Thursday, December 6, 2012

Our Preschooler

My last several posts have been mostly about Caleb so I thought I'd take a few minutes to write down some thoughts about Emily at this stage (3 yrs. 4 mon.) After much debating, I decided to start Emily in 3 year old preschool this year. I wasn't sure how I would feel about my baby having to go to "school" 3 days a week. They grow up so fast anyway. Did I want her to be gone from me already? We feel like we made the right choice to send her this year. She loves it! Our church has a wonderful program. Last year she attended a parent's day out program there two days a week during the school year. It worked out well for her to transition to preschool this year. Emily attends 9am-12 pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and 9am-1pm on Thursdays. The children have the option to do "lunch bunch" from 12-1pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, but right now we are just doing the one day. Today Emily told me that she was looking forward to "lunch bunch." It has been more difficult to get Emily to class because of Caleb, but we are doing better and Caleb doesn't cry as much during the car rides now! Caleb and I enjoy 1:1 time when Emily is in preschool. Overall, it has been a good thing for our family.

Shortly after starting preschool, Emily came home reciting the Pledge of Allegiance. We were so surprised that she had learned it so quickly. One night during dinner, we asked her to say the prayer and she started reciting the pledge! It was a very Grizwoldesque moment! (Emily also learned a beautiful prayer song at preschool, but I think she got them confused that night!) Emily's teachers are so kind and patient. We love Miss Melissa and Miss Mandie! Each month we get a calendar of the special plans for each day. One day a week they have "show and share" time. Sometimes it is a free choice show and share. Other times they are supposed to bring in something that starts with a certain letter or is a certain color. Emily enjoys picking out what to share with her classmates! Today they are decorating gingerbread houses. Each family donated different supplies for the kids to use. I'm glad that she gets to do so many creative things.

Emily also started gymnastics this fall. We signed up for nine classes. I picked the gymnastics center that was closest to our home although I don't think it is the best in town. However, I felt for a 3 yr. old who is just exploring this interest, it would be fine. Emily really looks forward to going every week. She LOVES the trampolines. Each week they set up a different obstacle course circuit for the girls to use. There is usually a bar for "skinning the cat", a balance beam on the floor to walk over, a wall to climb up with a rope and a slide to use to come down, a trampoline, objects to hop over, and parallel bars to walk across with your feet (while hands are also touching.) I need to video her going through the circuit. It is fun to watch. The teachers also work with them on learning various positions and jumps. (e.g. tuck jump, straddle jump, pike position, "tabletop", "butterfly" etc.) They have learned forward rolls (which she already could do) and now they are starting to learn cartwheels. It has been good for gross motor development and learning to follow instructions. Jeremy and I love watching her to see how she learns and listens in a small group. Sometimes she is very distracted. Other times she does great! She looks over at us on the sidelines every now and then and gives us a thumbs up or runs to us for a high five or hug (even though she isn't supposed to do that!) Jeremy and I have had a few issues with the organization of this place so I think we will do something else in January. However, Emily has loved it and it has been good to have something to do once a week for exercise during these cold months and short days!

First day of preschool

New backpack and matching lunchbox

She looks pretty happy, don't you think? 

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