Posts Tagged ‘preschool’

First Day of School

Monday, September 18th, 2017

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
Today was Hudson’s first day of school—ever. As I mentioned last week, I was a bit apprehensive about how he would handle this transition. As predicted, there were tears, mostly on his part. But overall it went well and his teachers agree that he will be A-okay in just a few days.

It’s hard to believe that my little boy is almost three and ready to go to real school. He was so adorable with the backpack, smiling in his pictures and holding hands with his sister. Like many parts of life, this is a “fake it until you make it” situation. I can’t say I feel completely ready to say goodbye to my baby. But I know it’s the right thing. So I’m doing it, and I have to believe at some point, I’ll adjust. I’m sure Hudson will adjust sooner than I do!

I think people who haven’t yet sent children to school, or have those days long behind them can lose sight of what a challenge the transition is. For some people, it’s very easy. For others, it’s extremely emotionally wrenching. To turn over your precious child to the real world is no easy task. But to do so with courage is the mark of a great parent. Good luck to all!

New Routine

Friday, December 16th, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin:
I had Rory’s parent teacher conference a few weeks ago.  In response to my request for how to speed up morning farewells, she offered a great response (which I wish she’d piped up with earlier, though I also understand her hesitance):  have him pick a goodbye routine.  Then stick with it. Consistently.

So now, each morning, we avoid his classroom– going first to Charlotte’s (which is right next door).  We get their lunches put away, the stroller into the storage closet, and her coat hung up.  We each give Charlotte a hug and kiss, and say our goodbyes in her classroom.

Then we head to his, sign him in, put his belongings away, and share three hugs, a kiss, and a shove out the door.

It’s pretty basic, and arguably a lot of steps, to just say farewell.  But we talked it up, let him play a role in choosing it, and have shown him lots of praise and excitement about his success.  In addition to reducing morning stress and making him proud, it has earned me back around 15 additional minutes of early morning time in the office to sort through e-mails and get myself organized before launching into another busy day.  An all around win.  Now on to seeing where else this tactic can assist. . .

Feistier Than Usual

Friday, December 2nd, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin:
That is how Charlotte’s teachers characterized her day yesterday.  Apparently she was even bossier than usual, so much so that her primary teacher asked what we had done to her the night before.  She wouldn’t allow anyone to do anything any way other than HER way.  And it was bad enough that her teachers wrote it down on her daily report sheet.

At almost two, my biggest concern is that what we’re seeing isn’t actually a passing, one-day thing, and, instead her true terrible twos.  I believe I mentioned earlier this year that I thought she had “early onset twos.”  I genuinely thought she was ahead of the game and that maybe we’d be out of the woods sooner.  Now, I’m starting to think it was a mere fraction of the fire and independence this little spitfire is going to have in the coming year.  Sure, its terrific that she’s communicating, and it is starting to feel as though we have two independent (yet still very, very dependent) children on our hands.  But when she is. . . feisty. . . oh man is she ever.

The good news, so far, is that she does seem to listen to redirection and firm instructions reasonably well.  So, if worst comes to worst, we’ll just end up introducing more of the discipline tactics that we used on her big brother a bit sooner than we had to with him.  And in the interim, we’ll probably work on finding ways to channel that determination towards something other than just forcing us to do what we’re told.

Thank You For Being a Friend

Friday, August 26th, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin:
We witnessed an interesting shift for Rory this week.  He said good-bye to many of the older children in his class who are graduating to Pre-K in other schools, and started to welcome his old classmates into his new classroom.  However, his initial reaction was anything but welcoming.

In fact, he was downright mean to his friends.  It made me cringe:  watching him scream, in front of his friends and their parents, that he didn’t want his old classmates to join him in his new room.  He did this, of course, as his sister was running around like a crazy person, making it even harder to pull him aside and discuss the matter quietly with fewer histrionics.


