I’ve been conflicted all along about Austin going to preschool. I can totally see the pro’s of it all. Learning to be around kids, learning to sit still in a class-like setting, etc. I even posted a question about it on Facebook, and all of the comments I got were “YES” for preschool.
But one thing just nags at me… once he starts school, he will be going to school for years and YEARS. Can’t he just be a carefree little boy while he still has time to? He goes to gymnastics, and storytime at the library where he learns to be in a group and follow a teacher’s instructions.. fun things that he would have to give up, if he went to preschool every day. He knows his ABC’s and some simple math like 1 + 2, using his fingers of course.., colors, shapes, including hexagon, octagon and oval.. I can’t see him lagging behind in Kindergarten just b/c he doesn’t go to preschool.
We decided, though, that we would probably send him, since it seems like the thing to do, but not until he’s at least 4 or 4 1/2. I mean, some moms at storytime are really serious about it.. one told me that she had checked out all of the preschools in the area and had copies of their curriculum. Wow. I would have never even thought far enough ahead to do that. I don’t even want to send my kid to preschool… Am I weird that way?
But here’s where things just fell into place. Perfectly.
We happened to be near a Gymboree Play and Music play gym, and Austin was BEGGING to go and look inside. I told him no b/c he already goes to a gymnastics class..
(stretching at gymnastics with Bella and Talisa, twins who also have a Newfie, named Dylan, a Landseer )
(pull-ups with his teacher, Felicia)
(jumping kamakazi off of the cube)
(learning to balance on diff. things)
..and to storytime
(his storytime buddy Caleb)
and we don’t need to sign up for something else.. but he persisted with wanting to go in, so I told him that we could just look in the window. And there it was.. a flyer in the window, at my eye level, announcing their new “school skills” class for 3-5 yr olds. ONE day a week, for TWO hours a day. Drop-off. So he could learn to be independent. And did I mention only one day a week? This makes me happy.. he can still be a little boy on the other days, w/o the responsibility of going to school every day. And it’s really economical, and he loves it, loves being around the kids, and wasn’t even upset about us leaving him there the first time. In fact, when we picked him up, I thought he’d be glad to see us, but he gave me a look and then looked away. As in, “If I don’t look at her, she’s not really here.” OUCH. Because he didn’t want to leave the fun.
This is his sweet teacher, Miss Grace..
We were talking about it at storytime, and one mom asked me how long we were going to leave him in that class, and when we would start “actual” preschool.. Wow, this preschool peer pressure is intense. ha! I think as far as we’re concerned, this is actual preschool. It’s just enough. It is the perfect happy medium for us. Something led me to that window.. and there was my answer.
They learn a new letter every week, and do some sort of art, read a story, have a snack, and play on the play gyms..
Here is his first day.. so proud to use his little backpack (that was a shower gift from Leigh and Kelsey –it is perfect for him now!)
His first art picture.. “alot of paw prints” .. guess what’s on his mind?
One day we picked him up and he was playing with his backpack on.. he told his teacher he wanted to wear it while he played b/c he was “traveling”.
And look Uncle Bryan! He made a necklace! You’ll have to get together and compare your necklaces.
Oh, and did I mention it is right next to Rubio’s, our fave place to eat? And a fountain that Austin loves to kick around at.. and some really great shops? Here he is having fun before class..
And beaming when we picked him up. He had planted some peas in a cup that he decorated with stickers.
Since he started going to school skills, he has started sounding out all kinds of words when he’s talking. He’ll say, “Mommy are we going to the store? … sssss-tore…..ssssss…. Hey! Stores starts with…. SSSSSssssss!!!!” So fun!! For now, I think we’ll stick with Pretend Preschool.