Monthly Archives: August 2012

Protected: My bad

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More on school

I appreciate the comments on the last post. We, too, feel that they’re probably asking too much of 3 year olds. However, this Montessori is a public school, so there are rules the teachers have to follow that may not always be Montessori-like but more public-school-like. Not that it excuses anything…and especially not that it excuses full-sized toilets and urinals in bathrooms that teachers may not accompany little ones in (they wait outside). The “older” children that accompany the young ones are 5 to answer one of the comments. However, it’s possible there could be children up to 13 present in the bathroom at the same time. So that’s not entirely comfortable to think about. The other red flag is that, even though I was thinking Curly would pee standing up at the urinals (and to answer another question, he has peed standing up many times, but usually leans on something, like a tree or the toilet lid) the urinals are ALL too tall. We went with him into two bathrooms in the school and there is no way he could use any of the urinals, even the shortest ones. It’s absurd. He did use the stall toilet by himself (well, I just had to position him slightly so that he backed up onto it without falling in, sigh). He’s terrible with ripping toilet paper and will keep pulling and pulling on it, and he’s never latched a public restroom door before so we’ll have to work on that. Honestly though…I think he’s right where he should be as an early 3 year old. At his current daycare/pre-school, they have small toilets and everything is easily within reach. And if a child really needs help, a teacher will assist. That’s how it should be. They are freaking 3 years old!

So we met with his teacher and the aide, and class for the 5 year olds was in session so we got to see how everything worked. The visit was supposed to make me feel better and I’m sorry to say it did not. It was semi-chaotic, mostly because of a few children that did not want to follow the rules, but I guess it’s only the first week so they’re getting used to the environment again. The bathroom situation of course was worse than we thought. Curly can’t even reach the sinks! He’ll have to go back to his classroom to wash his hands, so what good is that for not spreading germs? And then when we were being shown out by 2 five-year-old “escorts” who were very sweet, I asked them if they liked going to school there and they said “not really.” Now, I know kids don’t like school…I get it, neither did I. But they seemed really unenthusiastic and all they liked was “recess.” I guess I would’ve felt better with even a droll “it’s okaaay” but the “not really” was sad to hear.

Curly was extremely clingy for the first 20 minutes…I could tell he was close to crying after the first 5 minutes because he thought we were going to leave him there. My heart was breaking for him. After a while, he began to get interested in the things around him, and the teacher gave him some “work” to do, like sorting, scooping, and color puzzles…and he did wonderfully and was very focused. He didn’t say or do anything when being introduced to some of the other children at first, but after a bit, he would wave at anyone who said hello. He even broke out of his shell with the teacher and chatted with her, and expressed interest in having his own turn with the “work.”

I just…I don’t know. He starts Wed Sept 5 and we’re going to give it a go, I just can’t help feeling really worried, wondering if he’s ready for all that at just 3 years old.

School Daze

We found out a few months ago that Curly was chosen by lottery for the Montessori school near us. We were happy, a little anxious, and went to work coming up with a carpool plan with our nearby neighbor friends whose son was also beginning there in the Fall. And then we waited. We were told that we’d receive a letter regarding when Curly’s first day would be. But first we got a letter stating that a new principal was starting. We continued to wait for the second letter, still not having received it in mid-August (our county’s schools began classes Aug 20, and even knowing that Curly would not be starting until a little later, we were getting worried…). Finally, we got the letter…only telling us which teacher he was assigned to and not giving us a start date, but telling us his teacher would call us with that. Clearly, things were very disorganized.

Last night at 9pm(!), we got the teacher’s call. And that was just to arrange for a time when we could come to the school with Curly to meet his teacher 1-on-1 and get him acquainted with her and the classroom. We’re doing that Friday at 10am. Today, Nutella and I had an 11:30 meeting to meet all the teachers and other 3 and 4-year-olds’ parents, and have a general information session. Still no start date for us, although our neighbor-friends’ son is starting Tuesday Sept 4, so maybe us, too? Unfortunately our boys are in different classes so they won’t have each other to fall back on. We’ve been telling Curly about all the new friends he’ll make, and got him the backpack he wanted, and he seems pretty excited about his new school (always easier in theory than practice!).

The teachers explained today that the kids must be 100%  independent. For instance, the teachers will tell them if their shoes are on the wrong feet, but only if they happen to notice, and they won’t help them fix it. An “older child” will accompany Curly to the bathroom when he needs to go, but he must take care of all business by himself when he’s in there. Oh, and there’s only one stall in the boys’ room, the rest is urinals, joy. If he has an accident, he must be able to change his clothes by himself (as far as #2 accidents are concerned, I can only see us being called at work to pick him up because he’s going to be a gross mess…suuuuuuuuuuuucks). There is no snack break (school is in session 9 to 11:30), so he can munch on something in the car on the way there, and on the way to his current daycare/pre-school when we pick him up midday. He will not be able to suck his thumb without being told to immediately go wash his hands (good! it will help him kick the habit). And all the kids will have a “probationary period” of 6 weeks, during which if they have problems that do not improve, they will be told not to return until January.

There was more, but basically it’s a huge change and things are about to get very, very interesting when he starts. Which might be in 2 weeks. We think.

[Post script: There were a couple gems that the teachers said this morning, including “It’s Summer time, which means shorts, and if your kid has an accident it will go straight down the legs to the shoes…and I don’t want a kid with pee-pee shoes walking around the classroom” as well as “Check your kid’s pockets and backpack…if you see an adorable little koala toy..awww…BRING IT BACK! It goes with the world map!”]

Protected: Road trippin’

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Protected: What’s in a name?

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Protected: Curly reads a book (fixed the link)

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