We got through that rough morning, and have been talking to him since then about talking through his feelings.  First and foremost, we have explained to him that the very best thing he can be is a good friend.  That means–we explained–being nice to our classmates and not saying things that hurt their feelings.  We also gave him options for how to be more polite if he doesn’t want to play with his classmates or if he wants to do something different for a time period, such as asking for space or simply saying, “no thank you, I am doing this right now, instead, but maybe we can play later.”  

I am sure he will keep working on it, and we most certainly will encourage him to verbalize his emotions and feelings a bit more.  Thankfully, when he remains calm he is more than able to do exactly that.  

And, in the interim, I will be sure to apologize to his friends’ parents on his behalf. . .

Beyond Her Years

Saturday, July 16th, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Despite admitting that she feels badly drawing comparison’s, Charlotte’s new teacher (and Rory’s former one), cannot help but advise us on just how very different she is when compared to her brother at this age.  Both Rory and Charlotte moved up to the younger toddler classroom at daycare at eighteen months old, making them on the younger side of the age-range for that room.  With Rory, we wondered if he was ready, if he would stand up for him self, if he would be lost, and if he would be comfortable.  He was fine, of course, but we were fretful nonetheless. With Charlotte, we knew there was no holding her back.  She had aged out of her prior classroom months ago, and was thirsting for new and more challenging environs and discoveries.

And she is thriving.

Her teachers claim that she is wise beyond her years in just about everything she does:  the way she stands firmly in her wants and desires (to the point of being bullish and unmoving in her demands), the way she teases her classmates and teachers, her sense of humor, her independence, her manipulation of the little boys in her class, and the way she stands up for herself with fierce tenacity (despite coming in around the 25th percentile on height. . .).  In each instance, people who spend any amount of time around her consistently remark on how much personality is packed into her spunky little self.

Her teacher’s reflections on the topic this week were how surprising it is for her to see when compared to her brother’s far more measured and reserved personality.  As she explained it, Rory would have been in full blown tears in some of the circumstances Charlotte puts herself into.  She, on the other hand, just barrels right on through. And it is fascinating to see.  And we find it interesting to listen to the commentary as she settles in to her new environs. It’s fun to see things through another set of eyes as her teachers share their thoughts and perspectives on her “spunk.”

Sure, it makes life a bit more difficult at bedtime or breakfast when she’s not getting her way. But other times it is amazing to let her take the lead and see just how self sufficient she can be. I hope upon hope that she never loses that tenacity and vision.

Guess we’ll have to wait and see.


Class Clown

Friday, May 27th, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin:
I had Rory’s parent teacher conference yesterday.  I was told he was doing great in just about every area, with two small exceptions.  

The first was no surprise:  he does not do well managing emotions and, as a result, is prone to crying or tattling when his friends do something he doesn’t like.  We have been told we need to work with him on talking through his feelings more.

The other observation was more surprising.  He doesn’t like to give the right answer when asked a question in a group setting.  He acts “shy” or claims not to know, even when he truly does.  I found it shocking that little Mr. know-it-all doesn’t like to share his thoughts.  

His daddy didn’t find it all that surprising.  We have always known Rory to be a little bit of a showman.  Based on his teacher’s explanation, it seems that he would rather get giggles from his friends than chime in with the right answer.  

Hopefully it is a nerve thing and we can help him past it.  But for now we have our “to do” list, and are looking forward to his new classroom.

Moving on up

Friday, May 20th, 2016

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Daycare provided their transition notices this week.  Both Rory and Charlotte are moving up to the next classroom in the beginning of July, and we are looking forward to it.

For Rory, it means that we avoid the problem we encountered last summer. Last year, we could tell he was simply ready to move up to the older classroom.  This year, although he may be moving a bit earlier than some of his closest friends, we are hopeful it will mean that the summer months will be more enjoyable for him.  Maybe he’ll even get a few field trips in, too!

For Charlotte, I am very hopeful that it means that she’ll continue with her verbal development at a quick clip.  I remember seeing a marked improvement for Rory when he moved up to the next class– the increased emphasis on language enabled us to communicate with him much more easily.

I’m excited to see how they each handle the changes and looking forward to watching them continue to thrive.

