Tuesday, May 31, 2016

10 Reasons I Loved Having Our Son In Preschool

Connor wrapped up his first year of preschool last Thursday. While I can't believe our baby is old enough to even be in school, he is and we are now enjoying our first week of Summer vacation. Connor started school in November due to his late Fall birthday. He attended school 2 days a week for 3 hours a day for the last 6 months. While this isn't a ton of time in the classroom, I am so glad we sent C to school to begin with. It's a big decision and a change that isn't always welcomed for little ones but we got lucky with Connor, who handles changes easily. Making the decision to send him to school was simple for us but more than anything, going to school provided us with an extremely positive experience.

Connor loved going to school. He was excited each morning and would share with me who he planned to play with and what games they would play. After school, he was eager to share with me the games he played, the snack he had and the craft he made. He was quick to tell me that he was good in school because I once learned he had to sit outside the circle because he wouldn't stop talking. (Side note: he comes by it honest!)

I got "me time". Most mornings, I would head back home to work on a post and do some blog networking. Things that take a bit more concentration so they are easier to accomplish without Connor "helping". Other times, I'd run errands and meet a friend for breakfast. Usually I spent my "me time" doing something that was easier done without a 30 pound sidekick. No matter how I spent the time, I was able to get a bit of a break 6 hours a week.

My patience for arts and crafts and board games runs really thin. While I like doing them with Connor, I find that I get really flustered with him during some of our craft sessions. Luckily, he had a saint for a teacher who was able to allow Connor be creative without getting frustrated like me. I have saved every single one of his crafts because I know what work getting a 3 year old to pay attention is. And also, I'm that mom.

I get to be his Mommy, not his teacher. Teachers are some of the most amazing people in my opinion. Ms. Vicki and Ms. Emma had 19 Connors to keep in line and did so day in and day out. They get to be stern and strict and stick to rules and lessons and I get to be his Momma. I don't have to teach him everything, I have teachers like his and others, to help mold him into a wonderful student.

Connor has created friendships within those 4 walls without the help me planning play dates and Mommy and Me outings. His confidence and people skills grew immensely over the last 6 months and I think that's all because of his weekly interactions with others. He had to learn to share, to play with others quietly and to take others into consideration with me being there to remind him to do so.

We have a very picky eater on our hands with Connor. Going to school proved to be a lesson in "taking just one bite" more days than not. We've learned that Connor doesn't like pears (like at all, he will tell you all about his dislike for them) but loves bagels with cream cheese and raisins. He was given the chance to try new things that I wouldn't have offered him at home, making the foods he does like a little more diverse.

Before starting school, Connor knew quiet a bit. He knew his ABC's, how to count to 15, he recognized all shapes and colors. He was a very active talker and didn't well in most social settings. School to us was more of a way for C to have structure because at home, some days are a free for all. But I was pleasantly surprised with how much C learned this year. He can now count to 30, he knows his ABC's, upper and lower, he can hold his pencil/crayon the correct way and has almost mastered writing his name. Academically, he has grown a ton.

We had a routine that Connor liked and expected. As a SAHM, it's easy to never leave the house other than to the grocery and random doctor appointments. Connor soon realized that on Tuesdays and Thursdays he had preschool, that we wouldn't be seeing friends other than the ones at school. When I would ask him what we did on one of those days, he would quietly reply "I have preschool with Ms. Vicki". I think it's important for kids to have schedules and routines and preschool gave us that.

We've stressed the importance of good behavior and school has reinforced those expectations. While Connor is a typical 3 year old, who knows how to work the room and throw a fit all within the same minute, going to school and having 2 other adults remind him to use his manners, be kind to others and behave accordingly has given us more clout when we tell him that he needs to be a good boy.

Connor attends school at our home church. This year his relationship with Christ along with the time he spent in the Word, learning the stories within the Bible has grown and that is a lesson that we couldn't have done alone at home. From simple story times to crafts to songs, Connor learned so much about Jesus Christ and other members of the Bible. His heart is being shaped to be Christ centered, in home and at school. That there is reason enough for him to attend preschool.

Sending your children to school is a tough choice families make each year. Do we start now? Do we send them to public or private? Do we homeschool? However you tackle your child's education, I only hope that you have just as much fun as we do with school. I loved school growing up and took my education seriously and I hope to say the same for Connor.


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