I've decided to stay where we are and not change schools. Our school is great and it just feels like a perfect fit for my boy. He is learning and enjoys going to school everyday. No sense in disrupting that at this early stage in the process.
As I walked by the pond in our local park this morning, I marveled at how still the water was, despite the waterfall behind depositing a steady stream of water into it. It resembled a mirror, reflecting the trees, grass and skies above. That is my favourite part of the 25 minute walk home after dropping Lee off at school.
I started to reflect on the progress Lee has made since starting school. Today is exactly 3 weeks since the first day of school and he has completed the separation from me completely. When I drop him off in the mornings, he says good-bye and gets into his school groove. I've noticed that some of the kids already have close friends that they are happy to see each morning but my son isn't there yet. He'd rather speak to the teacher or stand up in line. There are still a handful of kids that haven't quite made the separation from their parents yet, but overall, the class seems to be doing very well. I think that's a testament to the warm, loving nature of the teacher.
Each day when I pick him up, he skips happily down the street asking me about my day. He's much more interested in hearing what I have to say than telling me about what he did that day. But, I'm figuring out other ways to get him to talk about things, besides asking direct questions. He's always loved to sing and he's added a few new songs to his repertoire, such as the days of the week and the months of the year.
Communication with the teacher is very important to me and she has been very responsive. The recommended method of communication, a note in your child's folder, is effective but she does answer emails as well. I try to keep those to a minimum. If I get there early enough in the mornings, I can chat with her while everyone arrives. I was pleasantly surprised to see a newsletter in Lee's folder a couple of days ago, summarizing what the class has accomplished for the month and suggesting activities to do at home to reinforce what is being learned. Of course, the big news is that the kids took a vote and decided on names for their pet goldfishes and weekly show and tell starts tomorrow.
I've noticed a difference in our nightly story time. Whenever we read books we discuss what is happening in the story. I ask him questions and sometimes (not very often) he asks me questions. He much prefers to just sit and listen to the story as opposed to having conversations about it. Now, he questions and comments more often and in more detail.
Things seem to be good so far but here's a new wrinkle. The school that was my first choice just let me know that a spot has opened for Lee if I'm interested. I'm torn. I really liked the program there but Lee is settled in to his new school and really likes it. I'm not sure if I want to put him through a big change again. On the other hand, it's still early in the year, and if a change is going to be made, now is the best time to do it. I'll take the weekend to think about it.
It's only been 2 days since school started and we have our first cold. That has to be some sort of record. Lee got sick on the weekend so we'll be going to the doctor tomorrow. Thankfully, It seems to be a very mild cold - sneezing, coughing and congestion. I'll take him in to see his pediatrician tomorrow as we need to provide a doctor's note for absences from school, due to illness. I'm not sure that this is absolutely necessary for the 3 year olds because they get sick so often, especially if this is their first time in a setting with so many other kids.
Of course, everyone is scared of the H1N1 virus (aka Swine Flu). Along with our student handbook, we received a very detailed handout with procedure and policies for dealing with the H1N1 virus. It states, if your child is ill, please keep him/her at hone. Once all symptoms wear off, it is requested that they stay home an additional 24 hours before returning to school, just to be safe.
The H1N1 vaccine has just been approved. Will you be getting your child vaccinated?
As a producer, I approach all productions by planning for and expecting the worst while striving for the best. I'm happy to say that the first days of preschool seem to be going very well for my boy, so far.
On the very first day, the pre-k and kindergarden students gathered in the cafeteria to meet the teachers and then go up to the classroom. The 3 year old class was split into 2 groups with half the kids starting on Wednesday and the other half starting on Thursday. We started on Thursday. We were the first ones from the pre-k class to arrive in the cafeteria. I thought we were late because no other families were there. Lee was anxious and so was I. He did not want me to leave him. About 10 minutes later the teacher and other families started to arrive. A sticker with his name on it from the teacher was all that was needed put Lee at ease, and he soon started to play a bit and jump around. When everyone arrived we all lined up behind the teacher and walked upstairs to the classroom. In the classroom, we helped the kids to put their coat and bookbags in their cubbies then stood off to the side while they all sat in a circle at the front of the class. They played a little getting acquainted game then found their place at preassigned tables with their names and started to color/draw with crayons. While they were coloring, the parents were asked to say goodbye and left the classroom.
Classes were only half day the first week. Each day that I go to pick Lee up he says he had fun at school. Now that they are going for a full day, he is taking a nap and having breakfast and lunch there. He hasn't asked me to eat breakfast at home and he's not hungry at the end of the day so he must be enjoying what is being served and actually eating it.
We haven't completed the separation at drop off yet. We're still meeting downstairs and walking up to the classroom with them. Some parents are able to leave their kids in the cafeteria. I'm sure we'll get to that point soon.
My son, Lee, will be attending a private Catholic school on the upper west side of New York City and last Wednesday was new parent orientation night. It was a chance for all of the new parents to meet each other, meet the teachers and hear from the principal about procedures and policies. It was a nice night. I really like the fact that spent a lot of time with the teachers and fellow parents, asking questions and getting acquainted. This is my son's first school experience so I'm extremely nervous. Like most parents, it's hard to know whether or not you've made a good decision choosing a school/program that is a good fit for your child.
A few days after school starts, we will sit down with the teachers again for a more detailed discussion of the curriculum and what the days will be like for the kids. Communication is extremely important and so far this principal has really been good about being open and accessible in addressing my queries. And trust me, I've got a lot of them!
Each family was given a list of supplies that they need to provide for the classroom. It's a very reasonable list and we are happy to supply them.
Lee is not excited to start school because he wants to continue staying home with Mommy. That's to be expected, since I've been home with him since he was born. This will be our first separated experience so we'll be figuring things out together. The program is all day from 8:15 to 2:30, five days a week. There is an after school option available on a daily/weekly/monthly basis which is great to have if, or should I say when, I start working again. We enrolled in a five week summer program this summer so that he could get used to being away from me for longer periods of time. He cried every morning that I dropped him off up until the last week. Even though he cried, he did say that he had fun when I picked him up in the afternoons so that made me feel better. I know we'll be going through it again when school starts but I'm better prepared to handle it this time.