My plan all along has been to get the girls involved in some type of Mother’s Day Out / preschool program when they were three.
I have talked with our pediatrician about it on a number of occasions, and we both think it’s the right thing to do.
I feel like the girls are being challenged intellectually at home. The girls have their little friends, and we have play dates…but I know they need more social interaction. And I know they need to learn to spend time away from Mommy. And I think it will be good for them to experience structure apart from what we have at home.
I very loosely toyed with the idea last fall, when the girls were 2 ½. I still felt like they were such babies, though. I didn’t think they were ready for any kind of structured program...and neither was I.
Over the past few months, I’ve been looking into programs in our area. I decided pretty quickly I wanted more than a “Mother’s Day Out”-type program. In theory, I like the idea of a Montessori program, but the program that I would consider is full time, and I don’t think that’s right for our family.
I am most interested in one particular preschool program here. Three-year olds have the option of two or three days a week, from 9:00 – 12:00. The teachers are certified in early childhood education, and they have many years of experience between them. I have heard and read great reviews on the program, and I had a wonderful conversation with the director a couple of weeks ago.
She talked a lot about their play-based learning philosophy. That’s right up my alley.
She gave an example of one of the activities the three-year olds were doing that week, studying nature. To illustrate how birds must search for food, the kids had pans of bird seed that were frozen under a thin layer of ice. They were using different tools to try to access the seeds.
I can only imagine how much our girls would love that activity! I can just see them, their eyes aglow with excitement as they recounted their adventures. And I can only imagine the new levels of pretend play that would inspire.
I am scheduled to visit the school on Wednesday morning. I really feel like this is the right thing to do.
It still tugs at my heart. Certainly I will struggle being apart from my babies. But – as I’ve really thought about it – I think my biggest challenge is the structure this will put into our weeks.
While I consider myself a stickler for schedules in many regards, I so love that I can follow the girls’ moods during “awake time”. If they’re engaged in a great play pattern, 98% of the time, I don’t have to disturb it.
Last week, I really needed to go to the grocery store, but the girls were having such fun at home. You know what? The groceries waited. We played puzzles and did a craft and read books.
I know that the introduction of structure is a part of growing up, and I think our girls will thrive in that environment…but I’m still working to wrap my head around the concept.
Thoughts??? Words of encouragement??? Advice for Mama to chill out and let go???