Thursday, May 7, 2015

Busy Bees Exit Assessment, Preschool Year One

My view from the conference seat.
Twice this year, preschool was canceled so the teacher could schedule a 15-minute parent conference with each of the parents. There's a printed paper and the evaluations of your kid.

You're not allowed to bring kids. I understand they can be distracting, but staying home means I am the babysitter. Just me. It's not convenient to assume I can get a babysitter for 15 minutes of my day. We have no family local, so I'm left with the option to kindly beg friends and often drive the complete opposite direction of the school to drop the kids off for a conference that isn't really necessary but one I feel terrible about missing since my past (and future!) life was that of a teacher. That held conferences. And expected parents to show up. I do care about my 3-year-old, but I hardly believe she plans to tell me anything I didn't know since she spends 5 total hours of her week with him and I spend all eighty billion hours of mine. But, he is with other kids and it's a social environment and one with structure and all that jazz.

As a teacher, I always encouraged kids to be involved in the conferences because I felt that they owned their learning, but that was also upper elementary when they had a handle on these school experiences and weren't still learning to pull up their pants after going to the potty.

I received a text from another mom in Benjamin's preschool class last night asking if I wanted to tag team the kids (total, 4) while the other heads to the conference. Sure. Sounded perfect. Except, my conference was at 9:00 and hers at 9:15, directly following mine. We couldn't do the whole drop-off-the-kids-at-your-house thing and swap out, because we had no travel time in between conferences. Next idea, hang out with the kids at the school playground. Except, they were having maintenance done and the preschool director deemed it "unsafe" to play.

So, I packed a bag of crackers, books, sidewalk chalk, balls and a remote-control car and showed up in front of the school at 8:55. She arrived and we both kept the kids contained and busy for the half hour right in front of the school on the sidewalk.

The conference was nothing surprising. Benjamin mostly follows directions, but has difficulty sometimes with sharing and, well, caring. He's got his own agenda but has shown great improvement in following directions and knows all of his colors (except gray), body parts, his gender and full name and shapes. She did surprise me when she said he comes willingly to engage in art projects. All of this was written down on his assessment sheet (that I received) and then she told me a few cute stories of him playing "airport" with the other kids in the class. It's cool to know he's now engaging with other kids instead of the parallel play that dominated his early preschool months.

Other than that, I would've preferred 2.5 glorious hours of kid-free time. What on earth am I going to do this summer when I don't even have those 5 hours to grocery shop? #sendgroceries


Caroline said... [Reply to comment]

You better believe I signed Finn's ass up for summer camps.

If I lived close I would have happily watched your kiddos. I feel your pain!

Alison G. said... [Reply to comment]


Brie said... [Reply to comment]

You're such a teacher, talking bout parallel play and all :) I'd totally swap,out watching kids with you if we lived close.

Julie said... [Reply to comment]

I think you and the other mom came up with a brilliant solution! It's true - it's not easy to find childcare when YOU are the childcare. Or your husband has to come home from work to be the childcare. ('Tis why we joined a babysitting coop in our suburb. It's been r-e-a-l-l-y nice for stuff like this.)
Honestly it's kind of nice when teachers don't tell you stuff you don't already know. No surprises is a good thing. Like that he's struggling with a relationship or skill or whatever…no one wants to hear that. I love that they told you stories about him and his play with other kids. Would love to see that Ben in action. (On Wednesday Cate's teacher told me "she's anxious about everything". Awesome.)
You still have Claire while Ben's at preschool, don't you? I laugh to hear you call that 'kid free' time, because, ha! I wonder if I would feel the same if we had a younger one.
Also, I get two days a week where I have 5-7.5 hours of actual kid-free time and it saves my freaking sanity, swear to god. That you actually cook, much less cook healthy meals, is amazing to me. That you use your 2.5 hours to grocery shop in order to support said cooking…oh man. When do you do anything to fill YOUR cup? Well, I guess you did just go to Napa. So there's that. Still, I count on those two days a week to run errands, plan bday parties, return crap, CLEAN, and recently just began adding in Me stuff like jogging with a friend, guitar lessons, and craniosacral therapy. And I STILL feel like an uninspired, ill prepared, freaking tired parent most of the time!
I think you're a fantastic mom. And I'm not just blowing sunshine and flowers, have thought as much for a long time. A mama to live up to and admire.
This may no longer even relate to your post, as I'm getting deliriously tired, but since I'm writing and I hardly ever find time/energy to comment, I'm just saying some of the stuff I've thought for months now.
Also, summer camps for 3 year olds? Never even thought of that. Just spent 20 minutes looking into options - how do I miss that stuff? Like the farm school Julie T has Bode enrolled in? Sometimes I feel like we live our life in a bubble. A bubble filled with endless dishes, crumby floor, princesses, dancing, pretend play and nursing. Seriously.
Okay. Off to bed before I further regret babbling on the internet. xoxo

Mama Bear said... [Reply to comment]

Your childcare solution sounds great (given the no grandparent available). I'm impressed with just connecting with another mom, it's something I struggle with (non baby loss obvs). I feel your pain about not having childcare options, hence why I stay up with my child after working all night while Dadda works...
I'm glad the teacher had some positive feedback and cute things to say about B. It's great when other people recognize how awesome our kids are! ;)