • They are heavily centered around hands on crafts like a mud kitchen, painting, gardening, you know, all the fun things that we don’t do because why would I ever intentionally do something that would result in a giant mess for the sake of learning? Fun mama! I am more than willing to do those things as they get older and can help clean the ish up.

Cons

  • I would be the one having to have everyone ready and out the door by 8:15 latest. No slow mornings of unbrushed haired and tv shows on tuesdays/thursdays anymore. I guess this is also a pro…
  • How much of a break would it really be for me if I’m driving an hour a day going back and forth?
  • Not Catholic? Not a deal breaker at all but doesn’t work in its favor. I’m just reaching now….

3. Homeschool

Pro(s)

  • In charge of everything. Curriculum, discipline, schedule.

Cons

  • In charge of everything…
  • Burnt out.
  • Atlas + Primrose interuptions
  • No one-on-one time

 

 

ADDITIONAL ADD-ON: BABYSITTER/MOTHERHELPER/NANNY/LIFESAVER (3 hours/week)

Pros

  • I can chose to spend that time alone, one-on-one with each kid. I have the real freedom to spend that time anyway I want with whomever I please.
  • I can meet Daniel for lunch if I wanted. Or go get coffee alone. Or nap in the back of my van at the beach. Endless opportunities, people.
  • Sanity

Cons

  • More monie spent
  • Finding someone I can rely on

 

Immediately after I finished my proing and my coning, it became so clear to me.

Catalyst Community Preschool + BABYSITTER

Okay, here is my logic. Homeschool = HELL NO. Holy Cross is amazing, but also a huge commitment we ain’t ready for. We will definitely consider it when Ollie is in need of legit schooling besides the basics. I mean, my primary reasons for sending him it for him is to get something I can’t offer him and give myself a break. With the money we would be paying for our parish school, we’d be able to send him to the 2 day at Catalyst plus be able to hire a babysitter and still come out of it with $$. I feel like utilizing that alone time where I can get out of the house and do ANYTHING I want will help our entire family. Self-care people. I can also chose to have real one-on-one dates if I wanted. Take only Atlas to the park. Go to coffee shop with Ollie. Get my nails done with Prim in my lap. I can still supplement his preschooling with some easy activities at home like workbooks and the like if I wanted.

Catalyst will make Ollie have to just deal with being sweaty outside for a few hours (sounds so silly but it’s a real, everyday complaint I get from him). He is still getting enough social time without the obligation of having to host. After a small get together we had the other weekend he came up to me afterwards and said, “Mama, I really need a break from seeing my friends. They come over, make a mess, and I’m tired of playing with them for a long time and cleaning it all up myself.” He is my little twin so I know going away to school for only a couple hours will give him just enough of the social environment he loves without the obligation of keeping everything in order in his perfect melancholic mind.

All I do know is that this burden has been lifted from me. I was hesitant to accept that things needed to change. Often people say, “God wouldn’t give you something you can’t handle” which I entire believed until a weekish ago until I saw a mom write, “I never liked that phrase because it’s not true at all. How many times are we calling out to God for help because we can’t handle something? God gives you things you can’t handle so that you have to rely on Him and rely on others.” It’s totally a way of breaking down your (ahem, my) pride and ego and as tough as it is, it’s needed. I’m sure there are a million reasons God blessed me with 3 kids so young, but I bet me having to accept that I can’t do everything myself is a biggie.

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9 Comments

Lauren

Great to hear! I am so glad you are taking care of your sanity and the peace of your home. My mom comes over every week while I do my shopping/errands/have 1-on-1 time with my oldest daughter (4 years old) or alone time. That was life changing this past year. And next year I am sending Grace to half day kindergarten at the public school (2 blocks away, 3 hrs a day). I had planned to home school (and was part of a homeschool coop for preschool the past 2 years) but with a new baby due in Nov, a 2 yr old, a 3 1/2 yr old and very social, eager to learn 5 year old I just know I need the support of school. It may not be our decision forever but it has given me such peace of mind for this year!

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Jenna Wilber

That is so great you have the help and support of your mom! It’s so easy to forget that we can change our minds and move on and try something else if what we chose isn’t working. Your plan sounds so perfect.

Dana Vickers

My prideful (most dominant) side can relate! I like what your mom said :) never heard it put that way before!

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Jenna Wilber

It’s so hard to just not do everything yourself! Wish I had just accepted that after I had Ollie because things/life would have have been a lottttttt smoother, haha.

Emily

I absolutely love how well you thought this out and really considered every aspect. So often I see moms proclaim their new solution, but give no background to their thought process and options, and the options are what help the rest of us when our time comes. :)

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Nicole

Jenna,
I just wanted to say, I can SO relate with the difficulty of realizing just how hard it is to have multiple little ones at home ALL day. (My two are almost exactly the same ages as Atlas and Prim). It’s just HARD, and constant. We’ve toyed with the idea of getting a mother’s helper too though I think I’d rather save that for when I actually have three (don’t know how you do it!). I hope Ollie loves his preschool!

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Jenna Wilber

It IS so hard and constant. If you are able to get someone to help out, even if it’s only for an hour a week now so you can go off and do nothing (or whatever!), you should do it!

Genevieve

What a helpful post.

I live in a very isolated community, with a partner that works 12-14 hour days.. it can be hard at home! Especially in the winter with all the animals to feed.

I am naturally lazy, I love the couch. My children don’t. I have just started enrolling my son in 1 day a week (9-3) preschool, which is super cheap and he loves.. It is an hour a day worth of driving but it gives me a break, him a break and a chance to spend time with the other children.

The idea of a mothers helper, to me would be ideal and something that I would much prefer, but it is almost impossible to get anyone to come to our place due to its location. sigh.

Isnt it hard when we have ideals in mind (homeschool! homeschool!) but find that we might not be cut out for it? Although I feel I might still send my 2-4 year olds to preschool and homeschool the 5+ and under 2s….

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