Posts Tagged ‘preschool’

Next Steps

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

This guy. None of my other children make me want to rip my hair our more than Lincoln. And I don’t think it’s just because he’s the current 2-year-old and 2-year-olds are sort of terrorists.

Linc still struggles with his expressive language skills. He’s had a speech therapist for months now, and has made a lot of progress when it comes to trying to say new words. But for some reason he can’t. Like, he physically struggles to make ANY hard consonant sounds or string words together. “Cereal” is “bee-yo”, even though he can make a “ssssssss” sound separately. “I love you, Mommy” is “Ya. Boo. Mama”, with full sentence breaks between each sound. It makes him completely unintelligible to most people and even I struggle when there aren’t a ton of context clues to help me guess. We had a fight the other day because he yelled “bosh” at me for 20 minutes before I realized he wanted to go play on the “porch”. Did he point at the porch? No. Did he stand in the middle of the room and shout “bosh” louder and louder while I begged him to try a different word? Yes. It can be pretty exhausting.

Right now he is lying across the couch, headbutting me in the ribs because he wants to sit closer to me that is physically possible, hanging off my arm while I type with one hand. I asked him what he was doing and he said “nah-sa”. “Nothing”.

At the end of May, we have a meeting with the transition team at the preschool, to see if they have space for him in their special needs program when he ages out of the state Birth to 3 program. I both really hope he gets in and am super nervous about it. He has gotten a lot out of having a therapist to work with him one-on-one, especially during these past months when a lot of my time has been taken up with a new baby. I am sure his improvements have come from Miss Jill and he’d be even further behind now if it weren’t for her help. But he has so much trouble with his language, I worry about him being away from me. He can’t give me a report of his day, or relay what he’s nervous about, or tell me if someone is mean to him. He won’t be surrounded by people who “speak  Lincoln” and know what he’s trying to say with the nonsense words he uses consistently for other words. Is a teacher going to have time to learn those things? Is he just going to end up more frustrated and having more meltdowns and basically hating everything about school starting at 3 years old? That is not a good start.

Of course, there is also a chance at our meeting the team says: “Sorry, a severe expressive language delay isn’t enough of a problem” and he isn’t accepted into the school at all. Then we’re looking at a whole different set of questions.

I am sure that one day, whether it’s one year or five years from now, Lincoln will talk like everyone else. We are being as proactive as possible to make sure this doesn’t hold him back long term and it seems unlikely a speech delay is a permanent problem. I am looking forward to the day when I can read this post (like SO MANY posts from 5, 6, 8 years ago) and think “Oh man, I totally forgot that was such a huge deal”. Reaching out towards that future helps during the screaming fits and tears and frustration. This too shall pass and one day Lincoln will tell me “I love you, Mom” and sound like a big kid instead of my baby. And I’ll have mixed feelings about that too.

 

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Back To School Lessons {Giveaway!}

Wednesday, August 7th, 2013

We’re down to mere weeks before school starts and it’s hard to believe. On the one hand, YAY SCHOOL! Our town offers public pre-k , so Evan will be going 5 mornings a week. On a bus. Apparently typical four year olds are better at public transportation than I am, since I barely managed to catch the bus in high school, let alone pre-K. On the other hand, 5 days a week is a lot of school. And it never really goes back – it gets worse. Next year he’ll have full day kindergarten, followed by 12 YEARS of school at least 180 days a year. It almost makes me want to keep Caroline home instead of sending her back to preschool.

Almost. But not really, since going to doctor’s appointments alone is an indulgence I can’t live without anymore. Although I haven’t officially registered her at all, so I hope there’s a spot at her current program. File that under Things I Always Forget To Take Care Of In A Timely Manner, although that file might be kind of full since Find Out When Evan’s Classroom Orientation Is, Buy School Uniforms, Get A Copy Of The School Supply List, and Update Both Kids’ Health Forms are already in there.

I learned a lot of lessons in the last year at preschool: Never underestimate a child’s talent for getting paint on the ONE outfit you like best. Putting a note in a backpack does not mean the teacher will get it, ever. And label everything. LABEL. EVERYTHING.

Last year I relied on my shoddy memory and the availability of a Sharpie to label all the kids’ stuff. We lost a lot of cups. I also got a lot of “Just a reminder! Smiley Face!” notes home when I forgot, and nothing makes me feel worse than Smiley Face! notes from the teachers. Might as well write “Failing As A Mother! Smiley Face!” on them.

This year, I’m getting a little help from Stuck on You. They have a huge selection of products you can personalize – not just labels, but pretty much anything you can imagine. They sent me a family starter pack (with 2 kids, everything gets shared) and it is faaaaantastic.

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Shoe labels that stick in the heels – this picture was taken right after I stuck them in. I wasn’t 100% convinced they were going to stay but after a week of hard wear (including leaving them out in the rain) they still look exactly like that.

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Mini/pencil labels on our sippies spotted out in the wild! This one has been through the dishwasher several times already.

