Thursday, January 31, 2013

Homeschooling.....

Otherwise known as the preschool update!

N's first trial week at school went pretty well. On the Tuesday he was a little nervous when I dropped him off, but the teachers were great. They were in the middle of story time when we arrived and he made it pretty clear that he was not going to join in and sit with the other kids. So the teacher directed him to the area where he had played during his previous visit. As soon as he got the toys he wanted he was happy to kiss me goodbye.
My stomach dropped a little as I walked out of the class room without him. The director told me to give her a call in 15 mins and she would tell me how he was doing. Of course he was fine when I called and she assured me that she would call if he was too unhappy. He was mostly hanging out in the same corner I had left him in, just watching and checking everything out! I sure was happy to pick him up at 11! He had a great time but hadn't wanted to sit for snack.
On Thursday while I was getting him ready for school he told me he didn't want to bring snack. I told him I would pack it just in case, but that he didn't have to eat it if he didn't want to. He got a little upset about the snack thing, so I offered to talk to his teacher about it. That was all it took to get him going and happy about heading off to school. He held onto my hand so tightly on the way in and I was a little worried that this was going to be THE day he would be upset. But he was fine, again thanks to the teachers who directed him towards his favorite toys. I passed on the message about snack and the teacher said as long as I was fine with it, she wouldn't push it. I told her I was fine about it right now, but would like him to move towards joining in a little more. After all that's one of the reasons he is going to school in the first place!

Here are the pics from his first day at school!







Since that first trial week drop off has been much tougher. It's almost as if he realised that this is a regular thing and not just for fun. He pretty much starts crying as soon as I start getting him dressed - it is so NOT fun! I'm told that he's fine as soon as I leave but I've become THAT mum, calling to check up on him after he's been there for an hour. They assure me that he's fine and that they would call if he's really too upset. The funny thing is that I totally know it's all for my benefit, I've seen it so many times with other people's kids, but I really didn't want his start at school to be like this. He's doing fine when he is at school - he now sits for snack and was telling me all about the story they were read the other day, so he must have sat with everyone for that too which is great :-) He's always happy when I pick him up and on Tuesday I managed to watch him interacting with one of his teachers before he spotted me, which was so cute. They say that he's really chatty and loves doing the crafts.

I was joking on FB the other day that I was considering homeschooling and got lots of responses. We are not really interested in homeschooling N, I don't think either he or I have the personality for it. But if he doesn't settle at school soon we will probably pull him out and try again later. As he is still 2 years away from actually starting 'real' school I have no interest in making him (or me) miserable. 

Friday, January 11, 2013

Success

I woke N at just after 9 to get him ready to go and see the school. He was perfectly happy when I woke him and through breakfast, but he wasn't too happy about getting dressed. He started to say that he didn't want to go to school and I think my heart skipped a beat! I managed to wrangle him into his clothes and out to the car we went.
Luckily school is only 2 minutes away, we could walk to it, which would be nice on the way there but the huge hill that would be so easy to walk down, would not be fun on the way back up! I rang the bell to be let in and then waited and waited some more....hmmm not a great start, especially as it was cold this morning. N was happy to check out the mural on the wall so he didn't seem to notice. Finally the door was answered and I was told the director wasn't there...hmmm strike 2. We were shown to her office where we ditched our coats and hung out for a while until the 2 yr old teacher came and took us down to look at the classroom.
The director arrived while N was checking out the toys . She's a very sweet Irish woman who has been at the school for 20 years. N continued to look around, venturing away from me and then coming back to grab my hand and make sure that I was close by. After about 10 minutes I told N that I was popping up to the office with the director and would be back in a bit. He didn't bat an eye, just carried on playing as I walked out the door on unsteady legs. LOL
We chatted about the school, it's history, the teachers and the curriculum. I told her about N, his personality, likes and dislikes and our family. I guess it's the first of many times that I'll have to out our family at school. Overall I liked the school - it's certainly not my dream school. But $14,000 a year for the preschool that the big boy goes to is so NOT happening! The building is older and the facility isn't up to date or state of the art, but it was really clean, quiet and calm. Both of the teachers in what would be N's class were really nice and all the staff have been with the school for over 10 years, so that's a pretty good sign. They have a low teacher to child ratio at 1-7, even though our states requires 1-10. On the busiest day they have 10 kids, so it's quite a small class. Most of all N had a great time! He was so happy to show me all the things that he'd played with while I was gone. When I told him to say goodbye to the teachers he offered up hugs (unprompted) - which is so not like him. He is pretty tight with his hugs and kisses, even with us!
I was told that we could have a trial run before signing the contract, so I could drop him off for a couple of morning session and see how it goes before committing. They are also pretty flexible about making up missed days so that's great as my work schedule can get a little crazy sometimes when the kids are off school or sick. So I think we are going to try that next week and go from there!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Today

