Gearing Up + Nausea

How BB Thinks You Get to SchoolWe’re scheduled to tour the preschool we want BigBrother to attend in the fall on this coming Thursday. That’s right. Preschool. He won’t quite be three yet come September but as he’s just over the cut off and already potty trained (minus an accident here or there) they are willing to make an exception and take him.

Part of me wanted them to say, “Nope! No can do!” But, I called. I asked. They answered. And suddenly we’re on the slippery slope towards preschool.

We already know that we’ll like the school. Friends of ours sent their daughter and had lots of raves. FireDad has also been in the school on various occasions for fire demonstrations. We’ve researched quite a few schools in the area and this one seems to be most in line with how we teach BigBrother already and is, you know, clean and well-staffed. It’s a win-win situation.

The morning, two-day-a-week class was already full. I didn’t think he was ready for three days, so we’re going to be enrolling him in the afternoon, two-day-a-week class. Since his birthday will definitely cut him out of early enrollment in Kindergarten, he’ll have three full years of preschool. Next year, we’d switch to mornings, two days a week and the third year would be the mornings, three days a week. A slow, gradual work-up to mornings, five days a week in “real” school. I think I like the slow approach. Even though it’s giving me heart attacks.

He’s had some experience listening to teachers in church but no real experience yet. Isn’t that what preschool is for? We’ve been working on the importance of listening (read: not ignoring Mommy) and some other things. We’ve introduced him to the concept of teachers. But I have no idea how to further prepare him for preschool. It’s not as if he’s in daycare. It’s just All Mommy, All The Time up in this piece. And while we do fun learning things every day, it’s not really the learning I’m concerned about. It’s the whole other kids and sharing and remembering to go pee on the potty without me asking every 40 minutes to an hour and not hitting or biting or kicking. I mean, he doesn’t normally hit or bite or kick but he’s not normally with a bunch of other children. I’d have playdates with some other Moms who have kids his age but things have been busy lately for all of us. Perhaps as it gets warmer and we don’t feel like we’re forced to show off our messy houses we’ll all have time for the park or backyard playdates.

That said, I like this website’s ideas for preparing your child for preschool. Though the thought of taking him shopping for a backpack makes me weepy. How is my BigBrother really big enough for this kind of stuff? Where did his chubby cheeks go? And why does he reply with, “Of course,” whenever I ask him questions? Who is this really big kid and where did my chubby-cheeked little baby go?

Tips on enrolling your kid in preschool for the first time:

1. Be sure to call early. The morning class, as I said, is already full and we’re five months out.

2. Don’t tell your kid that he’s going to school in the fall. The kid has no concept of seasons and thinks everything is immediate. Right now, all he is doing is talking about school and gets mad when I say it will be a little while. I forgot about the immediacy of his world.

And yes, that’s all I’ve got. I’m new to this and it feels very big and scary. BigBrother seems not to be bothered. Me? I have a thousand and one questions for the teacher who will be giving us a tour on Thursday but no idea if they are normal questions or if I’m totally going to come off as Helicopter Mom. I also don’t know when or how to broach the subject of the fact that, yes, he has an older sister so he’s not just making up stories and no, she doesn’t live in our home. I really thought I would have some time to prepare for all of that. I was wrong.

Perhaps all of this is why I’m sitting here with a stomachache this morning. Or, now it’s afternoon and the stomachache has not gone away. Of course, BigBrother is not fazed. I am jealous.

5 replies on “Gearing Up + Nausea”

We’re enrolling Wyn in preschool this summer (or maybe not until this fall), too. We’re doing three half days. Don’t know if it’s a mistake or not, but it’s more so that I can continue to work full time from home that we’re doing the 3 day a week thing. I can’t believe we’re doing this already, either. This is insane. Absolutely nutters.

*clings to you and weeps with pride and sadness*

Our older started in Sept. It was a really hard transition for him…I am not going to lie. It is all Mommy all the time here, too, and he also has a lil bro at home. He cried. I cried. But now 7 mos later, he is doing wonderfully. He LOVES it. Has made friends and plays and shares and listens! It is amazing and to see how he has grown and changed is unreal.

Good luck and if you have any questions, ask away!

Cameron will start in a year and a half. Shawn thinks I am nuts that I think we should start looking at the start of this coming school year. He does not believe the classes fill up quickly! I will have to tell him about your experience.

I frequently visit your blog because I admire your writing so much. I saw this post and just had to comment. I’m a preschool teacher of four and fives. The older crowd but I have experience working with twos and threes in the same building, thus I see the progression of the children from the two year old – four/five year old embarking on kindergarten. If you’d like any insight from a teacher’s point of view who would not be YOUR child’s teacher (Which could perhaps make it simpler to ask some of your questions to etc..) I would love to give you some advice/ideas.

Unsolicited advice is as follows:
1. After the first couple of drop offs where your son has figured out that you are simply leaving him to “play” but WILL in fact return, a quick get away really is best. If he gets clingy because he’s overwhelmed by all the children and hub bub, it can become a false sense of security to have Mom around for awhile and then she still leaves. I promise, it’s like a band-aid.

2. ASK QUESTIONS. You’d be shocked how many parents come in and have no question about what their child’s day will entail. What should they be working on at home? (Academics? Behavior?) After their enrolled, some parents just swipe their kid away and leave….ask how their day was if the format of this preschool allows. If the preschool provides some sort of written daily report A++ to them!

3. Your child will act differently in a group setting than at home. The teacher will help to aid in group play. He won’t always share. That’s their job and part of what their learning. I find that a big part of preschool is not learning shapes and counting but learning structure, etc.

:-) If you’d like more specific information feel free. And it’s probably not necessary to provide all family information at the first (awkward I’m sure) meeting. It’s most likely sufficient to say “BigBrother has a little brother who is x months old and an older sister who does not live with us who is x years old” This allows the teacher to know that BigBrother isn’t making up stories without needing to divulge your life story before you’re ready. Not that you need to be told how to tell about your family….i’m just simply offering a way to say it that is commonly heard by myself all the time. :-)

Danielle; Oh, bless you for your comment! The sharing thing does scare me but it is important to remember that it’s the teacher’s job at that point and not my own. And, it’s good to know that asking questions is good. I am a Question Asker! :)

Stick around and comment more! I’m sure I’m going to have a billion and one questions!

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