Are You Ready for Preschool?
A tale of the first day of school…
When you first have your baby, people tell you, that time will fly by. And in the first three months I didn’t believe them. Between feedings and diapers, it seemed like my son would remain a newborn forever. Monday I came to the realization that I somehow want to make time stand still again like in those first three months. Monday was my son’s first day of preschool.
My son is two and a half years old. I kept him at home for the first two and a half years of his life with a nanny that loves him like he was her own. He has been surrounded by love, and nurtured from day one, not to mention the Guinea pig for the Circle of Education® program since birth.
When I was touring preschools and looking at each with a critical eye, I knew that I wanted a preschool that would project a loving and caring environment. If I have learned anything from the Circle of Education® program is that a strong social emotional foundation is critical to learning readiness.
I decided to enroll my son in the 3 year-old classroom. When making my decision, I spoke to the school Director about the fact that my son was well regulated and had excellent social emotional skills (thanks in-part to my mother, Dr. Shulamit Ritblatt who is an expert in the field and the program she created, http://www.circleofeducation.com). The Director indicated that we could place him in the older age group, and if he did well, leave him there, if not after two weeks we would evaluate and move him down to the older 2’s. Then Monday came.
I am not sure what I expected, but I didn’t believe he could make it from 8:30am – 1pm on his first day. I walked him in with my parents (the proud grandparents) and his beloved nanny, and showed him where to drop-off his lunch box and where his new classroom was. We met his teacher together for the first time (since she was out on leave when we first did our in-class visits together), and walked him into the classroom. He immediately gravitated towards the toys that attracted him during his visit (the kitchen area with the pretend food and Mr. Potato Head). I spoke briefly to his teacher, and then watched as she helped him sit at the table and play with a box that contained what appeared to be tens of Mr. Potato Heads and their accessories. I walked over to him to start saying goodbye. He acknowledged me, said ‘bye’, and then continued playing. I watched for a few minutes, expecting tears or some sort of melt down, but nothing came. We quietly left after a few minutes.
As I walked out of the school visibly emotional over my child’s first day of school (comforted by my mother), I realized that my son was ready for preschool.
It’s like the Circle of Education® song says:
“Hello Mom, Hello Dad,
The school day went so fast today,
We learned to laugh we learned to play
Let’s go to preschool everyday!”
The person who wasn’t ready for preschool was me. I was the one who was not prepared for him to be happy and well adjusted in a new environment. I was the one who expected him to cling and not want to explore even though he is a curious child. I was the one who wanted him to stay a baby just a little bit longer.