Tuesday, August 28, 2012
School starts next week...for both girls!
We've known for a while that Ellie will be attending Sewickley Academy. A few weeks ago, Stephanie was screened for their pre-kindergarten program. Although the pre-k class is full, we were hoping they planned to make an exception and give her a spot anyway. Why else would they screen her mid-summer, right? Or not. They screened her so she can officially be the first spot on their waiting list. However, with just over a week until school starts, it's not looking good for her to attend. Furthermore, no other local preschools had availability in the morning either, which is her best time. I had never really considered standard preschool anyway; I always wanted Montessori until age 6, which also isn't available. Hmmm.
I have been more than fine with the idea of Stephanie being home with me again this year. I feel an awareness of how fleeting these younger years truly are, and I was happy for the time with her. Although she did well in her previous environment, she never really warmed to the idea of school. Or so we thought. Lately, she talks a lot about school. She misses her class, her friends, her teachers. She asks when she will go back. She's ready.
What to do?
This morning, we visited a small, non-denominational preschool run out of the Presbyterian church at the bottom of our street called FriendShip. It has been highly recommended to us, and just yesterday some moms told me the afternoon class only has 7 kids (everyone likes mornings) and 2 teachers. That sounded pretty good to me. I called and we were invited to visit. Stephanie didn't want to go ("I don't want to go to school!"), but after we checked it out, she didn't want to leave. I signed her up right away, and she will start the same day Ellie does.
I don't love that it isn't a Montessori environment, but it definitely isn't just daycare. It reminds me a lot of Ellie's peuterspeelzaal in Holland. There are weekly themes, alphabet learning, walking field trips (fire station, small grocery store...), but it's only 2.5 hours per day. She will still have mornings with me, and then she can play with other children and be in a learning environment after lunch until we pick up Ellie from school.
Plus, she's excited, and that's the point that really matters.