I felt like crying this morning. I still do.

This is 'H' talking on the "phone" to Daddy. "Allo Dad-dy."

I called Jennifer, my sister, after I visited one of the preschools this morning. Jennifer is usually the person I check in with about big-life stuff. In my opinion, she is both very wise and absolutely crazy in her thought process, so I am always sure to get a nice, well-rounded response from her.

If I had to pick one word to describe the classroom, it would be "orderly." Everything was put away when I got there and the children were sitting in a circle on the floor, ready for Show and Tell. They raised their hands to speak and they sat still and paid attention. Sounds good to me! I love an orderly environment. But when I started to look around the room, I felt my breathing get tight. Everything was hung up in straight lines. And all of the artwork looked exactly the same. Apart from the child's name at the bottom, you couldn't tell who the artist was. It was like an accountant or mechanical engineer had come and decorated the room. Weird.

The children certainly were being prepared for Kindergarten, and for parents who want their children to know the right academic stuff and know how to follow along with the teacher, the program is probably perfect. That stuff isn't important to me. I teach that at home. 'A' knows how to follow the rules, wait in line and listen. She knows colors, numbers, her name.

Jennifer laughed. "Yes! I know! My kids were the same age as yours when I started going to all of those home school meetings."

What I want her to learn before Kindergarten is how to have confidence in her own decisions and how to respect herself. Girls can have such a hard time those first few years of school, as they figure out how to exert their influence, how to fit in, how to get through the day without being excluded or picked on by other girls. I don't expect that 'A' will be exempt from any of that behavior. More than anything, I want her to feel self-confident enough so that when other girls tell her that she can't play with them, she thinks, "they're not feeling good today. I'll have more fun with someone else right now," rather than, "they said I couldn't play with them, that must mean something is wrong with me."

She has one more year before we launch her into the cookie-cutter world of public school. For now, I want her in a program that values her individuality. I want her to feel comfortable being herself. When it's time for school, she'll most likely do fine. Jeff and I did exceptionally well in the school environment and we have no reason to believe our children won't do well. But school teaches academics and social conformity. I don't want to rush all of that, she has a whole lifetime ahead to try to gain knowledge and fit in with the group.

I'm meeting with the Montessori folks tomorrow.

PS Who went and bought all of the bok choy at the store? I couldn't find any today!


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About Me

My name is Jillian. I started this blog as a way to experiment with my camera and it's a become a nice little spot where I enjoy spending time. I'm a mother to 6 and 4 year old daughters, wife to a cool computer guy, and mama to a cuddly cat. We enjoy eating local, organic food; managing several food allergies; homeschooling with love; spending time in nature; and we love to take time each day to be creative. You can also find me over at From Scratch Club from time to time. Welcome!