Meet Karen Taylor!

Meet Karen Taylor,
Contributing Editor for the Universal Preschool Ezine!

Karen Taylor has been actively involved in the homeschooling community since 1995, writing and speaking about homeschooling, and helping thousands of new homeschoolers at conferences and online.

A strong homeschooling activist, she has been outspoken against universal preschool and mandatory kindergarten. She has manned booths at Baby Expos up and down the state of California trying to reach out to parents of young children and offer them options to government schooling.

Karen was very interested in early child development in college, and she taught preschool and public school for a short time before her passion shifted to homeschooling.

Karen provides regular homeschooling information and mentoring on Facebook and she is the director of Cedar Life Academy, a Private School Satellite Program (PSP) for homeschoolers in California.

Her youngest child did not go to preschool, and was fully homeschooled until he started college. She is still interested in child development, but Karen thinks the best place for a young child is at home.

Karen provides regular homeschooling information and mentoring on Facebook and she is the director of Cedar Life Academy, a Private School Satellite Program (PSP) for homeschoolers in California.

Karen would like to know your questions and concerns about living and learning with young children. Send them to her at Contact Karen Taylor.

In the meantime, I know you'll appreciate the wisdom she has to share about surviving the holidays with relatives and friends who may be less than supportive of your decision not to send your little one to preschool.

Meet Karen Taylor!

Holiday Survival Guide
for Parents of Unpreschoolers

Meet Karen Taylor!

By Karen Taylor

The holiday time of year is upon us, and that often means more opportunities to visit with extended family members, some of whom you may not have seen in awhile. If your child isn't enrolled in preschool, it's possible that someone may express their worry, so just take a deep breath and be prepared! You really can have wonderful holiday visits with family and friends. Just remember that this is your child, and you know what is best for him or her!

Meet Karen Taylor!

So, what can you do?

First, keep your sense of humor, and try not to take doubting comments personally. With so much emphasis on readiness skills, and publicity about kids dropping out of school or being unable to read, it's natural for many people to worry that your happy young child may get "behind" if he's not in preschool.

Be prepared to step in should someone decide to rudely quiz your child directly. If they have a problem with your no-preschool choice, they need to talk to you in private.

Make sure your child is rested for the visit, eating food he likes, and that you've done all you can to prevent a kid crisis. There are often meltdowns at this age, so if it happens, just quietly remove your child and comfort him in another room. Even kids who go to preschool have meltdowns!

Don't feel you have to show off what your child knows. This is hard, and you're going to be strongly tempted, because we all want to prove we're doing the right thing.

Just smile and join the family with a "how nice" when your sister-in-law brags about what her child has learned in preschool. And keep saying to yourself, "It's not a contest, and I'm doing the right thing." Keep on saying it, because it's easy to start doubting yourself!

Holiday Survival Guide for Parents of Unpreschoolers!

Brace yourself for some standard family questions or comments:

Even if your child is absolutely wonderful, there's usually someone in the crowd who will turn it into a negative. The child is too friendly, or not friendly enough. Basically, you can't please everyone, so just smile to yourself and make a mental note to write and tell me so we can both roll our eyeballs over it!

Take it one year at a time.

If you are planning to homeschool your child for all of the preschool years, and perhaps kindergarten and beyond, you might consider saving that news for another year, after it's a done deal and your child is happily still at home. There's nothing wrong with saying that you are taking it one year at a time, and it can save you a lot of stress.

Don't forget your support network!

Strong support is available from other parents who are also not sending their children to preschool. Be sure to have regular contact with them, whether it's in person at a homeschool park day or online at the Unpreschool list. I'm on the unpreschool list, and would love to hear from you. Just know that many of us are with you in spirit, holding you up whenever things get tough!