My sweet baby Connor started preschool last week. He went last year, as a 3-yr-old… and it wasn’t his favorite part of his day by any means…so I knew that for this year I needed to look for some alternatives, but I didn’t really know what to do.
But I LUCKED out! Eric and I went to a wedding reception a month or so ago, and met Linda- she was the Aunt to the Groom that married my husband’s cousin’s daughter…(confusing?) we got talking, and found that we were both scrapbookers, and live really close to one another- and then she told me about her pre-school. This opened up a conversation about pre-schools etc, and I told her that I was trying to figure out what do to for connor. Get this… she had a spot open up after being full since January- one spot for a 4 year old boy. Now, I didn’t know her at all, but I could just tell that she had a warmth and creativity that would make a fantastic pre-school teacher. I took the spot!
Connor and Capri are SO different in their personalities and learning styles. Capri really thrives in a very structured/class environment. Connor –not so much- he needs more of a soft touch, a playful, creative environment. When we went to the ‘orientation’ at his new school, I KNEW that this was more than a happy accident… it was meant to be! This teacher, this room was PERFECT for Connor. He was leary, even resistant to going at all. He talked a lot about NOT wanting to go to school. – this little opportunity to check things out totally turned everything around! Actually, after being in this classroom for about 3 minutes, I wanted to walk away from it all, and start a pre-school. So cute!
The first day of school, the mom’s were invited to come in for a one-hour-version of the otherwise 3.5 hour regular classtime. I loved watching Connor just be so totally himself, fully engage and buy right into the whole thing: circle time, writing stations, even the little nap time and the freeze-when-you-hear-the-bell time. The thing that impressed me the MOST is that the teacher did a few things to introduce the kids to each other, and there are 8 kids total in the class..Connor remembered all the kids’ names and what color shirt they were wearing even until the next morning. I can’t even remember one persons’ name when meet someone new.
I loved getting to be in the class for the first day so I could snap a bunch of photos. i think that the lockers were a huge hit… even Capri (who also came to the orientation) was just totally jealous that Connor had a locker! and he knew it was cool- i mean, he was stoked!
Connor has 2 favorite stations in the classroom: 1. the 'writing' station where you can get paper, pencils and pens and colored pencils, and there is a huge stack of stencils (this was connor's first time playing with stencils and he was a huge fan). and 2. the bean bin: this is like a table height plastic bin full of dried beans that you can dig in and play like you would sand. he loves it!