I thought I would love Jackson's preschool this year, but I'm pretty indifferent. If anything, the pros are outweighed by the cons. It takes 20 minutes to get there, which means by the time I've dropped him off, returned home, picked him up/waited in car line, and returned home again, the trio and I have spent a solid 90 minutes in the car every day. The commute feels like such wasted time!
Another thing I don't love about the school is the lack of set classes. I've mentioned before that parents just sign up for whatever days they want to send their kids to school and the staff groups them by age. While Jackson does have the same teacher every day, he has a different combination of students in his class on any given day. This makes it hard for me to know other parents and it's often confusing because his class will have multiple picture days, parties, etc.
My other concern with the school is the amount of work sent home. Just in the past week he was sent weekly homework, classwork that was to be completed and returned, and a weekly reading log with two new books. He can't complete any of it independently and we both get frustrated with having to correct/rewrite certain letters or numbers. I didn't anticipate having homework struggles at 4 years old!
Despite those frustrations, there are enough positive aspects to keep Jackson enrolled. The expectations are high, he's learned a ton, and the communication with his teacher is excellent. I also love the fact that he has daily gymnastics in addition to daily recess.
Last Thursday Jackson had a Halloween party at school. He was very excited to show off his homemade Tin Man costume. Jackson has an impressive collection of dress up clothes, so I let him know he could select any outfit to wear. I was secretly worried he'd be upset when none of his peers knew who he was. He was committed to Tin Man.
I signed up to bring cupcakes because I love decorating festive cupcakes for the kids. I made Christmas and Easter cupcakes for both of Jackson's previous schools. The teacher sent a reminder email about sending in store-bought items only. I totally forgot about that rule, and was disappointed that I couldn't make my own.
The program consisted of a 10 minute list of silly songs and dances. Their school doesn't have a music class or specific music teacher, but the lead teacher does a great job incorporating song and dance in their daily schedule.
James, Amelia, and Maddie were great audience members.
We also received fall pictures back last week. Look at this handsome guy!
Jackson was scheduled to have a school field trip to the farm. I chose not to go because:
1. It was going to cost over $30 for the five of us to attend.
2. I don't feel comfortable managing all four kids by myself on a wagon ride. I don't know any of the parents or teachers well enough to ask for help.
3. We already went to a farm, picked out pumpkins, painted pumpkins, etc. I'm over pumpkins.
Today it is cold and raining. The teacher emailed saying the field trip was still happening, though they would provide refunds for those who don't want to go. I can't imagine there's a lot of parents that want to drag their kids around a farm on a cold, wet day.
Those are all the preschool updates worth mentioning. It's been a busy school year already and Jack has made so much progress--who knows what all he'll be accomplishing this summer!