Tuesday, August 30, 2011

preschool or not to preschool...

that is my question!

As I posted earlier, today was Mia's first day to go to preschool. I have fought this choice a million, well... a billion times. Mia has been at home with me since she was born. I am proud to be the one who has taught what she know thus far. However, running a home daycare can sometimes be challenging with your own children.

I know it has to be hard to share your home space with others.
I know it is hard to wake up M-F to have 6 other friends there when you are getting ready.
I know it is hard to have your "special" toys only in your room.
I know it is hard to have a strict routine M-F but relaxed on the weekend.
I know it is hard to share mom with all of your friends.
I know it is hard to follow rules that might not apply after daycare is finished for the day.
I know it is hard.

The past 6 months Mia has hated to share her toys, acts out, and doesn't like taking direction from mommy, the teacher. I know she is still "getting" what we are learning. She is a very smart yet sassy girl. Yes, I understand a lot of the misbehaving is her age. However, I don't want to over look that she is with me all day long, I fear that she will grow up and be "that child" that no one will play with because she doesn't get along with others.

Dustin and I finally made the choice to send Mia to preschool 2x a week. I was getting to the point where I didn't think badly for doing this. I am not a failure as a parent or daycare provider. I am doing what I think will benefit Mia and and allow her to live longer because momma won't kill her sassy self. I decided to tell my mom about preschool. I was dreading this because my mom is dead set against it. She has always hated that my girls have gone to some sort of preschool outside of our home. Just after I have myself convinced this is a good thing, my mom replies with, " How does that make you look to your daycare parents? You can teach their children but not yours?". Ouch! I knew it was coming though. And, I have actually thought the same thing... a lot!

I have always sent my kids to a preschool program outside of our house for the experience of being away from me and home. They need to be exposed to a school setting at some point- I have loved being their first educator and I wouldn't undo any of our last 6 years that I have been at home with my kids.

Mia is a very young preschooler- she just turned 3 this month. I am hoping by introducing her to another program, she will be more open to our program at home. That she will gain from having two learning times and bring home her well behaved, respectful, sharing self here! This experience is good for her- it is a tiny transition from home and mom.

And with all my ramblings- we have decided to preschool!
Outside at her preschool...

Dustin and I dropped her off for her first day... then a family friend will be taking her to and from two days a week.

Walking in like a big girl. While in the parking lot, she turned to Dustin and I and said, "By mom and dad". We went int showed her around and put her stuff away.

Looking around and getting her bag put away...

After we walked around, we went to find her name on the carpet- she started crying. She told Dustin, "I come home with you". We did what I ask my daycare parents to do. Just hand her over and walk away. I know it is hard- it was hard for me too- but just walk away!
So, we left with my little Mia Rose crying.
My friend picked her up and gave me a good report of her day! She settled in quickly and did well. I am glad.
Even though sending her to school so early is one of the toughest things I have had to do, I am grateful for doing it!
Cheers to a great school year for Mia!

We started off our morning with Ring Around the Rosie... one of our friends loves to "fall down" early! The rest were spinning away!

More songs...

Today we did our first Weekly Reader from Scholastic. It is really a neat resource for us to use- the kids loved working with me on it and did a really great job on the activity.

Getting ready to dive in...

We are kicking off our new curriculum on September 1st. We have been using it all summer long but we'll start letter and number of the week again. Septembers lessons were sooo fun to get ready! New posters, cards, resources everything... totally excited!
Today we made new name mats for our circle time. These help us spell our names everyday and learn about keeping personal space too!

We colored and decorated them with stickers...
Thanks for checking in...

First day of school... round 2

Today Mia is going to preschool.

She is so excited...

She hasn't stopped smiling all day!

My little peanut seems a little older to me today!

Kadyn's first game

Our fall activities are in full swing. Kadyn has played inside soccer before but have never shown a real interest in an outside league. This year she asked if she could be on a team and play in the fall. We found out two of her good buddies were on a team and we were able to get her with her friends.
Last Saturday was her first game...

She looked so cute in her uniform...

She really did a good job and stayed interested in the game.

Getting a good kick in...

Trying out the goalie spot... and and as always, Kadyn has a smile on her face!

