School, An Update

Well that went much better than I had planned. I am posting this update a little late, but whew.

What a weight lifted.

(insert sigh of relief here.)

If you have no idea what I mean, I have been writing about making a decision about Poops' school here and here.

So before the final conference, lists were made and lines were rehearsed (yes this is how I prepare for a "conversation" but inevitably no matter how prepared I am, it never really pans out how I picture.) I was all Nervous Nelly and I got dressed in the only nice black pants I own since I no longer have an office job.

I decided ahead of time to put my "quiet" hat on and do all the listening. I normally come right out of the gates with nervous chatter, stating my points, making my case, but this time I decided to pull a "George Costanza" and do the opposite of what my instincts tell me. Which actually worked out well.

Turns out, I hadn't needed any of that preparation after all.

They did all the talking and they ended up saying the same things I said. Mostly. So we're going to try for a round two next year at the same place. I think that having new teachers in a new classroom with new work might be helpful. I don't know what it was that made him act completely different from anywhere else, but I have a hunch that it had something to do with discipline/slash/boredom. If not, we have Plan B, because not every school is for every student and at least we'll have given it a fair shot.

We're at a Montessori school right now and I actually love it. The Montessori work is work with a purpose. At this age, it helps them build language, dexterity and independence. It allows children the freedom to choose their own work and go at their own pace. The good is that it allows children to develop at their own pace and it fosters independence as well as teaches them how to work within a group. The only downside is that some students require a more structured classroom; they need more guidance in choosing work or following through.

And that's what we're going to find out this year. Of course, a lot of it also has to do with the individual Montessori teacher and whether or not they can help unlock a child's ability to conquer his or her internal discipline. But of course, every individual child is different.

Either way, I am glad that's over and I'm looking forward to the summer. We'll have gymnastics, swimming, a couple weeks of summer camp and then school will start. I'm looking forward to a really fun and productive summer, but most of all FUN! In all of this, I'm trying to remember that in the end, he has really just turned three. THREE. And I'm going to let him be three.

So because I love me some people polls, what road did you choose for your child's pre-school and how did you go about making the decision? Did you do Montessori? Did you choose a more structured classroom? Did you have to make a switch? Why?

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  1. I'm glad you have a weight off your shoulders! I can feel your relief! :o)

    The twins went to a Christian preschool (we are not an avid religious, church-going family) and I loved it. They had fun, loved to learn, and I liked their teacher as well.

    To me, preschool is more about getting the kids used to social environments and having fun.

    The twins transitioned to kindergarten without a hitch, and I had been super worried since they have July birthdays and were barely 5. They did amazing, and even participated in the gifted and talented program!

  2. I will keep this post in the back of my mine for when I do have to make these decisions. I would in the public school setting and your right, not every school is for every student.

  3. This is going to be a longer response that you were probably hoping for. ;-) It's what I was going to send you in email. It sounds like we're sort of in a similar place with regard to school, but different ages. It sounds like you had a good meeting with Poops' school, and it's great that you have a Plan B in case the following year sees the same issues. I'm seeing, in my own experience, how there really is no "one size fits all" to education and child development. And as a parent and novice to the system, it's daunting to think that our kids' success will be partly determined by how we navigate this system.

    I didn't have any particular ideas about preschool (when to start, etc.), other than having fun and helping get the kids socially ready for school. But our son had a speech delay at age 2 and, after an evaluation, was determined to be eligible for speech therapy and preschool services. He attended a parent/child preschool and speech therapy one day per week, and it led to some fantastic breakthroughs. At age 3, we were transferred to our school district's special education preschool. It was a really nice program, and it helped him not only with speech development but also with learning to follow classroom procedures. After a year, he was determined to not need the program and, on recommendation from his teacher, we enrolled him at a preschool that had some structure. There was another one that we considered that was less structured in its curriculum, which he probably would have enjoyed but that his teacher felt would have him less ready for public school kindergarten. (Our daughter ended up going to the same preschool and loves it. Our district's elementary schools do a lot of drawing and writing and reading fiction, even in kindergarten, and those are her strong points. Not as much stuff for the budding engineers and scientists like our son, sadly. At home, he can focus and work with his dad to put together an integrated circuit, but he gets dinged at school for poor handwriting and tuning out. Ugh.) did it all work out? He's just finishing up 2nd grade. He's met all of the standards for each grade level, and his first two teachers were really fantastic. This year has been different. He's still doing well academically, but his teacher has been frustrated with him--he's not disruptive, but he does tend to tune out and lose focus, and I think she's taking it a bit too personally, like he's doing this purposefully. We feel frustrated and somewhat guilty, because we felt things would get better and they never did, and perhaps another teacher would have had less of a negative impact. I'm beginning to suspect that public school might not be the best place for him, but I'm not sure what to do at this point. We're trying to transfer him to a smaller school in our district, but it's very competitive for kindergarten enrollments, so we're not sure what we'll do if he gets in and our daughter doesn't. (It's a much longer drive from our home.) We're also working with our pediatrician to figure out what to do as well.

  4. So glad it went well!!

    We went play based at a regular old Christian preschool. Lots of play, a little learning, lots of child to child interaction, learning about God. It was fun, educational, and warm and fuzzy. The boys loved it there and the older one still misses it. Now the little one says he's going to miss it.

    Every child is different. Just put him in the preschool that is right for him and right for your family. He'll be fine. Remember it's "Pre" school :)


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