Covering the Spectrum

Sunday, November 22nd, 2015

From Friday Mom – Erin
It is interesting to see just how many different types of teachers our children have encountered in their collectively limited time in daycare.  We have had one or both of them in four out of five of the classrooms at their current center, and no two experiences have been the same.  Yes, there is a high degree of love and caring in all of the rooms, but the attention to and interaction with parents can be worlds apart.

I say it not out of criticism, but out of an intellectual realization of the different impacts different educational styles can have on our children.  For example, Rory’s head teacher last year had a loving but commanding presence, but his teacher this year is a bit more free-spirited.  He may just be getting better now at testing limits, but he also seems a bit more flighty himself.

Their current teachers are also very different in terms of the level of feedback we receive.  We have literally no idea how Rory is progressing relative to any developmentally based mile markers right now.  His teacher provides us with funny stories and tells us whether he ate well, but says very little beyond that.  Her remarks in the online, interactive database repeat these same stories.

In contrast, Charlotte’s teacher sends pictures with detailed descriptions of developmental milestones and focus areas.  In addition to filling up my photo stream, it gives us a better overall sense of how she spends her days.

Coming from a family of educators, I find it interesting to view these perspectives for the first time as a parent.  I hope I can find the ability to be a little less judgmental about it all as the years go on, though something tells me my opinions may simply grow stronger.



New School

Monday, September 7th, 2015

From Monday Mom – Neetika:
This week Haley starts Pre-K. She’ll be going all day, every weekday. When it first became clear that full-time school was going to be our best option, I was pretty upset. I couldn’t imagine being away from her for so many hours. But I’m so happy with the way things turned out. Maybe I was slow to admit it, but my little girl is not a baby anymore. She is growing up to be incredibly curious, funny, friendly and confident—and she needs the stimulation of all-day education.

Her first day of school is less than two hours, the next day is a half-day and the third is a full day. I suppose that is the school district’s way of easing the kids into it. The program is new, and to be honest, I think the teachers and administration need an adjustment period as much as the students do! I am eager to find out what the look, feel and culture of the school is and see how we all adjust to the new routine.

Another great benefit is the amount of time I’ll be able to spend with Hudson. His whole life, he’s had a rambunctious older sister to contend with. Now he’s going to get a lot of one-on-one time with Mama, which he deserves as much as Haley did. And don’t forget his daily naps! Will I actually have—gasp—a little time to myself each day? It’s hard to believe. But I will enjoy every second.

Hope everyone’s school year is off to a productive start!

Transition Time

Friday, August 28th, 2015

From Friday Mom – Erin:
Rory is finishing up a week of transition at daycare.  He’s been ready for a change for a good two to three months now, having outgrown his younger twos classroom quite a while ago.  It had become fairly routine for me to have to wrangle him out of one of the two preschool classrooms and back into his own room each morning.  I don’t know if it was the draw of the “big kids” or just the better toys, but Rory was clearly longing for the new space.  Luckily, the time has finally arrived.

I’ve loved listening to Rory’s stories about his new classroom each evening.  So far, he has sung the praises of the toy bulldozer and toy dump truck, as well as the cars and ramps and parking garage.  He’s also told us about the new loft, and talked about the new stories.

From my perspective, I’m more excited about the structure of his new classroom.  The potty, for example, is now a regular part of their routine, increasing the chances that we’ll get over the final potty training hurdles sometime soon (or so we hope).  He’s been somewhat consistent this week, and has even started to vocalize his need to use the potty.  He has a little ways to go, but it is a welcome transition, for certain.

In addition, they apparently have a reward system under which he gets stamps for good behavior or being a particularly good helper in the classroom.  On his daily report from Thursday, he was lauded for being a very good helper during clean-up time, earning two stamps.  I was not surprised, but pleased nevertheless that he was doing so well so soon.

But perhaps the most welcome change this week is the sweet exhaustion that comes with all the new experiences.  Bedtime has been pretty seamless, and more importantly, Rory has been sleeping later than usual.  Here’s hoping that lasts through the weekend.