My daughter was four and heading to Kindergarten in one year. Admittedly, I did not spend a ton of time teaching her numbers and letters… let alone sign language, which I did with my first child.

I knew preschool was necessary for her to be prepared and she was going with one of her best friends. She was going to love preschool! And then she didn’t. My happy girl cried and cried and cried three days a week and on each of those mornings I demanded she attend. I was afraid if I allowed her to stay home she would think school was always optional and then I’d be fighting her to go for the rest of her life.

One day, I glanced at my crying daughter in the rear view mirror. She was despondent. Not crying… just sad, with her head pushed up against the glass and little tears streaming down her face.

I turned the car around and we never went back. I could not allow myself to break her spirit over school. I did not know why she didn’t like school, but I knew she wasn’t ready. I was pushing too hard.

I fought the voices in my head that said: “What if she’s not ready for kindergarten,” “What if she falls behind,” “What if she’s the only kid in the class who doesn’t know her letters,” and I decided I would just do the best I could with her at home.

My time to enjoy her as a stay at home child was limited and I wasn’t going to allow her last year home with me to be an unhappy memory for her.

So what happened after I allowed my daughter to drop out of preschool?

She stopped crying

Mornings with my girl were less stressful for both of us when she stopped attending. No more tears from her, and no more frustration and pushing from me.

She realized her voice matters

I showed my daughter that I’m listening to her. Her voice DOES matter and even though I think I always know best, I sometimes need to give her the respect of truly listening to her and picking up on her cues. She was telling me she wasn’t ready -- and she was right.

I learned I’m a terrible faux school teacher

Look I TRIED to teach her what I could before she got to school. I bought her a workbook and we took time here and there to work on some pages, but it was nothing compared to the education she would have gotten in her preschool class. Guess what? She was fine! Our kids are sometimes smarter than we give them credit for. She picked up her numbers and letters easily and, once she started Kindergarten, she was on track before we knew it!

She LOVED Kindergarten -- LOVED it

To my delight, her feelings for school were not influenced by her negative experience with preschool. In fact, she loved Kindergarten.

She’s in first grade now and in the past two years has never once -- not even one single time -- cried so that she could stay home from school. My fear that crying before school and wanting to stay home was going to become "a thing" she did all the time was unfounded. I know we made the right decision to pull her out of preschool even though I was afraid she’d miss out on important lessons. We skipped it, lived to tell about, and guess what? She’s currently a top speller in her class! Take THAT, preschool!!

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