When I decided to forgo preschool (and probably the early years of school as well) for Zeke there was really only one downside in my mind.
Everyone else always thinks it's the socialization thing, which is quickly becoming a charged subject for me. I'm unsure at the moment when exactly independent socialization is necessary, but I'm almost confident it's not before the age of 7 or even 9. And I'm definitely sure that school isnt the only or even necessarily the best place to get it anyways. There are team sports, there are boy scouts, there is church, ect. The socialization thing isn't a big deal for me.
No, for me, at first, the biggest downside was missing all those fun field trips. Until I realized that farms, zoos, arbors, museums, restaurants ect are just as welcoming to families as they are to schools and I have a bunch of friends that are just as willing to show up and look around as I am.
And so, even though I'm not starting preschool with Zekey until he hits 3 or 4, I am committing to doing fun "field trips" now and then. Josh pointed out that it's really not all that different from the fun activities I am always planning for us to do on Saturdays.
Yesterday was our first. We went to Spokane Family Farm, which is a local dairy farm. The dairy farm at which I will be buying all our milk from now on :) since a friend of mine is starting a co-op to take turns driving out there to pick it all up for everyone. Although for me its only a 15-20 minute drive, which in Spokane is about how long you drive to get ANYWHERE. Depending on the pickup location everyone chooses it might save me time to get it myself. Plus then Zekey can say hi to the cows. Its 3.50 a gallon, which is a lot more then I'm currently spending. But for fresh, healthful, low-heat pasteurized, un-homogenized milk? I think its worth it. They also keep beef cows, which got me dreaming about a freezer in our basement.... ahh the things I would do if we had a freezer... Maybe for christmas....
Anyways. We got to see the cows getting milked, and we got to feed the baby cows their bottles, then we got to see chickens and pigs and donkeys and horses and hold a bunny and eat icecream. It was a pretty big success. Zeke LOVED the animals. He loved them so very much that I'm going to really try to find time this summer to take him to the farm petting zoo. We spend most of our free weekends at Greenbluff, the local growing community, since Josh loves fruit so much. But if I cant find a weekend then I can always go midweek with the boys by myself.
Of course I forgot my camera. Sorry! But I have a feeling we will be back anyways. :)
Side note: Over at The Parenting Passageway Carrie is doing a short series on raising boys that I'm finding both interesting and helpful. It's obviously relevant to me as a mother of two boys but especially relevant at the moment because I'm also currently reading Let Me Be a Woman by Elizabeth Elliot which also focuses strongly on the differences between men and women and their thus different needs/abilities/callings. I strongly recommend both.