I can not believe it–This week, in the middle of the “school” year no less, my 20 month old (why can’t I just say 1 year old…right lol) will be starting pre-school. Just last month I could not fathom the idea of sending Ari anywhere without Greg or myself. But recently something changed and I went for it.
The 5 things that let me know Ari was ready for school
- A gut feeling — On a daily basis I battled a pit of guilt in my stomach. Ari needed more and I knew it. As much as I tried to take him on play-dates and other social activities (and we got out a lot!) it wasn’t enough. I believe that this is something that only a mom or close care giver will pick up on. Trust your gut/intuition or as I call it the guiding voice of God. 😉 For a long time my gut was saying Ari wasn’t ready, and I listened then as well.
- His best friend and role model is a dog– lol. Seriously, I believe that Ari thinks he is a dog and only acts like a human at times to appease his parents. He barks, crawls everywhere, eats off the floor with his mouth, scratches at the door when he wants to go out . . . you get the point. Put simply, the kid needs more time with other children and 3 hours a day two days a week is a great start 🙂
- “I can do anything but I can’t do everything.“ I found this quote on Pinterst and it’s so very true for me. I was wearing myself thin trying to be everything to Ari. I realized that there are things I’m really great at being to and for him: his comforter (nothing like a mommy with liquid gold to comfort her child), his chef, his playmate (in my own capacity) etc — but at school Ari will learn, discover and be exposed to things that I wouldn’t even know to “teach” him. He will learn from his peers without the influence of his mom, which in some cases is actually a good thing.
- The right environment — When Ari and I attended the open house I knew it was the right place for us. I enrolled him that very same day! We toured a few schools previously and although I did like a few of them, I didn’t experience the same pull and peace that I did while on this tour. There were no bright harsh primary colored tables or chairs, no commercial toys, nature is a big part of the school with gardens and lots of outdoor play. Each class has its own outdoor area and the door is left open so the little ones can have the option to go outside if they want. Dare I say it is even a crunchy school?! It is a Child led school inspired by the Reggio Emilia Approach, and we are a child-led family.
The Reggio Emilia philosophy is based upon the following set of principles:
- Children must have some control over the direction of their learning;
- Children must be able to learn through experiences of touching, moving, listening, seeing, and hearing
- Children have a relationship with other children and with material items in the world that children must be allowed to explore and
- Children must have endless ways and opportunities to express themselves.
My immediate feeling was “this is right” and after calling Greg we acted on it!
Lat but not least… I was ready! For once since having Ari I was ready. Not ready for time alone (even though I welcome a couple of hours to get things done, like cleaning in peace, blogging and working out) but I am ready, for him to experience this next exciting step in his little life.