Monday, August 18, 2014

Starting Preschool

Preschool starts next week for my big girl, and while we are both excited, I think those pesky butterflies in the tummy are also present. Oona worries if the other kids will want to play the games she wants to play... Mama worries what her reaction will be if they don't! I've seen this three and half year old's tantrums and they are nothing short of a hurricane. But she is also a force of creativity and wonder and extremely social, and I hope that in our little school these qualities will be fostered and not stifled. It will only be a short day of two and a half hours, but I know that this begins her life in the public school system, and also her life in formal education. And while I know her experience will change from year to passing year, I hope over all she will continue to love to learn. Ideally, in a perfect world, where money and geographical location were not such a huge factor in education, the education I would dream for her would be more in line with Waldorf or Montessori style of learning. I do not know how things will be once she's in the system. (sounds like something from a sci-fi novel... completely terrifying... when you say it like that). I know that more of the consumer culture that pervades our society will come flooding in, and while I do not wish to shelter my children too strictly, I do not want her to become obsessed with commercial garbage and garbage TV. Try as we might to direct our children, they are their own people, will choose their own friends and interests, and the sugar coated pink and purple poofy princess dress world presented to little girls is very tempting indeed.

But all that aside, I am also going to miss this time we have together right now. Though I do think school will bring more rhythm and better sleeping habits to her life. I also hope it brings her a tad more discipline, as she is quite the firecracker these days. And I know that she will love to spend more time with kids her age. She thrives on being around people, and that is partly why we are willingly sending her off on this preschool journey. Anyone with words of wisdom on the subject of  kids and schooling, please feel free to chime in. I am a ball of nerves and a bit weepy over the whole thing.

* A side note: We are very lucky in our small town in VT to have the opportunity for free preschool. I wish this was an opportunity offered to all who need or want it.

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