Thursday, May 21, 2015

Another Year of Preschool in the Books

Jackson's end-of-year program was today at preschool. I had honestly been dreading it because
  1. It was on a Thursday, which isn't even a day Jackson goes to school. I like routine.
  2. It's completely unrealistic to expect three toddlers to be quiet and seated in a church pew for an hour. Jesse wasn't going, so all the pressure was on me.
  3. While I really have loved this school, Jackson only attended for three months, and he will not be returning next year. Therefore, I have very little emotional investment.     
Despite the above reservations, everything went better than expected. The program included ten songs with four transitions between classes.                                                                                                                                                                                                                    

Between pens, crayons, offering envelopes, and peanut butter crackers, the trio made it through two-thirds of the program in the sanctuary. I kept James and Amelia in the stroller.

Maddie sat in the seat beside me. She was mesmerized by the two year olds singing. It was precious!

The program was very well planned and went by quickly. The stage was overflowing with energetic children.

Jackson stood in the center, right below one of the microphones. You could hear him singing so loudly! Several people that know him commented on what a great job he did singing.

During each transition between sets, there were photo slideshows. Not a minute was wasted.

As soon as the "three's" exited the stage, the trio and I left the sanctuary. Amelia was becoming increasingly irritable in the stroller so I wanted to avoid any meltdowns. The church staff was so accommodating. They unlocked the "nursing mothers" room for me so the trio could play. The room has a one-way mirror and speakers, which enabled me to see and hear the rest of the program without being a disruption to others. 

After the final song, we picked up Jackson and went to the fellowship hall for cookies and punch.

Jackson came home with plenty of goodies. He had a large summer themed bucket full of sand toys, crafts, snacks, etc. Each parent had to sign up to bring a dozen of one item for the buckets. While Jackson was most excited about the bucket, I loved the silhouette the teachers made.

Even more thoughful was the photo album each child received full of pictures taken throughout the school year. I know this would have required a great amount of time and prep work to make personalized photo albums for each kid. Gestures like this make me appreciate his teachers even more.

Once we returned home, the trio fought over wearing Jackson's backpack. They looked so big. Of course, they will be two in less than two months, which is the same age Jackson was when he started preschool.

Jackson will have a week off before he begins summer school at his new preschool. We decided to enroll him only for the month of June every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. (Sorry Katie and Elizabeth, those were the only openings!) It's crazy that this will be Jackson's third preschool this year, but he's proven to be very adaptable. This has been the most stressful school year imaginable!

Jesse and I were very impressed with Jackson's preschool experience the past few months. On Jackson's very first day of school, I received an email notification that fall enrollment would end that week. Jesse and I weren't ready to drop a $100 nonrefundable deposit when we didn't even know if we liked the school. A few weeks later, all the spaces were full. Rather than be on a wait list, we chose to find a different preschool for the summer and next year. I made the decision to enroll Jackson for the month of June, in an effort to preserve both of our sanities.

The school we selected has actually been our first choice school for the past two years. There weren't any openings when we tried to enroll Jack in the two's class in October 2013, and again when we were switiching schools this past February. It is one of the only secular schools around (important to Jesse) and one of the least expensive. It also has a daily gymnastics program. The only (and pretty major) downside to the school is that it takes 20 minutes to get there. I'm excited about how much Jackson has matured since the fall, and eager to see how much progress he'll make his final year of preschool.

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