- A developmental preschool where learning through play was the philosophy.
- Loving teacher(s)
- Opportunities for parents to volunteer
- A creative environment where children were not only allowed to get dirty, but it was encouraged
- A place where he would learn the fundamentals to prepare him for kindergarten, like sitting quietly, waiting his turn, working and playing with others
On top of that, I was trying to assimilate into the circle of moms but just wasn't getting very far. Aside from a couple of ladies that I really enjoyed talking with and now consider friends, I just wasn't connecting with anyone else. Our views were different, our lifestyles, our parenting philosophies, whatever. And because I wasn't connecting with many people, neither was my son. Play dates were being made between lots of other kids in the class, but not with Syd. I started to feel hurt on top of frustrated, and I started to take things personally. For someone that overall makes friends fairly easily, it felt so weird and odd to be in this situation. I started to look for a new school.
We looked into and applied to the preschool where some of my best friends sent their children. It would be a natural fit after all. Syd would have built in friends, and so would I. I took Syd there one day to show him around and he clearly showed that he was not happy with this turn of events. He said over and over again, "I don't want to leave my school, I love my school. I love my teachers." We talked about our possible move for a few days and tried to convince him this was the right move for him, but he wouldn't budge.
The last day of school was a carnival of fun, literally. There were regatta races with boats the kids made, obstacle courses, art projects, and sliding down slides in boxes, an activity I'm sure would be banned at most schools out of fear of a lawsuit. The kids made popcorn and ice cream from scratch, and they got filthy dirty. To collect their diploma, each child slid down the twirly slide and shook hands with Mrs. Hill and Mrs. Bailey. It was an amazing day.
Art and I texted each other later in the day and both said the same thing; we were so glad we stuck it out and kept him at that school. Syd is now going into Kindergarten with a great set of social skills, and with the experience that learning can in fact be fun. I couldn't have asked for anything more.
This post is sponsored by Disney Baby. I'll be joining the Disney Baby blogging team next month, and look forward to sharing these kinds of stories (projects/ideas/etc) with you over there! Stay tuned for more details!