Adventures in Preschool
Let’s face it: I only have three kids and have lived in just one small town during their preschool years, but I’ve been through a few preschools. Whether for budget or location or timing, we’ve transitioned through…a number of the local offerings. Oh, and we’ve been dropped by one. And investigated a few others. Some have kindly taken us on last minute, or part-way through a year. We’ve been both adored by teachers and found some to be impervious to our charms. This year, we have one last year of preschool and are headed in to a whole new world.
A preschool with a program that lasts all day 5 days a week is hard to find. One that is within your own teeny-tiny NY school district is even harder. But there is one and Amos passed the interview, so we are doing it. Part of the admission process was a parent observation, but before I was allowed into the classroom for my mandatory observation, I had to meet the school’s bird and sign a form promising not to look at any of the students in the eye or engage them in conversation. It’s amusing and also…odd.
A few days ago, I got the Student Handbook for our new preschool. It may have been written just to tickle me. One section talks about clothing. That’s cool–we need clothes everyday. And I know from previous experience with kids, especially particularly precious ones, that sometimes parents have a hard time dressing them appropriately for preschool. Appropriately dressed down. So yeah, my eyes were kind of glossing over the standard text of “comfortable clothes that may get dirty…” until I got to the “avoid synthetic fibers” and encouraging more “organic, breathable material” and I…frowned. Are they really telling me how to dress my kid? It get’s better: no cartoon characters, images, or slogans allowed on any clothing or backpacks and lunchboxes. For reals. They are 4. I guess this is one way to weed out the Republicans from your population.
Additionally, when we take turns shopping for snack, we will be given a shopping list, but we MUST buy organic. And the handbook goes on at length about this. I won’t bore you with the details. But when your family does the snack shopping for the week, you will also bring in fresh flowers. Not only do these kiddos need fresh flowers in their classrooms, but “the children will have fresh flowers for their flower arranging work.” Yup, at this school, flower arranging is in the curriculum. I SO hope Amos brings this school work home! Maybe this school really IS worth more than my college experience: my college tuition money didn’t give me such practical skills as flower arranging.
Anyway, we went to Meet the Teacher and it was lovely. As expected, the students here looked like a tiny U.N. Everyone spoke gently and drove expensive cars. There was a rather large deaf contingent and, of course, lesbians. It should be a fascinating year. And I mean that. I fully expect to keep on making fun of how seriously this community takes itself, but I actually do expect that Amos will love it and learn a lot. And I also expect to enjoy our “strongly encouraged” parent study groups, if only for the anthropological study of it all. I’ll keep you posted!