School is cool

October 28, 2010 at 11:47 pm (Family, Parenting, Pre School, Toddler)

I know I know it’s been a loooooong time since I’ve updated.  Sorry.  I’ve been slacking.  Also, I feel that with facebook, I tend to update a lot of what I would have blogged.

Anyway, since my last post, Alexis started school.  I was hesitant about putting her in school.  I know I’ve written about that in the past.  I’ve stayed home with her and loved being with her.  It was scary for me to think that someone else would be in charge of her for a few hours every day.  But, I also knew that she needed it.  She is very active and social and smart.  I knew that she needed more than just her and I every day.  And I needed it, it was becoming increasingly more difficult to keep her entertained, going out and doing errands was exhausting for me.  And, the fact that I was alone a lot of the time meant that I got no break at all.

I did quite a bit of researching before choosing a school for her.  I visited a lot of schools, some of them several times.  I wanted to put her in school 3 days a week.  After all my tours, I decided that the school I liked the best was a montessori school.  The first time I went to this school, I didn’t like it.  I didn’t like the structure and the routine.  Well, 6 months later I felt differently.  I felt that she needed some of that structure and that it was good.  It was more of a school than a daycare and that was important to me.  I was comfortable with the school and staff, I knew that she would learn there, and would benefit from it.  My only hesitation was that for her age group, it had to be 5 days a week.  The younger kids could go 3 days, but for her age they wanted them there 5 days because they have more of a routine and daily activities.  I felt that it was a trade off I was willing to make to have her in a school I thought was a good fit.

I decided to have her start at the beginning of the school year so that she would be starting with everyone else and learning the routine along with the rest of the class.  As her first day approached, I was definitely nervous.  Marc was out of town for most of her first week, so I was on my own.   The morning of her first day, I woke her up and got her dressed, I tried explaining as best I could to her that she was going to be going to school and she was going to play with her friends and that I would pick her up after her nap.  When we got there, she was fine, a little apprehensive but ok.  I walked her to her class and then told her that I was leaving and would be back after lunch.  She just looked at me a bit confused.  As I walked out I heard her yell, “mommy!” and then start crying.  I left, which was not easy, but I knew it was the best thing for her.  I called a little over an hour later and the teacher said she was doing ok.  She wasn’t crying but she didn’t want to play and didn’t want to eat.  When I went to pick her up she was very happy to see me and the teacher said she did ok the rest of the day but didn’t eat.

The rest of the first week was a gradual improvement.  She still cried at drop off but stopped shortly after and then had fun during the day and was happy.  By Thursday, no more crying, just a little whimpering, and Friday was, “bye, mommy!” I know I’m lucky, I know not all kids adjust that easily and I honestly don’t know how long I would have held out if she was hysterical every day.

Now that she’s been there for just over two months, I KNOW I made the right decision.  She loves school, she can’t wait to go every day, talks about everything she’s learned.  As for the learning, it’s more than I expected.  She is learning the continents and can recite them, she can spell her name, to name a couple things.  The other thing that’s great is that she has really learned to clean up after she’s done playing.  Most of the time, I need to remind her or at least start doing it myself, but other times, she does it herself.

And then there’s the other side of school, the 4 hours that I have every morning! It’s amazing.  At first I felt guilty being a stay at home mom, while my daughter was at school every morning.  It’s wonderful to be able to do things like go grocery shopping and run errands without dealing with a temper tantrum.  And, since I’m in grad school, it’s time for me to work on school work.  I love picking her up and she is so happy every day when she sees me.

So, I know I waited until I felt she was ready and until I was ready.  And when that time came, it was great and it was a perfect fit for us.

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