I'm off work for the next few days as the family have gone away for a long weekend. It's alright for some ;-)

My favorite thing about being off work is not being stuck to the schedule. We leave home for work around 12 and I feel like the mornings are so rushed. I'm constantly running around trying to get a few things done around the house in between feeding N breakfast, fighting to get him dressed (he would be naked all the time if he could) and playing with him. The biggest challenge that I'm trying to work on right now is dinner prep before I leave. I don't have a set finish time at work, it is dependent on what's happening with the kids activities and whether or not the parents are going out. Which they do on average 4 nights a week. On the nights J finishes before me she picks up N on her way home and the earliest anyone makes it through the door is 6. Not a great time to be starting dinner. Which often means that we end up eating out, picking something up or relying on pre made, packaged stuff- not great for our budget or our waist lines!! So I'm working on having something ready in the slow cooker, or something that is quick to make or just needs heating up. Some days are better than others, the week usually starts out so promising, but tends to taper off as we get further into the week, tiredness creeps in and I get bored of cooking!!

Today N and I worked on organizing his play room. Making room for his Christmas presents and trying to clean up the family room. But it was such a beautiful sunny day, warmer than it has been for ages, so we took a break and hit the playground. We were there for an hour and a half before I called time - as I was getting too cold. Kids just don't feel the cold the way adults do! Of course I couldn't resist pulling my phone out and taking some pics of my favorite subject.







Tomorrow N and I are going to check out a local preschool. After being so sure that I didn't want him to start until sept it's become clear that he needs something more. Every afternoon he becomes a third child and spends his time at the kid's activities and he's so great at going with the flow and for the most part is really well behaved. But he doesn't spend time with kids his own age or have anything that's just his. We've tried music class, soccer, tumbling class, story time and swimming, but haven't found anything that he really loves or willingly participates in for more than half the class. So we thought that he might benefit from a couple of mornings at school. He's pretty excited about going to see 'his school,' but it remains to be seen what will happen when we get there!! As for me, over the past 15/16 yrs I've sent lots of other people's children off to school but I have a feeling sending my own off is going to be a whole different story!!!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Skater boy!

We took N to open skate at the local roller rink tonight. He did so well and we all had a great time. He skated for about 45 mins, which was longer than either of us expected to last for. He has his own skates that I originally bought for the big boy last year, but as they were too small I kept them for N. He has been mostly using them around the house, a little outside and at a roller skating party that we took the kids to in the fall. Tonight J suggested that we go to the rink, so off we went. Parents got to skate for free so we only had to pay for skate rental for us and the entrance fee for N. It was a bargain night out at only $7. Even better J and I managed to skate without falling down and help N when he needed it. When I was a kid I skated in my neighborhood, but J skated at roller rinks and she said this one was like stepping back in time, even some of the music was the same!
I think we will definitely go back again soon. N and I may even try toddler skate on Wednesday mornings or family skate on Sundays so we can all go together. Before we know it N will be skating circles around both of us :-)




Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy new year!

We took N to see his first movie today. He lasted for just over an hr. Which was longer than either of us expected. Just enough time to eat his popcorn, take in some of the movie and then he was asking to go home!

We've played in the snow some more - even managing to get some sledding in. We are now looking for a better sledding hill close to us so we can test out the new sled we bought. It's big enough for all of us to take runs together!

I even found myself checking out the trail map for a local ski resort....right after I saw a youtube movie of an 18 month old snowboarding! Maybe I won't have to wait so long for my snowboarding buddy after all :-)



N's first snow angel!




J went back to work on Monday and was off again today, and she'll be back at work tmrw. I know that I'm going to miss having her home and N probably more than me! He was a bear on Monday morning when he woke up and realized she was gone. We went to a moms club count down to noon party and he spent the first 30 mins clinging to me, the next 5 mins walking around with a plastic container on his head so he 'couldn't look at anyone!' Before finally hitting his stride and playing with the other kids, eating snack and making a noise maker craft.
We are off work until Monday, I'm going to have to keep us busy so that he doesn't miss his mommy too much!