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Perfect for summer school lunches!

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Iron in clothing labels. LOOOOOOOVE. Once I got the hang on it (stick a towel under the jacket/shirt so you can press down nice and hard) it took 5 minutes to knock out every fall coat and sweatshirt. BOOM.

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These have been in for a week. Notice how you can still read them?! Amazing. PLUSALSO, they use non-toxic eco-friendly inks.

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These are some well-labeled children right here: lunches, cups, folders, shoes, and sweatshirts.

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If I was really smart, I’d order another set with my phone number on it and stick them on all Caroline’s favorite toys and dolls, so when she leaves them at the beach/aquarium/mall/playground/library there’s a chance we could get them back.

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She likes that idea.

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Sigh. This is what happens when I say “Make a cute face!” It has nothing to do with labels, except that I’m labeling her a weirdo.

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The gingers say “What are you waiting for?! These labels are the coolest!”

To help you get ready for school, Stuck On You has two $20 gift certificates to give to my readers! Just leave a comment telling me what you’re doing to get ready for the school year to enter for a chance to win. And definitely go check out their site, they’ve got everything from place mats to puzzles. You’ll be stuck on them (ba-dum-ching!)

Disclaimer: Stuck On You gave me a family pack of labels so I could try them out. No other compensation was provided and I swear I really, really love these labels. One entry per family. Two winners will be chosen using Random.org on August 14th and contacted via email so please use a real one.

 

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Wordless Wednesday: Last Day Of School 2013

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013

Evan’s first day of school post here.

Caroline’s first day of school post here.

Their last day:

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Getting Schooled

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

Last week I spent a great deal of time thinking about and researching preschool options for Evan next year, but instead of helping me make a decision I’m just MORE confused than I was.

When I looked at a 3-year-old preschool program, my biggest challenge was just tracking down basic information. Where are they? When are they? How much do they cost? You’d think that was all classified information – ESPECIALLY the “how much does it cost?” question. No one wants to tell you until you’ve already taken the tour, brought your kid in for a visit, filled out the paperwork and totally fallen in love with the place. Then SURPRISE! Three day a week preschool costs almost exactly as much a my annual college tuition did! But look, did we show you the llamas the children help care for as part of our animal husbandry program for toddlers?

NO LLAMAS, NO. We cannot eat the things my child learns to knit from your luxurious hair, so we had to choose a less-fancy but totally lovely preschool program. I made my choice and haven’t regretted it for a second since Evan started. I love them so much I started sending Caroline and plan to continue sending her until she’s old enough for one of the public school programs.

So. About those public school programs. There are two options in my town – the charter school and the regular public school. If you had asked me last year, I would have said the charter school was absolutely my first choice with our current (not free) preschool as a back up. The regular public school option was third. Of course, that opinion was based on nothing. Truly nothing. Not a single actual thing. I don’t know anyone whose kids go to the public program, I just assumed it would be not good based on the fact that my town is slightly economically depressed (am I the only one who pictures a really sad dollar sign anytime someone uses that phrase? Probably). But with that opinion behind me I filled out the charter school application a full year early and then crossed all my crossables.

It didn’t work. Evan is number 15 on the wait list. There are only 22 spots in the classroom, so the chances we’ll get moved up far enough to get in are…not good.

The truth is, I’m not sure how I feel about it. The charter school is very, very popular. There are something like 800 kids on the wait list at any given time – there was a mom on the tour last week who said her 5th grader has been on the list for four years. Getting in through the preschool program is the only way to guarantee a spot in the elementary and middle school programs. But after the tour I wasn’t 100 percent sure it was the place for my kid. There wasn’t anything WRONG with it, I just wasn’t…blown away, I guess? There definitely weren’t any llamas.

Now it looks like he’s going to go to regular preschool at the regular public school. This year they’re starting a whole new consolidated program for all the pre-k’s in our town at one elementary school and it sounds like they’re working really hard to make it amazing. Evan could take the bus – THE BUS – to and from school 5 days a week. They have a gorgeous playground. He will probably know at least one kid in his class, thanks to his extensive social circles. I think I can make the pick-ups and drop-offs work with Caroline’s preschool schedule, so she can stay where she is. But the regular public preschool feeds into the regular public schools and I’m a tiny bit terrified of our town’s middle school. It is a RIDICULOUS thing to worry about, since the chances of us still living here when my children are in middle school are about the same as our chances of winning the lottery, moving to a villa on the coast of France and paying a private tutor for the next 13 years but worrying is my second favorite hobby.

It can really all be summed up as OMG WHO THINKS I AM RESPONSIBLE ENOUGH TO MAKE THESE DECISIONS FOR ANOTHER HUMAN BEING? Just like every other parenting decision. A preschool seems like a tiny choice, but it’s a pebble tossed into a pond – the ripples could echo through the rest of their lives. It’s too much. At least now I don’t have to pick which stone to throw?

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Wordlesss Wednesday: Caroline Starts School

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

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