Wednesday, May 7, 2008

It starts ...

Okay. So. Nathan will be four next month and I've been thinking for, oh, the past YEAR about putting him in a preschool. Problem: finding a preschool here that I like. First of all, school here is an all-day thing. Regardless of what age they are. A lot of kids start 'school' at two years old- and your choices are every day from 7 to noon or noon to 5. That's just not cool with me. My ideal would be twice a week for like three hours. When I ask if I can do that, they look at me like I'm nuts.

But I finally found a school that I LOVE. We've visited twice now, and I really really like it. There are two teachers and only nine students (it would be ten with Nathan.) What a great ratio! You can tell that the teachers are very well trained and loving - it's apparent that the kids adore them. They have two little classrooms, a library, play structure, sand box, art center - all the normal stuff. They even have a garden and a chicken coop, which the kids take care of. (All riiiiight! Manual labor!) They also use uniforms - I must say they're adorable.

Long sidenote: Skip if you don't care. I actually helped found this school. Our church's stake president owns several language school franchises and came to me last year saying he wanted to start a private bilingual school. He was really big on doing it "The American Way." He's starting with a preschool, but his goal is to go all the way up through high school. We sat down and I gave him the whole rundown on preschools in the States - daily schedules, classroom agendas and activities, curriculum, etc. I even named it - Joy School (ha!) So basically, it's no wonder that I like the school. It's exactly as I said it should be, with Brazilian twists. He offered me to be a full partner, but I told him I already have a job. ;o) I just work as an advisory.

Two problems: one, it's bilingual, and I don't really want Nathan messing up his flawless English with a Portuguese accent, and two, it's F-A-R.

I can't really do anything about the English part. I asked if we could work around it, but it's part of their daily routine. Oh well. The second part is a problem though.

It's about twenty to thirty minutes away AND it's on the Other Side of the Toll. Almost two hours and FOUR tolls every time he goes? Dropping off and picking up? Whoa.

So one of my best friends is a second grade teacher almost right next to the preschool, and she volunteered to take him with her, on the city bus - the preferred mode of transportation here. Sweet. Problem solved on the going. (Plus Nathan is THRILLED to ride the bus. So cool.)

The picking up gets a little trickier. Nathan has a friend - Ammon - who goes to the same school. His dad takes the bus every day to pick him up and offered to pick up Nathan too. But somehow I feel funny. Lazy, you know? Adriano can take a bus there and back and I can't get my big butt in my car to do it. We're going to try to swing something with Steve's work to let him get off an hour early to pick up the kids on the way home from work, though. I hope I hope I hope I hope that they let him.

The school is from 1 to 5:30, which I think is a long time, but if I'm using other people to drop him off and pick him up, I'm going to have to deal with it. Worse, the bus that Georgia will have to take leaves at NOON - and then it's a long walk from the bus stop to school. So he'd be gone from noon to six. Bleh and double bleh.

But I guess we're taking the "we'll see" approach. Next week is our trial week - he'll go Monday, Tuesday, and Friday. (At least they let me do only three days.) I'm a little nervous about how Nathan will handle three days a week without a nap. Again - we'll see.

Let's be honest. The biggest cause of my reluctance is Letting Go. He's my babyyyyyyyyy!

I will tell you though - he is sooooooo geeked. It's all he can talk about it. Yesteray he stayed over an hour in the school by himself while I talked to one of the teachers. (I was informed by my son that parents aren't supposed to stay in the classroom. Actually, what he said was, "Mommy, you're not supposed to stay here. You have to go home. I go to school by myself." Well then.) So after he -reluctantly- got in the car to go home, he announced with great exuberance, "Mom! I like the teachers, and the kids, and the toys, and the slide, and Mommy, I liked EVERYTHING!"

How did he grow up so fast?


Megan, Peter, and Benjamin said...

I feel your pain! It was so hard to put Benjamin in preschool/daycare so that I could finish school. But, it has helped me with having my "alone" time and he is able to work with other kids so that he can be social. Which was actually a blessing because moving to Canada, they start kindergarten at age 4!! Anyway, things will work out, they always do! I searched the preschools that were in Rexburg and just had a feeling to check out the one that was the farthest out from BYUI. It was the best thing ever! I am so glad that the spirit helps and guides us! It is amazing! It will be weird the first little while without him home, but I was able to fill that time with things like grocery shopping, reading, or catching up on sleep. It has been great for us! Good luck!

kristi said...

4 hours is actually pretty normal for preschool, it is just your 4 hours are at kind of a weird time. Definitely play it by ear, if you feel like it is just too much for him you can always change your mind. Good luck, my kids have always loved preschoool.