Thursday, April 2, 2009

Joy School: Inexpensive Alternative to Preschool

According to the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER), more than two-thirds of 4-year-olds and more than 40 percent of 3-year-olds were enrolled in a preschool in 2005.

Every mother wants the best for their children, wants their child to have a competitive edge, or at least be prepared for elementary school and beyond.

But preschool can be a budget buster. Our local preschool charged $140/month for 2 days a week (a few years ago when my now 7-year-old attended).

Joy School offers an inexpensive alternative to formal preschools. Here's a description from the Joy School website:

"Do-it-yourself Joy Schools involve from 3 to 6 mothers who rotate as teacher, holding Joy School in their homes twice a week using the detailed lesson plans from this site which include all the music, stories, games, and activities to learn and teach one kind of Joy each month.

"The Joy School curriculum is built around joy -- with the philosophy that happy children become strong students and well adjusted adults. For three and four year olds, "J.Q." (Joy Quotient) is more important than I.Q. (Time after time we are told by kindergarten and first grade teachers that Joy School graduates do better in school than kids coming out of pushy, early-academics preschools.)"

I'm on my third go around with Joy School. Don't forget that I'm creatively challenged. For that matter, I'm challenged in the nurturing area, too. But I love it, and my children have had great experiences with Joy School.

Best of all is the cost: $140 for the entire school year. That includes all the lesson plans (click here to sample a free lesson plan) and cd's of music that goes along with the lessons.

  • The second year includes a kindergarten-readiness program.
  • If you're interested, start asking around early (like now) for other interested parents.
  • Don't be intimidated. The website tells you exactly how to get a group up and running. It's simple.


  1. We love this! Count us in for next fall too!

  2. MAN. I've been trying to do this with some friends and haven't found anybody who wants to do it. Everybody sends their kids to the "cheap" ($130/month) preschool at ND. UGH.

    I'm going to keep trying, though. Thanks for the website link!

  3. Creatively challenged? I don't think so. Look at how creative you are about saving money. Plus, you have good taste AND you actually can make stuff.

  4. You're nice, Heather. That means a lot coming from one whom I see as incredibly artistically talented.