And So Begins Another School Year….

Today was the day.  School started again here.  I sent off a bunch…3 went from my home onto the bus and several others got on the bus at their own homes.

Next week on Tuesday I send off another bunch.  I’ll have four heading off to preschool.

I hate that school for kiddos here starts at age three.  Yes, THREE!  I think it’s too soon.  I’m comfortable with four.  At three there is so much more playing to do-so much outdoors to enjoy.  Here kids don’t have to go at three but most do.  They go all day, four days a week.  On Wednesdays my preschoolers will come back to me.  Long ago I used to do extra activities on Wednesdays because they were here and they could do those activities….nowadays, I do no structured activities on Wednesdays.  These kiddos need to relax, unwind and PLAY!!

Boy my outlook on learning has so changed.  I used to cram all I could into the kiddos.  Now we learn just as much but it’s in a much more relaxed mode.  We play Legos and as we play we talk about colors.  We learn the alphabet but it all starts with kids learning the letter on their first name in a relaxed setting of reading books, playing games and doing art activities.  We do so much more playing and so much less of everything else.

I’ve loved watching the kids this summer when playing with water.  They are filling and pouring….getting a good understanding of volume.  I’ve watched them pour water in tube trying to understand gravity.  I’ve watched them negotiate the space with others…cooperating and sometime not.  I’ve watched them water plants and analyze the growth.  I’ve watched them go from the early days of ending up soaking wet to now when they can play without getting soaked.  I’ve also watched my water bill go up but it’s so worth it.  The math and social skills they learned are priceless…and much more effective than a worksheet and numbers.

This little guy is spraying a squirt bottle.  There’s so much for him to take in including the strengthening of his hands.  He’ll need that to hold a pencil.

I’m celebrating the end of a summer with them.  I looking forward to a new year with the little ones.  I’m so thankful that several of them have fall birthdays.  Had they been born a month or so earlier I would have lost them to preschool too.  As hard as it to let them all go, I’m looking forward to a new routine and more time with the little ones….  I have a whole batch just waiting to learn all the things that I’ve taught their older friends.

And so today…I’m a little bit sad and a little bit happy.  I’m going to miss the school kiddos but I’m excited to focus some good concentrated time on the little ones.

8 thoughts on “And So Begins Another School Year….

  1. Carolyn Sullivan

    One of my DD’s is ‘gifted’ I knew at 9 months that she was going to stretch my teaching abilities. I was actually very happy to get her into Preschool for a couple months in the spring when she was 2.5 yrs old. She did fine w it and went in the fall everyday. I think it was the best thing for her. Her older sister I did not put her in preschool, bc I was working full time evenings (3-11) I think she would have done well in an afternoon preschool, but I couldn’t find one. So we did a lot of activities. Each child is different. and I’m glad you are doing what your kiddo’s need.

  2. Helen

    Younger starting age is common in farming communities. Start early; out early. My oldest son started school at 4. We also had a week off school in October (I think) for harvest. With a big festival the next weekend to celebrate jobs well done. Different world than big cities.

  3. Jill Klop

    I’ve heard that play is a child’s work. They do so much learning from play. It sounds like you have the right idea for Wednesdays!!

  4. Candi

    I’m so fascinated watching kids learn. Some grasp things so quickly others not so fast. It’s so exciting to see their faces and watch them get excited when they figure it out. I think I learn way more from the kids than they learn from me. I learn to slow down, enjoy the little things, patience, understanding, sharing, love the list just goes on. You are doing it right to let the kids dictate what they learn and at what pace. I’m happy there are people like you who love to teach kids and understand what it takes.

    Love, hugs and prayers coming your way.

  5. Carmen

    Back in the day kindergarten kids didn’t come home with homework. Also, the trend now is for kids not to start until age 6. If they start preschool at 3, that is 3 years of ‘school’ before they actually start! I agree, kids don’t get a chance to be kids these days.

  6. Linda in NE

    Here pre-school at public starts at 4 and my two youngest grandchildren went to the morning session. The year before they went to pre-school at the Lutheran school where they take them at 3. They loved it both places and learned a lot, but also got to play a lot. My little grandson said he like public last year, but the playground at Zion was better. This year they went off to kindergarten at public, all day 8-3:25, every week day. So far they like it a lot. Hope that keeps up. My little grandson wants to learn to read as soon as possible, he gets so frustrated because he can’t read yet.

  7. Rhonda Russell

    I was just reading an online article on Tips from Parents to Parents and there was a tip to let your kids “paint” with water on a fence–this made me think of you and your childcare. I think the kids would have a blast playing in the water and painting. Here’s the article if you’re interested: http://www.crowdyfan.com/worldwide/parents-know-2/66

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