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May 19, 2013

Reflections on the First Year of Preschool

It’s hard to believe it’s been a year…

…a year since I signed my girls up for preschool.

…a year since I lost sleep over whether it was the right decision.

…a year since we visited the girls’ classroom and met their teachers.

And it’s even harder to believe it’s been nine months since preschool started…

…nine months since I choked back tears, reading “The Kissing Hand” on the first morning of school.

…nine months since the girls so bravely walked into their classroom for the first time, their heads held high after a super-quick hug and kiss for their mommy.

…nine months since I first walked away, leaving my girls in the care of someone else.

Heading to their first day of school, hand in hand.


I am so very thankful to say it’s been a truly wonderful experience…for them…and for me.

The reservations I had about signing the girls up this year were several-fold.  I was afraid we’d lose the beauty of our “organic” schedule.  I was afraid the girls would be forced to mature at a rate faster than what they otherwise would.  And – frankly – I was afraid of outside influences beyond my control.

None of these fears have come to fruition, though.

True, there was very little “organic” about Tuesday and Thursday mornings.  We had a schedule, and we stuck to it to get to school on time.  The other days of the week, thankfully, were unencumbered.  The beginning of school didn’t make the girls any more antsy to go and do.  They were no less content to play quietly at home.  Their pretend scenarios were as involved as ever, sometimes even more so, as they incorporated themes from school.

Perhaps it was just the luck of the draw, but we feel so thankful that the five other families in their preschool group were such nice folks.  At least relative to the six hours a week the kiddos were together, and a handful of extra-curricular get-togethers and birthday parties, everyone seemed to have the same basic value systems.  We’d be happy to have any of their classmates’ families to our house, and I think that’s a huge blessing.

The last day of school, with twin classmates K & K.

And lastly, my baby girls are still my baby girls.  They’re still my sweet, precious, unassuming babies.  They’re kind and gentle and curious.  They haven’t suddenly started rolling their eyes, or feigning embarrassment, or talking like Valley girls.  I credit this to the wonderful families of their classmates, and also to the no-nonsense approach taken by their teachers.

So what have we gotten from preschool???

The girls have gotten lots of alphabet practice.  They’ve made so many wonderful crafts every week.  They’ve learned some new songs.  

Silly faces for Silly Day in November.

What’s much, much more, though…the girls have made friends.  They’ve played together as part of a group, and separate from each other.  They’ve learned to follow rules, and to respect their teachers’ authority.  And they’ve enjoyed a little bit of space apart from me.  They’ve been able to tell me stories about what they did, and answer questions to which I didn’t already know the outcome.

All in all, it’s been a priceless experience…everything I could have hoped for, and none of that I feared.  And we are very thankful.

This will no doubt go down as one of my favorite pictures, from the last day of school.


Amanda said...

How sweet! So glad that they (and you) had such a wonderful experience. I love the silly face picture!

Johanna at The Baker Twins said...

How wonderful that your little babies have had such a great first year of school. Now, to enjoy your summer!!!

Anonymous said...

AWWWWW. love this.

....and the valley girl comment made me giggle a bit. occasionally, m will bust out with something that sounds a little valley girlish and i will roll my own eyes.

true, the girls in her class are very disney and dramatic, but she plays with the boys, too. she still comes up with her own scenarios, and she is still super thoughtful.

i'm so glad that you were able to have a good experience. and i'm glad the girls loved it. are they doing preschool next year, too? or will they be starting kindergarten? i can't remember if we've had the discussion about age cut offs or not??

Charlene Juliani said...

So glad they enjoyed their new experience and you did too :)

Nicole said...

I'm so glad the experience was all you hoped it would be. That last picture was priceless!

cat said...

Ah you see - a great experience