We chose the preschool almost completely based on its proximity to my house. It takes us less than five minutes to drive there. I kid you not. I've timed it. This has lots of perks, the main two being the following: 1) I hate mornings and find it hard to be on time to things in the morning and 2) If Everett's asleep before pickup time, I can wait until the last possible moment to wake him. I toured the school, it seemed like a safe, happy learning environment, and we registered Kaden for a spot in the 4's class. I'm pretty sure this might make me a bad mom. but I also figure it's preschool.
I'm not going to lie. I may have teared up a bit when I dropped him off, but I didn't actually shed the tears. I'm saving them up for kindergarten. Pretty sure I'll be a basket case after I drop him off there.
It's taken a full month, but this week I started to realize that it's hard to judge what goes on in a preschool classroom from the stuff that comes home in his blue folder at the end of each day. It also doesn't help that when I ask him about school, nine times out of ten I'm only filled in on the enthralling details of playing pirates and tag at recess. A few times this week he's rattled off something he learned at school, or I've watched him write with a new level of confidence, and I've thought, "Aha! That's why we're paying preschool tuition," and felt guilty for kind of being a Debbie Downer for pretty much all of September. And I started reading the teacher's blog and have LOVED getting a lot more details about what's going on academically, instead of just hearing Kaden's play-by-play of playground time.
Kaden got to be the star student for the second week of school. His teacher sent home a poster for him to decorate and fill with information all about him. He was VERY into this and spent a great deal of time making his poster just right.
(I was VERY thrilled when he decided to add astronaut as a second career option.)
For picture day, he insisted on wearing his blazer. His photos turned out super cute, but not cute enough for the package prices. (At least not when Daddy takes stellar portraits of him every six months or so.) Sorry, school photographer. They didn't take class photos, either, which would have been the only thing that would have swayed me to purchase.
Ms. Erin periodically posts photos online of some of the activities the kids do during the day.
They had pajama day. All the kids came in their PJs and brought a favorite stuffed animal. Then they paraded around the school with them.
They made homemade ice cream one day. Kaden didn't like it. He said it was too icy. That's how picky of an eater he is. Who doesn't like homemade ice cream?!
They had a camping theme one week and the kids painted with over-sized marshmallows and ate the leftovers.
Using a scale to estimate the weight of pumpkins:
Who doesn't love sidewalk chalk?
Sensory bins in preparation for a field trip to Volmer Farm.
Everett and I tagged along on Kaden's first field trip to seriously the coolest pumpkin patch I think I've ever been to.
Kaden has ten kids in his class and seven of them are boys. 2010. It was the year of the boy, apparently.
First the kids learned about the way chickens are raised on their farm and had the chance to feed some:
There were beautiful sunflower beds all throughout the farm. I was wishing I'd brought the SLR to get some good photos. Then I realized Kaden was in a preschool field trip t-shirt. And I had Everett with me and no second adult. I wasn't sorry I only had my iPhone camera anymore.
They took us on a fun ride to tour the entire farm.
Then it was time for free play. And boy, oh, boy! The place was PACKED with fun!
Kade and Everett both loved the wooden train in one of the playground areas:
There was a giant blob to jump on:
A zip line rocket ship that I still regret not trying out myself:
An underground slide:
A vintage tractor for climbing and "driving":
Pretend cows for milking:
A corn crib perfect for creating autumn-style snow angels in:
An old airplane for piloting:
And so much more! It was such a fun place, and I regretted not having Chad take the day off to come along.
The kids made some darling art work to go along with all the farm activities they learned about:
One day last week, we went to the park after school with the Nichols' crew, and two other kids from Kaden's class happened to be at the same playground. Kaden started freaking out and ran screaming, "Palmer!" and "Eli!" with the same level of excitement he shouts with when encountering his best buddies. It made my heart so happy knowing he's making so many good friends this year.
Here he is holding up his first prize from the treasure box: a purple cross necklace. The preschool is part of a Baptist church. They learn a monthly bible verse, go to chapel weekly, and read a daily bible story. He's SUPER into bible stories these days and wants to read one every night from this little picture book bible we have. It's pretty precious.
While we are very religious, there are some differences between our faith and the church where he is attending preschool. I would say that a good majority of these differences are cultural. For example, we often use different lingo in prayers (we typically don't recite memorized prayers, and we use more formal than familiar language in prayer--thee, thou, etc.), or when talking about Deity (we most often refer to God as our Heavenly Father, especially when addressing Him). We also read from the King James translation of the Bible, not the version with modernized language. Chad has jokingly said a few times, "They're going to make a baptist of him yet," when he says his memorized school prayer or quotes his new translation Bible verses.
So far, Kade seems to be having a great preschool experience. It will be exciting to see him continue to learn and grow as the year progresses!