Friday, January 28, 2011

to preschool or not to preschool...

Before I begin my dissertation about the last few weeks and our preschool go around, I think I need to make a few quick statements!

1. I don't think there is anything wrong with sending your child to preschool
2. I don't like to be told what to do
3. I have learned to never say never as an elementary teacher for 13 years, primarily in first grade and Kindergarten, I decided long ago that I would NEVER send my children to preschool (see above statement number 3). I would have even been so obnoxious as to say "I don't believe in preschool," which is a pretty stupid statement considering I drive by about 10 of them no matter what direction I go in, so clearly they exist :) I even taught at one for a year and a half, although it was a horrible experience and is part of why I made the previous obnoxious statement!

So fast forward to November 2010: I'm chatting with my mommy friends and they are all buzzing about preschool registration, open houses, etc. I have fielded many questions already about why I haven't put M in preschool up to this point. Most people seemed to be able to look over my choice for a three year old. But as I'm listening and joining in and thinking (you know, late at night when everyone else is asleep and you're laying in bed going over all the horrible mistakes you made that day as a mom) I begin to feel like I am doing my child a horrible disservice by not at least looking into preschool. And apparently I better do it quick because if I don't register at the beginning of January "I will never get her in a good school."

So I begin the conversation with hubby, he says to go ahead and check out the preschool scene. By the way, he was shocked that you had to pay for preschool, he thought it was free :) Anyway, I begin making phone calls, scheduling visists, going to open houses, filling out applications, etc, etc, etc...

Then all of the sudden I remembered who I was and who my kids are. I remembered that preschool isn't necessary. I remembered that M is smart and social and around children all the time. I remembered that just because everyone else thinks I should do it doesn't mean I have to. I also remembered that generally speaking, parents are trying to do what they think is best for THEIR family, for THEIR children and every family and every child is different!

So I regrouped, talked to the hubby again and met with friends that are more like minded. We have come up with our own solution that will save my financially strapped family lots of money and will still benefit my child. I will not be sending M to preschool, I will be preparing her for Kindergarten the best way I know how, I will enjoy this last year home with her before I have to send her off to school for 13+ years. And I will do it with confidence that God has given me the skills to teach, the ability to love and the wisdom to discern what is best for MY family, for MY little M.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

It's been a while!

I can't believe I haven't posted in a year, well almost 11 months. Sorry! I was so excited to get started and then my "baby" started walking and I forgot my password...and I ran out of sprinkles :)

Anyway, I'm back and I'm here to blog, regularly! I have a lot on my mind right now but the first is all this crazy snow we're getting. We have been stuck inside more this winter than I can ever remember. Back in the day when I was a teacher I LOVED snow days! I mean, really loved them. I begged my principal for them, I led my co-workers in snow dances, I sent home notes with my students to wear their pajamas inside name it I did it! And I never cared if we went longer in the summer. The truth is I taught in a small private school and they rarely added days. We got out so early in June that if they added one or two we were still out earlier than everyone else, so there were no serious consequences to our days off.

But life is different now...I'm snowed in with an almost four year old and an almost two year old. Our place is small so we are always on top of each other. And to top it off, my hubby's new job is work and get paid, don't work, don't get paid. It's tough doing roofing and siding in all this snow.

So here I sit trying to come up with some fun things to do with the kids that will kill time and not cost us much money. I am a firm believer in not using the TV as a babysitter, although we watch more than I'd like to admit on days like this. We have been playing with shaving cream on cookie sheets, we bake and bake and bake, we make rainbows out of our toys, we make muffin tin meals and shish kebob everything, and we read lots and lots of stories!!! We have built tents out of sheets, blankets, and throw rugs. We've added flashlights and crickets chirping (thanks to our sound machine). We color, play with play-doh and string beads on pipe cleaners. Oh yeah, and we play in the snow!

We're trying to make the best of this but I'm running out of patience and energy. Spring can't come quick enough!! Tonight for dinner we're having hamburgers, carrot and celery sticks and pasta salad, like a picnic. I think I'll put some sprinkles on our ice cream for dessert and make our day complete :)