All of my children stay home with me. I can teach them anything at home that they would learn at "preschool" so I don't see any reason to spend $200 per week to let someone else raise my kids full time. I think preschool is overrated in that fashion. Just because your child stays home does not mean they will fall behind. My 2 year old and almost 4 year old have a more extensive vocabulary than most grade school children and we always receive the best compliments about their manners, intelligence, and especially vocabulary. The way I see it, why rush to put your kids into a structured school setting when they will be in school for 16+ years once they start kindergarten. I do however see the value in the socialization and independence that preschool can offer.
In Broward county (and I'm pretty sure all counties in FL) all 4-year-old children are afforded free part time preschool regardless of income or any other factor. So, a few months ago I waited in the longest line ever with my infant Sophia to get a voucher for the program. Basically every preschool in the county accepts the voucher, so it's not like you child is destined to go to a poverty stricken, poorly operated school. We happen to have a great preschool literally like a 2 minute drive from our house. Tonight was our open house for Richie.
For the past 6 months or so, Richie has been doing "school" once a week, for an hour and half, with Ms. Grace at the community center. He gets plenty of socialization from that, soccer once a week (for the past 2 and 1/2 years), and baseball once a week. We enrolled Richie in the science class (without parent) because he had been BEGGING me to go to school. We live within walking distance of Cooper City Elementary School and he just wanted to be a big boy and go there so badly.
Now, my Richie is a shy boy. He likes his routine, and I've found it's just best to accept and love him for who he is and simply ease him into new things. Routine discussions of changes or new things is just what we do. Ms. Grace's science class was perfect to prepare him for Pre-K. He has just loved going to "school" every Thursday and is really into the idea of going to school every day (only 3 hours a day, I mean, really what's the point in paying someone else to feed your child lunch and lay them down for a nap?)
The open house was great- our whole family went. They had a room for all the kids to play in with a teacher supervising if the parents (and children) wanted. At first my two big kids, Richie and Lily, decided they wanted to stay with Mommy, Daddy, and Sophia. That was until we got into the room with a bunch of adults just sitting and waiting. They then thought that playing with other kids sounded like a much better idea.
The preschool has once bi-lingual (English/Spanish) teacher for their VPK program, Ms. Roxana. Richard immediately was like, "Can we request her for Richie?" At the end of the open house, they gave out the class lists and guess who's class Richie was placed in? Fantastic, Ms. Roxana. It's great she speaks a second language, plus- not to be vain or superficial, she's the smallest and prettiest. Richie is so so shy, but he just loves pretty, short women (I like to think it's because I'm such a pretty, petite, lady). After the whole orientation was up, I went to get Richie and Lily from the classroom. The teacher had put some movie or something on (luckily they don't do this AT ALL in the VPK program) and I walk in and look for my two and see them so cutely laying on the floor next to each other, just smiling and talking to each other. The teacher complimented them on how well behaved they are- and I take full credit for that (of course Richard too). It never gets old hearing how well-behaved and well-mannered my kids are. I brought Richie back to meet his teacher and of course he liked her. This other little boy, Jacob, who has the same birthday as Richie and was in his Science class this session is also attending the school AND is in the same class as Richie. It's nice that he'll have someone he already knows in his class. The down side- this kid is SO aggressive. He's territorial about toys, even if he's not actively playing with them, and I actually had to correct him tonight when dropping Lily and Richie into the kids area. I brought Richie and Lily to play by him and as soon as they picked up a toy he started pushing. I told him the behavior is unacceptable and he stopped- but he looks at me like no one ever tells him no. I've had prior incidences with him at a birthday party we recently went to where I ended up supervising like twelve 4-year-old kids because the Mom supervising the slide jetted as soon as I showed up with Richie. He must be an only child because he just does not get the whole sharing thing. Hopefully Ms. Roxana will be on top of that and he'll get used to everything not belonging to him.
Other than the small mishap with Jacob, I consider the night a success. Richie is really looking forward to starting school next month. I'm not looking forward to missing him for 3 hours every day.
25 July 2011
Married two years today! The way I see it, this is quite an accomplishment as half of all marriages in the United States fail. So far, mine isn't one of them!
We drove the family up to Citra, FL on Thursday night- it's a small town a little north of Ocala, but south of Tallahassee, where my Mom and her husband recently moved. They live in the middle of NOWHERE, surrounded by woods. It's nice to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there. MAIN NON-SELLING POINT: No trash pick-up. Or mail delivery for that matter. Or paved roads. NO PUBLIX. We all stayed the night and Richard and I left after dinner on Friday to head over to St. Augustine for our two year wedding anniversary. We spent the majority of our honeymoon in St. Augustine and I've really been wanting to go back. My Mom was willing to watch all three kids so we took this great opportunity to have a second, much shorter, honeymoon. We had a blast and did a lot more walking than last time (we basically had one evening and one entire day to spend before traveling back to get the kids). We looked through a lot more shops and did a few museums that we didn't get the chance to see last time. We also went on a Ripley's ghost tour this time around (we did some other kind of ghost tour last time), and they give everyone EMF meters to bring around to supposedly haunted places. First of all, if you believe in ghosts or whatever you want to refer to them as, what are the odds they will reveal themselves to a group of about 20? Not very likely. Suffice it to say we didn't experience any paranormal activity, but the stories were fun.
And here are some pictures:
|They really had showers right in the old days!|
|Sauna! (in a museum)|
|Fire place in the oldest house (in FL, not the U.S.)|
|At the harbor.|
21 July 2011
19 July 2011
SO. When I told Richard that Sophia could be the child that he gets to be super loved by and put her to bed every night, I didn't expect what I got.
He has trained her to go to sleep while being held. They both love it, and I love that he gets this time with her. What I'm not looking forward to is when she is two years old and still wants to be held to fall asleep. Luckily, this will not be my primary job- it will be Richard's. :)