Thursday, August 21, 2014

So Long Homeschool I Miss You Already - Hello VPK, I Love Our School

(4 1/2 Years)

I loved this past year of homeschool preschool.  We had so much fun learning and playing, playing while learning, and learning through play.  We filled our days with guided learning, laughter, invitations to "work", creative art projects that led to paint getting every-where, calendar time, using imaginative play for critical thinking in science and in guided reading, engaging math skills, playful ways to learn our magic (sight) words, practicing writing using mazes, colored shaving foam, rainbow salt, glue, stickers, play dough, and yes markers and crayons.  I loved this past year.

Little Miss and Wild One have been looking forward to going to school with other children their age, for awhile now.  Wild One was ready before we started homeschool preschool and Little Miss started warming up to the idea of going to a school around May.  For the longest time she kept reinforcing her stance of,"I'm not leaving you Mommy.  I'm staying here to go to school."

Fast forward to this past week, and we're in pre-k.  When the months turned into weeks leading up to pre-k, my heart began aching.  I don't want them to go.  I want to keep them home with me.  I'll continue to plan fun and engaging activities that will encourage them to learn.  They will succeed, they will have fun, they will be with ME!

Well, I was overruled by everyone.  Everyone.  Not one person sided with me on keeping them home.      Not one.  In fact, everyone was very vocal about why they thought they should go to a school.  I knew I lost the battle when my little man said that he wanted to go to school to be with all of his cousin and friends (even though we have discussed numerous times that his friends and cousins go to different schools are in different grades).

I had a feeling I was going to lose the homeschooling battle, so I did my homework and found the perfect placement.  It's a small school, with a  focused curriculum built upon the love of reading.  Perfect!  To our great surprise, one of the amazing teachers that I used to work with is not only on the VPK team, she will be one of our teachers AND one of the sweetest primary teachers that I ever met is now at their school in one of the preschool classrooms (right outside my kids' classroom door).  To help get Little Miss and Wild One excited about school (and me too as well), I created this countdown calendar.  It worked magic!  Maybe it was the glitter, or the Cat in the Hat cards, or being the one who gets to move the school apple down to the next day.

So... how did they do?  They love school.  They love their teachers.  They love their classroom.  They love being able to play with the same kids every day.  They love their special lunches (more on that in the next post).  Am I happy that they are now in school (9:00-1:00)?  I've accepted it.  I'm happy that they are having fun.  I miss our homeschool preschool days.  They went by too fast.  I'm looking forward to this year though, especially since we have two fantastic teachers, with an owner dedicated to devising a specific curriculum that fosters learning in a small group setting.

Flashback to Homeschool Preschool (2013)

and now onto Pre-K (2014)
Both Little Miss and Wild One have a favorite show- Master Chef Jr.  They love 
that show.  They have helped me in the kitchen for two years now- baking 
muffins and cookies, making pancakes and waffles, creating our homemade Larabars.  
Wild One will often mimic Chef Ramsey during bedtime and say, "One of you (referring 
to me or my husband) have one foot out the door." These kids crack me up!

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