Friday, August 26, 2011

This morning we started out playing with blocks... the kids love these. I think they would play all morning with them if I'd let them. While playing we tried to make letters, shapes, and sort by color with them.

Little K enjoying the baby book in the library area!

Today we talked about sneaky snakes that are in the grass. We colored and decorated out snake pictures.

Then we glued grass to the snakes to make them super sneaky!

This was a huge project for some. Some of the kids just grabbed the grass by the handful to glue it on, some took one piece of grass at a time and glued it on. Great project to work our fine motor skills! Yay!

My preschoolers are getting a lot of practice with glue sticks... so far we are doing really well with them.

Our pretend play... we are snakes in the grass!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Parent night at school...

This week we had parent night at the school. I always tease my kids that I am going to look at their desks to make sure they are clean and organized. (Really, I am not kidding)

The top picture is Kadyn's desk. We are only day four of school but I am glad that everything seems to have a place.

The bottom picture is Gaby's desk. This is good for this child. She is completely opposite of me and doesn't care if things are neat and orderly or not. Like I said, this is day four. I'll check it again in October and you can see for yourself how far downhill it will go from here!

Our homemade snack... M's mom made chocolate suckers for M's brother's birthday. They had extras and brought them to daycare. The kids LOVED them. Such a fun treat.

Oh my poor calendar!
I love doing circle time everyday. I hate that I have to fix it everyday before we can start. It's getting a little old. My older kids know that unless we are doing calendar, it is off limits.

However, getting through to this little one is a different story. She is my calendar messer- upper!
I know- she looks so cute and innocent.

In the green grass...

When I first saw this theme, I wasn't so sure out the outcome. However, we are on day four and we are loving it.
Today we did some fun outside nature activities. It was a beautiful morning, I even turned the AC off for a while. We started a grass collection for our sensory table, we counted trees (since I have a forest in the backyard, we lost track several times), and we walked around barefoot in the backyard to experience more characteristics of grass. I

After spending a great deal of morning outside exploring, we cam inside to work on our art.
We cut up green streamers and glued them on our paper. This represents grass...

We are working on hard on using scissors (my older preschoolers), and glue sticks.

After our grass was dry, we pretended the brown paint was mud.

We painted our feet and walked through the grass once more...

Some enjoyed the experience of getting their feet painted...

Others were not too sure...

Kenni was pretty giggly... (this was after snack, her momma really needs to clean that face, shesh)

Our barefoot adventure

Tomorrow we are having a grass tasting...hmmmm!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Can we keep it, mom?

On our clean up day Friday, Dustin and Jason were in the backyard. They found this little guy. A cute, little, harmless baby squirrel.


After the kids saw it, they wanted their picture with it. It pretty much gave me the creeps. Not a fan of nature and animals...

The next question was if they could keep it!
It was kinda cute... but the answer was with 100% certainty, no!

In the green grass...

Did you know that August was Foot Health Month? Yeah, me either...! Yesterday we talked about going barefoot, especially during the summer time. We discussed how many feet we have, how many toes, and we need them to hop, jump, walk and run.

Yesterday we practiced jumping in the grass:
we jumped as high as we could
as far as we could
backward and forward
jump and spin

Today we went in the front yard (with shoes on since we have tree issues) and talked about the grass. The color, the smell, how it felt when we picked it up, and how much of it we saw.

During music time we pretended our streamers were grassy areas. Some picked the grass, some pretended to mow it, and some played in it.

Since we were closed Friday, we finished our ABC necklaces from last week.

The finished product

Then we made a book called, "In the grass".
Tomorrow we get to explore our footprints in the grass!!!

A differnt view...

We starting week II of the hustle and bustle of school, routines, and "official" preschool lessons. Even though I am still adjusting to kids coming and going, my kiddos are doing great. They truly seem worn out and ready for rest time.

Monday-Thursday AM, I have all girls for daycare. I am used to this obliviously but it is neat to see how having the gender effects the way they play. For example, during the summer when I had older kids and boys and girls, they played outside non-stop. They loved being down stairs in the nature, the dirt, and grass area. The group I have now, loves to play on the deck. They enjoy the dishes, the play house, the picnic and prefer to stay upstairs where they can play house non stop. Just different view on their play...

Today we changed it up... we went outside in the front so we could use the cars, jump ropes, and scooters...

A different view of how we play...