Saturday, February 20, 2010

pre-school...let down... melt down...

Is it spring yet?
Our standard two weeks of teaser sun is out.
I love these couple weeks in February when the trees start blooming and everything is thawing and drying out from our wet weather. I know it is just a teaser, but find myself wearing flip flops and heading out to the park, soaking up as much sun as I possibly can. Yesterday we were at the local park, and seriously there was about a dozen mamas and papas out with their kids. All soaking up the sun, it is like a mass exodus takes place in these two weeks.
It will end, the rain and cold will come back, I am not letting it trick me.

Ollie started pre-school on Wednesday. That was a hard day. I don't know what I expected exactly from pre-school, but the first day did not live up to my idea of Ollie's first school. Last year when we were toying with the idea of enrolling him, we visited a school in battleground. The teacher was awesome, she was a farmer and brought a pet pot bellied pig to school named petunia. The teacher was really Joyful, you could tell she loved her job, she was quiet with the kids, every kid that was around her, it was like she had a secret she was sharing with just them. The kids kind of glowed around her. There was a reason she had been a pre-school teacher for 20+ years, she truly loved it, and you could tell.
I know I can't expect every pre-school to be soooo awesome, but I guess when you start with that expectation, everything will be kind of a let down.

Ollie is attending the pre-school at the local community center. I like the teacher, and I think she will grow on me. She just doesn't have the same way with the kids that the other teacher had.

The first day I took him in, I stayed for about an hour and than took Max to play at the indoor playpark. I went back to check on Ollie, they were getting ready for snack, he got confused because he washed his hands, than decided he needed to potty, than was told to wash his hands again. He got confused, and got kind of upset, this is where I walked in. Than they had to line up for snack, my heart melted as I watched my little man being herded around, head dropped, and big tears started forming in his eyes when he saw me. I wanted to scoop him up, and take him away. I guess he had a meltdown before the bathroom incident because he was making a play dough T-rex and he wasn't finished when it was time to put the play dough away. He always gets to finish a project at home, and he didn't understand why they would put it away before he was done. I know these are things he has to learn. The teacher also had no assistant on Ollie's first day, so it was her against 14 wormy, squirmy 4 and 5 year olds, with most of the class being boys, that could explain some of it....

But it just broke my heart to watch the conformity! you know like they were all little robots, standing in line, being herded from one activity to the next. It just kind of broke me. I guess I was never really one to conform.

His second day on friday was much better. He is starting to get the swing of things, and so am I. I signed up to help in his class next week, and twice next month. Ollie has made friends, and gets really excited about going to school. So we will roll with it. I know this will be a great foundation so we don't have to go through this in kindergarten.... ohhh kindergarten.. We are looking into some charter schools here in Portland to start him in next year. They are based on Waldorf, or Emilia Reggio philosophies, but are funded by public funds, so they are free like regular public school, but a different style of learning. I am more drawn to these schools, but if we don't get in (they fill slots by a lottery system) than I am okay with that, and public school will be just fine.

No matter where the boys end up going, B and I know that parents play the biggest role in the shaping and education of their kids. I know we are going to be involved and supportive no matter what direction we end up going.


The Manlupig Mob said...

Ya for giving it a go!
I am hoping my kids get into charter too, but I am okay if they don't. I love McKenzee's public school kindy teacher and you are so right about parental involvement. I've met all the mom's on the PTA and I gotta say, if you are there and involved, your kids get a good education! :)