Of course I don’t believe that my child is too cool for school, but I couldn’t resist! Last week Greg and I made the hard decision to withdraw Ari from a lovely school. Ari is three and was attending two half-days a week. Ari loved school, but sometimes love may not be enough.
Ari’s teachers shared lots of wonderful things about Ari but there were a few that concerned me:
- Ari plays alone or alongside other children, but rarely with them.
- They can’t understand what Ari is trying to say most of the time.
- Ari has trouble sitting for longer periods of time.
A friend and Google told me that for a young three-year old that playing alone and or alongside others (parallel play) is normal, but the images in my head of Ari playing alone while the other children played together are disheartening, especially when Ari plays with others when I take him on play-dates.
It is difficult to understand what Ari is trying to say, so his teachers make a very valid point. But, again those darn images in my head! Ari trying to communicate the best he knows how with other children and them not having a clue what he’s saying and simply walking away :(. Is this why he plays alone? What if he had a problem and wanted to tell an adult, they may not be able to understand him and his issue would have to be brushed under the rug.
Lastly, Ari is NOT a sitter. He truly is a jumper, runner, and player. It is very possible that at three he isn’t ready for this type of environment? Maybe he would benefit from a different type of school that implements the Reggio Emilia approach or he just needs more time to mature? What activity could I place him in that would encourage him to be a jumpy runny tumbling child?
- I am a STAY AT HOME mom (SAHM), Ari can stay at home with me! Mind blown!
- Ari is THREE years old. He does not have to go to school, although around here sending your child to pre-school is what you do. Honestly, I knew I was going to send him to preschool after working at a school and witnessed how much fun the children were having. But I now know how important it is to meet your child first before making plans for them — children are people too 🙂
Our plan is to keep Ari engaged in activities tailored to his needs. Activities that will allow him to reach his full potential.
- Enroll Ari in speech therapy at a local public school, since our insurance won’t play for therapy.
- Register Ari for one or two activities (sports, gymnastics, music etc) a week with the hope that he will find something he enjoys. Also I hope these activities will allow him to put his extra energy to good use.
- Continue taking him on play-dates so that he can play with children, if he chooses. I don’t want to force him to be an outgoing social butterfly if he isn’t. I respect the introvert way, because I am one myself. I actually admire Ari for finding so much joy in spending time in his own presence.
- Have age appropriate curriculum/activities on hand to make learning fun
- Spending much-needed one-on-one time with mommy
Reflection and After Thoughts
Being a parent is hard. I can only do what I believe to be best for my child. The hardest part is second guessing our choice. The more time I have to sit with the decision I believe it was the right choice, if for no other reason than the fact that I followed my instincts as a mom.
All in All…
This issue wasn’t a question about Ari being ready for school or if he attended a good school (because it is a good school in my opinion) it’s about him being in the right school. For now he will be attending The School of the Hard Knock Mommy lol.
Last but not least this has helped me to advocate for my child, no matter how small the perceived issue — and I am proud of that.