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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Preschool Meet & Greet

My daughter wore this Mini Boden Flowery Applique

Dress from Nordstroms to her preschool meet and greet

Late last year my husband and I attended a few preschool open houses. We liked the current preschool our daughter was in but felt it wasn’t giving our daughter enough of what we felt she needed. The school she attended focused on learning through playing which is fine for the first year. The previous year she attended a 2 ½ year old Slow Separation program for children who have never been apart from their parents and who weren’t quite old enough for preschool. She separated nicely, made wonderful friends, and we noticed a great difference in her speaking ability. We wanted her around other children her age. We got what we needed from this school. However, if she were to stay in this program it would be another year of the same thing. She needed more stimulation so we sought out a program that provided just what we and she needed which was an emphasis on learning in an academic setting and a longer day in class. Okay, so I needed the longer day but we feel she can handle it.

Today, her new school hosted a meet and greet where she met the other little girls in her class. The boys attended the same event but at a later time. I was given the heads up from a mom whose daughter just completed this same program. She informed me that she liked the school and the teachers but that the mom’s did nothing but gossip about the other kids and that her daughter didn’t have any friends in the class. She shared that her daughter wasn’t into playing princess dress up and that she would rather play with boys. After learning this I arrived at the meet and greet with an open mind and didn’t let her experience influence the experience I was about to have. Besides, my daughter’s classmates will be different as will their parents.

As we approached the classroom, the moms and their daughters were hanging out. I could tell immediately that most of them knew one another as they had “moved up” from the nursery program at the same school. The girls from the nursery school gravitated toward one another which I found natural. My daughter would have done the same had she previously attended as well. The night before, I told my daughter we would be visiting a new school and told her when she meets a new friend to say, “Hi, my name is Olivia. What’s your name?” and that is how she would begin to make new friends. After all, this is one of the topics I teach in my youth etiquette program. Of course it didn’t quite happen this way but with a slight nudge from all of the parents, the introductory period took less than a minute and the girls started to interact.

The school is just a short 5 minute drive from our home and one town over. Although she appears to be the only African American child in the class, I was pleased to find that she is not the only student of color. Two of the little girls are Asian which is a culture my daughter has not been personally exposed to with the exception of watching Ni Hao Kai Lan on Nick Jr.

Ni Hao Kai Lan - Nick Jr.

After we left our daughters donned in their summer dresses and glittered sandals, the parent orientation was a pleasant experience for me. I was pleased to find that each student should bring a folder to class each day, bring a packed lunch, bring a beverage for the school provided snack, and carry a back pack to school each day. My baby is growing up. Now it is up to me to make sure I send her to school with a lunch that she will definitely eat and not trade for a better meal.

We were asked to not pack any snacks/meals with peanuts as it is a nut free environment. After this announcement was made, a parent immediately informed us that their child has a fatal allergy to peanuts. I guess that means no PB&J sandwiches, huh? The school does allow the kids to wear shoes other than sneakers. I’m really excited about this because my daughter’s last school only allowed them to wear sneakers. I wonder what I’ll buy?

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